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Harris-Courage & Grady, PLLC Feb. 20, 2017

Creating a budget usually takes a few tries to get right.

No matter how thorough we try to be, there are usually a few things that escape our minds. Don’t let the extra expenses ruin your well-laid plans. Budgeting for these surprises can help ensure that your financial goals won’t get sidelined.

Remember these areas when creating your budget:

1. Pet Expenses. This category includes food, boarding, health care, toys, grooming fees, bedding, and any other supplies you feel your pet needs to be happy and comfortable.

2. Big Ticket Items. Are you going to need new tires, a replacement dishwasher, or some other expensive item in the near future? These items often slip our minds when making financial plans. Estimate how much these will cost, and save up a little each month so that you’ll be able to afford them when you need to purchase them.

3. Non-Monthly Bills. Since most bills are paid monthly, budgets are set up on the same schedule. However, some bills aren’t paid twelve times a year. Non-monthly bills can include car registration, insurance, trash, water, and medical expenses. To budget for these, figure out how much they cost you each year and then divide the number by 12. Set aside that amount each month.

4. Gifts. Christmas and birthdays have a way of sneaking up on us. It might be a good idea to start saving, and maybe even shopping, early in the year. Christmas can be a major expense, depending on your traditions and the size of your family.

5. School-Related Expenses. School supplies, field trip fees, school lunches, physicals for sports, and many other expenses can add up over the school year. Often there isn’t very much warning before your child needs the item they have asked for. Plan ahead so that school expenses don’t ruin your budget or get you into debt.

Your budget will be most effective if it includes everything you need to purchase in a year. There are many financial expenditures that are routinely forgotten by budgeters.

Go over your bills from last year to ensure you’re including everything relevant.

You can have a successful budget, even if it takes a few tries to get it right.

Until you find your dream job, these tips can help you make the best of your current situation.