When planning your budget it’s easy to overlook a long list of expenses that you are likely to incur in the coming year. So, to make sure your budget is a true reflection of your annual expenses, here is a list of 12 things that you should be planning and saving for every year.
Servicing and buying parts for your car You’ll probably have to service your car once a year – and you might have to buy new tyres or windscreen wiper blades – or a new gearbox – along the way. Always make sure that you have a few thousand stashed away for when your vehicle needs attention. It’s going to happen.
Birthday parties and gifts Getting older is expensive! And we’re not even talking about the medical bills. Throwing and attending birthdays is one of the more costly pastimes that modern families indulge in. If you have children, you run the risk of RSVPing for as many as two birthday parties a week! Work out the costs of the ones you host and of the gifts for those you attend and budget for those bashes.
School supplies and uniforms Children grow. Every year. They also use pens and pencils and – heaven help us all – now iPads. The costs of uniforms and stationery are significant, so be sure that you have funds to spare in the months when those expenses roll around.
School trips and camp Schools are intent on broadening our children’s horizons – figuratively and literally. The moment a child is taken someplace new and exciting, the costs are passed on to you, the parent. Find out early in the year what school trips and camps are planned and be sure you have enough saved up.
Medical expenses Whether or not you have a medical aid, there is a good chance that you will be footing the bill for some of your medical expenses in the course of the year – usually at the end of winter or just before Christmas when you realise you haven’t gone for your annual check-ups. Don’t let the unexpected costs delay your healthcare. Expect them and be prepared.
Your pets’ medical expenses Unless you have pets medical aid, chances are you’ll be handing over some cash to a vet at some point in the year. Your furry friends should be getting their annual vaccinations, and it’s unlikely you’ll make it to 2018 without Fido snagging a dewclaw or Felix coming off second best after a couple of rounds with the neighbourhood toms. Have a little money stashed away for when man’s best friend needs some medical attention.
HolidaysWe all need a break every now and again. But the stress-relieving qualities of a nice weekend away can be easily erased by the anxiety of going into debt to get there. Set aside some cash each month to save for a holiday when you need one, and when the time comes, stick to your budget for a truly relaxing time.
TV licence, car licence, security radio licence These things crop up once a year, without fail. Budget for them.
Staff bonuses Every year, in December, you need to reward the people who help to make your life possible. Unfortunately, bonus time invariably comes along at the most expensive time of the year, so do yourself a favour and start planning for that expense months in advance.
Home repairsYour home may be your castle, but that doesn’t mean it won’t crumble. You’ll probably need a visit from the plumber or electrician at least once a year. And the lounge probably needs a lick of new paint. And the roof is starting to look a little rusty in patches… These expenses shouldn’t be coming out of your emergency fund – you should have saved up for them.
Garden maintenanceJust like your home, your garden probably needs a bit (or a lot) of annual TLC. You’ll have to rent a bakkie to take some refuse to the dump; or a tree will need pruning or chopping down, or you’ll want a load of compost or lawn dressing. Put a bit of money aside for the bigger garden expenses.
Appliance maintenance and replacementFifty years ago, appliances were built to last a lifetime. Now, you probably have to buy a new fridge or washing machine every few years. Never mind all the little things that break or get lost, like charger cables, blenders or hairdryers. And the cost of printer ink can bankrupt you all on its own. Make sure you have an appliances and gadget budget so that you don’t have to choose between ink and food.