6 Things You Might Not Be Budgeting For
Can you believe we are on week 4 of our Money Monday series?! Y’all are absolutely loving the series as much as I am which makes me incredibly happy. So far in the series we’ve talked about the basics of starting a monthly budget, evaluating our monthly budget to save money, and tips for paying off college loans.
I’ve mentioned a few times how I think it is important to budget and account for every single dollar of income you have in order to maximize your efforts. We’ve taken a look at accounting for fixed and variable expenses to account for but there may be a few things you might not be including in your budget. So today we’re taking a look at 6 things might not be budgeting for and why they are important.
If you don’t have a savings account, stop what you’re doing right now and get one started! I struggled for the longest time with starting a savings because in my mind, it seemed backwards to be saving money when that money could be going to pay of loans or debt. But having a savings is so important! We all have financial and life goals - like buying a car, taking a dream vacation, going back to school, etc - and without a savings in place, those goals might be unattainable…or get us into even more debt. Also, saving for your future and retirement is basically a necessity these days!
If you have a traditional corporate job, be sure you are taking advantage of 401(k) options - especially if your company matches [it’s like free money!]. If you are an entrepreneur/freelancer and don’t have the traditional 401(k) or savings plan options, it is definitely important for you to be focusing on a personal savings plan.
I dedicate a specific dollar amount of my income each month to go to my savings. I also immediately add any passive income [Poshmark sales and influencer commissions] to my savings account. Another easy way I’ve been able to save money is directly through my bank by switching to a “Keep the Change” account. With this account, any transaction I make with my debit/credit card, they round that up to the nearest dollar and transfer the change to round up directly into my savings. Whether I’m getting groceries, gas, making a monthly loan payment, I’m saving money. So if I spend $20.26 at the grocery store, it gets rounded up to $21, and $0.74 is automatically added to my savings account. It might not seem like a lot, but every little penny adds up!
Unexpected things will always come up and the last thing you want to do during an unexpected life event, is to worry about money or going deep into debt. An emergency fund should be separate from your traditional savings account. It should have enough funds in it to fully cover your expenses for 3-6 months. Yes, that sounds like a lot and it’s something I’m working on myself.
For example, say you lose your job with no warning. Your income stops but your expenses don’t. How are you going to cover rent, utilities, loan payments, groceries, etc?! By having an emergency fund in place, you can put your focus towards finding a new job instead of worrying about your monthly expenses and possibly going deep into debt.
In basic terms, a sinking fund is money set aside over a period of time for an expense/expenses happening in the future. This doesn’t have to be huge amounts of money you’re putting aside, it could be as little as $5 a week or $50 a month for 3 months. A future expense that you would use a sinking fund for is the holidays…yup, the holidays are approaching! If you start setting aside money now, it won’t seem like as large of hit to your budget at one time. Think of it as a temporary, separate savings that you’ll use for a one time expense like the holidays.
With all this “save for this, pay off that, don’t forget this bill” we can sometimes forget to have some fun with our money! Maybe it’s treating yourself to a latte once a week, or buying those new pair of shoes you’ve been eyeing for months, or dinner and drinks out with your girlfriends one weekend. Setting aside some fun money each month can help you to avoid overspending on things you enjoy. It’s important to reasonable though and to keep those financial goals you have in mind!
JUST IN CASE MONEY
Unexpected and unplanned things happen in life and whether you are a newbie or veteran budgeter, it happens to everyone. Maybe your meeting ran late which caused you to be 15 minutes past your parking time so you get a parking ticket, or you forget it was a co-workers birthday and you want to chip in for the cake. You can’t plan out every single monetary transaction that it going to take place because we’re human and things happen. So have a small amount set aside just in case. If you use it, you’ll be glad you had it prepared. If you don’t, put that money into your savings or use it as an extra payment on a loan.
PERSONAL LIFE GOAL(S)
I don’t know about you but I have some big personal life goals and has much as I may hate that everything pretty much revolves around money, these goals certainly do and I’m going to do what I can to make them reality [hello, buying a house]. Maybe you have a vision board above your desk or a Pinterest board full of future life inspo, but visualizing those big goals can help you save and rethink that $5 daily latte. And yes, we mentioned a general savings but it might be wise to have a separate life goal account. If not, just keep in mind what you need for those goals [ie: at least 20% down] and be sure that you still have a good balance in your savings after that money is gone.
There you have it, 6 things you might be forgetting to budget for monthly. Did any of these stick out to you most? Share below in the comments!