Budgeting is a great way to manage your finances. However, there are cases when we forget to include a couple of very important and expensive expenses. When we fail to recognize and prepare for these costs, we end up putting our budget plans at a serious disadvantage. We end up having to eat up our savings because our extra income was already spent on things that we thought we could afford.

So what are the things that we usually forget to do?

One of them is our pets. We look at them as part of the family but you will be surprised at the expenses that we fail to include in the budget. Not only do you have to include their regular trip to the vet, you also have to consider emergency health situations. What if your dog suddenly swallowed a nail or a block of your son’s Lego collection? That will cost some serious money - especially when they have to be operated on.

Another expense that we fail to include in our budget are those dress up parties that we are required to attend. If you have 3 weddings to go to this year, do you really think you can wear the same dress to all of them? Surely you can accessorize but if you can include that in the budget, you may not have to recycle it. If your friends are hooking up, do not forget to save up for wedding expenses that does not only include your dress, but also your gift and any travel and lodging expenses (in case it is a destination wedding). A little preparation will not hurt and even if you save more than you spend, that is not a bad thing as it can go to your savings account anyway.

There are many unexpected expenses that can crop up and you need to think about the amount that you will put into contingencies and miscellaneous expenses. For your home alone, you have to know if this is the year when the dryer will give up and will need a new replacement. Or if the dishwasher will need some maintenance repairs. Most experts say that 10% of your home’s value should be set aside every year for such expenditure.

The same is true for your medical bills. One slip on a icy pavement can mean thousands of bills already. Are you ready for that? There is no way to tell how much this will need but if you are constantly putting something aside, it will not hurt as much as it will if you have zero to your name. A working budget means you are prepared for any eventuality - good or bad.

To make your budget work, you need to incorporate every little detail to make sure that your money is going to the right place. If you had to make way for a friend’s wedding, you can start saving up for it by skipping that morning latte for a month. Or you can walk or bike to work to save on gas. You budget is not set in stone and you have the power to adjust it - as long as you know that the priority items on the list are funded first, you can afford to be a little extravagant when the time is right.

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