Real-Time Budgeting for Hidden Expenses

Have you ever gotten to the end of the month and wondered where your money went? Living life is expensive. Even if you have created a budget, you may have not included “hidden expenses” that we pay for but we don’t always budget for.

Hidden expenses include:

  • Drinks with a meal
  • Pet treats
  • Bank fees
  • Furnace air filters, light bulbs
  • Pest control
  • Workplace potlucks, team snacks, classroom snacks
  • Field trip money, book fairs, school pictures
  • Healthcare co-pays
  • Flowers and potting soil
  • Carwash

Hidden expenses are unique to each household. To get a handle on hidden expenses track your expenses for a month. Track your expenses by keeping your receipts and review them at the end of the month or review your bank statement at the end of the month. You can track expenses on an app like Mint by naming a budget category “Miscellaneous” and uploading those expenses in real-time as you pay for them.

You can take an inventory by walking around your home and make a list of those items you purchase or what generates a bill in that area and when. Then revise your budget to include the items and/or make a change. For example, increase your grocery budget every other month for cleaning supplies or wash your car at home.

Find hidden expenses for real-time budgeting, name the expense and revise your budget.