Don't forget these miscellaneous budget expenses *everyone* overlooks

Posted August 2020

Opening an empty wallet

Get a handle on unexpected expenses with our must-read list...

Creating a monthly budget is a great way to keep on track throughout the year.

It helps you balance your income, track your expenses, and hold you accountable.

However, emergency expenses and unforeseen circumstances like, for example, a global pandemic can still see you falling well short of your financial goals. 

To help you out during these trying times we’ve put together a list of the most common miscellaneous expenses most Kiwis tend to forget so that you can factor them into your monthly budget. This includes:

  • Insurance, registration, and upkeep on the car parked in the garage.
  • Keeping your pets healthy and your friends happy.
  • Those memberships and monthly trials you’ve forgotten to unsubscribe to…

Let’s kick things off with your car!

1. Car insurance and registration

Car insurance and registration can easily sneak up on you.

Paying these in full is a great way to save some extra cash throughout the year that you otherwise wouldn’t if you were paying monthly. This means eleven blissful months without constantly having to pay these bills.

This is why it pays to put aside a little each week.

That way you aren’t left looking for coins in every nook and cranny of the house!

2. Vehicle maintenance costs

Man changing car oil

Did the light bulb in your headlight blow this morning?

Do you need new window wipers?

Or are you well overdue an oil change?

Cars are reliably unreliable, so these things tend to happen.

A little extra into your expenses fund each month will ensure you’re not caught off-guard and keep you driving safely. It’s even better if you’re able to buy and install the parts yourself, as this will cut down on labour costs.

3. Pet care

From four wheels to your four-legged friends, vet bills are a costly expense and often one you don’t see coming. Nevertheless, caring for our little furry friends comes with the territory, so set a little aside in your monthly budget.

4. Gifts

Son giving gift to his Father

Are you one for forgetting birthdays?...

...let’s be honest, we all have before!

Putting aside a little extra cash will help you cover those last-minute birthday gifts when the next one creeps up on you. A great gift doesn’t have to break the bank, either. Set a sensible spending limit; your family, friends, and budget will be thanking you.

5. Taxes

Ugh, taxes.

No one likes to pay for these!

If you own a business, are self-employed, or have a side hustle you should be extra vigilant that a big tax bill isn’t about to sneak up on you. If you are worried about managing your taxes, you can always see an account for help or get in touch with Inland Revenue.

6. Memberships and subscriptions

Woman watching Netflix on laptop

Whether it’s Netflix, Spotify, AA membership, or the gym, we all have commitments.

Luckily, some subscription services are great at sending renewal reminders.

But for others? These may be easy to forget about.

Keep track of your subscriptions in your budget worksheet, and if you’ve signed up for any free offers? Set a reminder on your phone so that you can cancel these before you’re charged extra you hadn’t budgeted on.

7. Health bills and expenses

With winter coming up, cold and flu season is on the horizon. This means you’re likely in for some unexpected doctor visits. Start budgeting ahead now so you know you’ll have an emergency fund to fall back on.

8. Financial service charges

Woman withdrawing money from ATM

Many financial providers charge bank, ATM, and overdrawn bank fees.

If yours does, ensure you have enough tucked away so that you’re not charged for missing a payment or attempting to pay with cash you simply don’t have. While you’re at it, don’t forget to budget for any monthly student, car, or personal loan repayments.

9. Donations and charity

It always feels good to give, but you need to find a sensible balance.

Whether you donate regularly or occasionally, it’s good to put a little aside for a spur-of-the-moment act of kindness to ensure you don’t end up leaving yourself short.

10. Haircuts

Man having a haircut

If you can’t find someone in the family that knows how to use a pair of clippers to give you a sharp-looking short back and sides, it’s probably wise to save up for your haircuts. They’re not cheap!

11. Babysitters

Unexpected circumstances?

Or do you just need a night to relax?

You may need to pay a babysitter if you don’t have any family living around you. Go ahead and budget a babysitter into your next date night to ensure you and your partner can enjoy a stress-free night knowing the kids are safe and won’t burn the house down.

12. Annual check-ups

Annual checkups can stack up, so it pays to save in advance. Things like dental bills especially can sting you where it hurts the most if you don’t budget for them.

Prepare for the unexpected

It is impossible to anticipate every expense that may arise. This year is a great example of that. However, it is helpful to create a separate fund for unexpected miscellaneous expenses so they aren’t overlooked.

This can be as simple as building a better budget plan and putting a few dollars a week into a separate fund. Before you know it, you'll be prepared for (almost) anything!


Related Articles

The article published on this page is not financial advice and should not be relied upon as such. The opinions published in this article is not those of Unity Credit Union.