18 Expenses I Wish I’d Budgeted For This Year


1. The fee I was charged when I was late paying the Internet bill, because my credit card was stolen, and I didn’t reset my automatic payments as quickly as I should have.

2. Entertaining. In my head, having people over, or going to a friend’s house is always cheaper than going out, so I forget that the costs associated with entertaining can still be high. Even when you’re going to someone’s house, picking up a bottle of wine, and bringing chips and dip costs $15, and if I’m the one hosting, I sometimes overbuy to compensate, knowing I can always just eat (and drink) any leftovers throughout the week.

3. Any fee I’ve ever paid for checking luggage. That should get built into the budget when I travel, but it’s the one thing that slips my mind.

4. The general costs associated with going home. I don’t save for going home (other than transport), because my assumption is that it will cost less because I don’t buy groceries at my parents’ house. I don’t stop to think about how the drinks with friends, coffee with mom, and nostalgia-driven spending adds up.

5. Replacing my headlights, because a fun surprise to my used car is that instead of requiring a normal headlight, it requires an LED headlight, which cost about $150 to replace.

6. The electricity bill overages that happened this summer because we used the air conditioning too much. (To be fair, after receiving a high bill from the electric company, we stopped using the A/C for the rest of the summer, so that expense ended up evening out.)

7. Cavities that I ended up with as a result of not going to the dentist for two years. I now understand why parents are so intent on having children brush their teeth, because each cavity filling cost me over $100… and I had eight. (I floss a lot more now.)

8. Birthday and holiday presents. I always block this expense from my mind, until it comes time to spend. Next year, I would really like to have the forward-thinking to put aside a couple hundred dollars so that I’m not agonizing through December about what expenses I can cut.

9. Exceeding my monthly budget because I didn’t account for work drinks, or lunches out with colleagues. When I used to work at an office, I made the lowest salary, but didn’t want that to prevent me from mingling with people at the office, so I’d frequently get stuck around high-priced drinks, or at a lunch I couldn’t really afford. I was lucky that my boss was incredibly kind, and would treat me every so often, but I would definitely recommend entry-level employees build “work drankz” into their budget.

10. Parking tickets.

11. And on that topic, parking meters. I sometimes work in coffee shops, and when I do, I vow to not spend over, say, $3. (I get tea, instead of coffee, which usually makes it cheaper.) But I never account for my parking spot, which if you get unlucky, can really add up.

12. The expenses that come with purchasing electronics. I budgeted (and saved quite a bit) to buy my computer this year, for example, but not a case, or any of the programs that I need to pay for. I still don’t have Microsoft Offices on the computer, and I bought it seven months ago.

13. Moving costs. The cost of buying new curtains, the amount of money it costs to get across a major city with all of your shit packed into the trunk, and the money I spent buying people food to bribe them into helping me.

14. Toiletries. I’ve always considered myself to be someone who didn’t spend a lot on face treatments, etc., but even replenishing your shampoo, and buying a basic face wash add up.

15. The inevitable extra money I spend when I split groceries, or household goods with someone. I split things with my roommate, and with my boyfriend, and inevitably, sometimes you spend more, and sometimes you spend less. In the end, it definitely evens out, but I am always surprised, in the moment, when my grocery bill is higher than it might be if I was just cooking for myself.

16. Copays at the doctor’s office.

17. Every time I’ve ever said, “No, I got this,” without thinking it through. In my haste to declare myself an ~adult~, I sometimes want to treat my friends, even if it’s just in a small way. If they’re going through a hard time, it’s nice to be able to take someone out for a drink, or a cup of coffee. However, when I offer to pay without considering where my budget is at (especially because my budget fluctuates), I sometimes regret it. If I’m going to continue to treat people, especially in a professional capacity, I need to budget for that.

18. Renter’s insurance. A lot of buildings you move into (like mine) require you to have it, and I think it’s a worthwhile expense. It’s typically $15-$20/month, but I paid it in a lump sum as soon as I moved in to my new apartment, which was especially stressful considering it was directly after paying moving costs.

Maya Kachroo-Levine is a writer and editorial assistant at The Financial Diet. Send her an email at maya@thefinancialdiet.com or follow her on Twitter.

Image via Pexels

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