The items and categories below are just some of the expenses you may want to include in your budget. It is not an exhaustive list by any means. Some of these expenses are a necessity and others are completely optional. Only you will know which is which.
Groceries are pretty important. Eating out, not so much.
Debt Reduction Tip: Try to cut back your eating out budget by 10% and put that extra money towards your debt snowball.
- Eating Out
Shelter is another good thing to have. It provides security.
Debt Reduction Tip: Pay your mortgage biweekly to pay it off in about 26 years instead 30! That’s how you stick it to the man! And don’t even get me started on HOAs!
- HOA Dues
- Basic House Maintenance
- Large Expense House Maintenance
- Homeowners Insurance
Electric and water are obviously very important but if your trying to save money to use for paying off debt you may find other items that you can cut back on or cut out completely.
Debt Reduction Tip: Are you using all of your data or minutes on your cell phone plan? If not, cut back to a less expensive plan to save each month.
- Electric Bill
- Water Bill
- Gas Bill
- Sewer Bill
- Garbage Bill
- Cell Phone
- Cable TV
Unless your budget is so tight that you absolutely can not afford to budget for fun, I consider this category a must for every budget! There is no need to go overboard and spend frivolously but having some money set aside for fun will keep you from resenting your budget or blowing it all together!
- Kids Sports, Band, 4-H, Etc
- Personal Spending Money
- Pool Maintenance
- Gym Membership
Make the minimum payment on every item that you can with the exception of the one credit card or loan you are currently working to paying off. Focus your energy on paying off one creditor at a time.
Debt Reduction Tip: Look for a 0% credit card offer and transfer a balance over to that card. Just make sure to pay it off or move it to another 0% card before the offer expires.
- Credit Cards
- Personal Loans
- Student Loans
How can you make the money if you can’t make it to work reliably?!
Debt Reduction Tip: Trade in your brand spanking new, way more than you need car for a more modest vehicle. You can always buy another Ferrari once your out of debt.
- Car Loan
- Car Maintenance
- Auto Insurance
- Registration and Inspection
Instead of budgeting for medical expenses I just have it taken directly out of my paycheck pre-taxed and put into a flexible spending account.
- Term Life Insurance
Without going into a mini sermon, Jesus said it is better to give than receive. Even the rich have realized this and make giving a priority.
- Other Charities
- Friends in need
Start with a $1,000 minimum emergency fund – more if your kids are crazy like mine – and then work on paying off one debt at a time.
- Emergency Fund
- Debt Snowball
- Savings / Retirement
- Your next car
- Down payment on a house
- College expenses
- 3-6 months of living costs
Unless you plan on looking like John in the wilderness, hair cuts and clothes are important. There are ways to lower these expenses but you still need to budget for them because they are real! Last time I checked, Christmas was always on December 25th!
- Hair Cuts
- Birthdays and Holidays
Hopefully this list will get you thinking of other items that you may need to include in your budget as well. Leave a comment below with something I missed that may be on your budget.