7 Budget Items You May be Forgetting

By now, we should all be sticking to a solid budget — one which definitely includes a savings category. But, even the most financially sophisticated of us make little mistakes, often forgetting to budget for minor, miscellaneous, or unexpected expenses.

Making this mistake can throw you off course and undermine efforts to create financial stability, a setback that can lead to frustration with the budgeting process. Avoid the drama by reviewing your budget and ensuring you're planning for these common, but often overlooked expenses.

1. Insurance Deductibles, Co-Pays, and Medical Supplies

No one expects to get sick, but we almost all ultimately do. So, why is this common expense so often not planned for? The money that is being budgeted for medical expenditures should include everything from deductibles and co-pays, to cough medicine and bandages. It should take into account common illnesses for each member of your family, including the family pet. (See also: 8 Ways to Spend Your Last Minute FSA Funds)

2. Taxes

There are one of two ways in which unexpected taxes might slip up and throw off your budgeting goals: unexpected taxes on extra income, and failing to find good use for tax refunds. Regular Wise Bread readers know how important it is to create extra income. The extra money you earn can help to pay off debt and boost your savings. But, we often forget to set aside taxes on the income. Tax refunds will gradually help you build a nice nest egg and should always be put into some sort of savings or retirement account. (See also: Can't Pay Your Taxes? Here's What to Do)

3. Miscellaneous Travel Expenses

Travel, planned or unplanned, occurs all the time — whether it's to attend a friend's destination wedding, tackle your bucket list, network for business, or a vacation. Though it's inevitable, it's one of the most mismanaged expenses in a typical budget. It's easy to forget to factor in additional costs like visas, tips, ground transportation, food and beverage, duty free buys, in-flight amenities, resort fees, and long-distance calling. (See also: 9 Travel Expenses You Forgot to Budget For)

4. Home and Auto Repairs

Inevitably, machines will break down. And when they do, it disrupts our everyday lives. That's why we're willing to run out and replace them regardless of the expense. We will often finance the purchase because we failed to budget for it, and now it's an unexpected expense. So, factor in household and automobile maintenance and repairs into your budget and plan accordingly. (See also: 5 Household Fixes You Should Stop Paying Others For)

5. Networking

Everyone's agenda should include networking opportunities, because it aids in creating a healthier financial life. Set aside money to attend fundraisers, workshops, networking events, and paying membership fees and dues. This should include any contributions made to support causes you believe in, membership organizations, and annual conferences.

6. Adult Learning

Maintaining a focus on career development will also have significant financial rewards. Continued education is required for most professionals, but whether it's a requirement or not, we should be thinking about developing a competitive edge — as many of us simply will not take out the necessary time to work on acquiring new skill-sets. Do this while you're young and do it often. (See also: 8 Cheap Ways to Continue Your Education Without Going Back to School)

7. Dressing for Success

Dressing for success is equally important as networking and adult learning. This, of course, pertains to budgeting for new clothes, but your budget should also include money for regular grooming, shoe and jewelry repairs, dry cleaners, staying fit, and any routine that is imperative to your personal and financial health. (See also: 6 Times You Should Always Rent Clothes Instead of Buying)

How do you avoid budget mishaps?

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Guest's picture

I love this! It is so hard to remember everything. I love having a budget that I can easily edit. I use a free program called every dollar I highly recommend it. It helps you know where every dollar you make is going!

Guest's picture

Awesome article! Personally I find that travel expenses are one of the most overlooked things in my budget. I loved the last part of that section about in-flight expenses, resort fees, and long distance calling which are often completely overlooked.