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5 Things Most Families Forget When Budgeting

If you want your family budget to work for you, it’s important to take a little time to set it up right. A budget that works, doesn’t leave you feeling shackled or struggling to make things fit, but instead gives you a better sense of security and control.

Planning well involves more than jotting down major monthly expenses and throwing your best guess at the rest. Pinnacle Financial Partners recommends taking a look at at least 6 months and preferably a year of your personal checking account and your credit card bills to get a complete picture of what you spent when. This is crucial, because most families forget to budget for things like the following:

Non-monthlies
Better Banking What Most Families Forget About in BudgetingExpenses that don’t arrive every month should still be factored into your budget. Semi-annual insurance premiums, tax liabilities, even annual medical expenses like routine tests, dental care, and eye exams won’t throw you into a tailspin if you’ve been setting something aside for them every month.

Personal Stuff
That regular trip to the salon is, or should be, part of your budget. Ditto for new clothes, occasional dining out, and other forms of entertainment. Remember, if you deny yourself all the goodies when making up your budget, sooner or later, you might blow it all to smithereens.

Maintenance
If you own your own home, you’ll want to set an annual figure for repair and maintenance expenses. From building or remodeling to furniture and lawn care, there is a lot you might forget about and still need to budget for. Same goes if you own a car. And as long as we’re talking repair and maintenance, don’t forget Fido. Annual vaccinations and unplanned veterinary expenses can put a hole in any budget, so plan accordingly.

Vacations and Holidays
Since you know the holidays are coming, it only makes sense to start saving now. Factor in the Yuletide season, birthdays, and other holidays into your monthly budget so they don’t take a giant bite all at once, or you don’t wind up over-loading your credit card and paying even more later. Plan vacation expenses, too. You’ll be amazed at the way those few dollars you budget every month add up!

Future Biggies
Retirement. College for the kids. That bigger house you’d like to buy some day. These future biggies should be included in today’s budget. The amount isn’t as important to begin with as the fact that you just begin. Budgeting now can help take the fear and uncertainty out of the future. Just set aside a small amount and make sure you leave room to grow that account.

For a family on a budget, you have to plan for all kinds of expenses. Don’t let every unexpected circumstance throw you under the bus. Use some smart saving and budgeting skills to help you clear a path for your financial future