Home > Budgeting > How to Plan for Irregular Expenses

How to Plan for Irregular Expenses

irregular expensesBudgeting would be pretty easy if you could always plan on exactly how much money you were going to have to spend each month. You could figure out how much you make at your current job, compare that to your fixed expenses, and put together a plan for making the numbers add up correctly.

Of course, that isn’t the way the world works.

While many of your expenses will be planned and expected, some of them will come out of nowhere. You may know others are looming, but you forgot to plan for them anyway.

These irregular expenses can put a major dent in your budget if you aren’t careful, so the smart thing to do is plan for the unexpected with these tips.

Cash Reserves

The first thing you should do when thinking about how to be prepared for irregular expenses is to keep a set amount of cash in your savings account for surprise expenses. The amount that you keep on hand is up to you, but it should be enough to handle reasonable expenses that pop up out of nowhere.

If necessary, you may want to pick up some kind of side hustle job to earn a bit of extra money that you can put into your savings. This money should not be included in your monthly budget, and it should simply be left alone as time goes by. Hopefully, you will not have to tap into it, and it can continue to sit there as a safety net.

Credit Card Availability

You probably aren’t going to be able to keep enough cash on hand to cover all potential expenses that could pop up, which is why you should have a credit card account open with a limit that you can use to handle a surprise cost.

Obviously, you don’t have to be using this card on a regular basis, other than using it enough to keep the account open and active. Again with this idea, you will be hoping to not have to use your credit line to handle an expense – but you will be ready to do so if required.

Keep Your Budget Short of the Limit

One of the common budgeting mistakes that people make it pushing their budget right up to the edge of what they can afford each month. Living on the edge in this manner is not a great idea, as it doesn’t leave you any ‘wiggle room’ in terms of dealing with irregular expenses. Work on paring down your budget slightly so you can give yourself some space in case things do come up that you are planning on.

No one wants to have to deal with unexpected or irregular expenses, but being ready for such an event is part of good financial planning. Do your best to set aside a specific amount of money to deal with surprise costs, and also work on establishing a credit account that you could use in an emergency as well.

Good planning in your financial life means expecting things to fall outside of your budget from time to time. As long as you are ready for surprise events, you can keep yourself on track for the long run.

 

How do you deal with irregular expenses? Have you even been caught unprepared for irregular expenses?

 

Photo courtesy of: Pictures of Money

If you enjoyed this post, please considersubscribing to the RSS feed to have future articles delivered to your feed reader.
The following two tabs change content below.
John Schmoll is a Dad, husband and veteran of the financial services industry. He's passionate about helping people learn from his mistakes so that they can live lives free from the shackles of debt and empowered to make their money work for them. You can check out his other sites: Frugal Rules, for ways to improve your financial literacy; and Sprout Wealth for tips on different ways to make more money. John has been featured on Forbes, Lifehacker, Yahoo Finance and US News & World Report and more. If you're wanting to grow your blog, check out my blog coaching services to see how I can help you take your site to the next level.

2 comments

  1. Using a credit card to cover your normal monthly living expenses is VERY dangerous. I’d rather recommend cutting every expense to its bare minimum if you don’t have enough income. Definitely look into the side hustles as mentioned.
    Financial Coaching – Brad recently posted…My Favorite Books on Money and InvestingMy Profile

  2. I have been caught with these unexpected expenses, but what I try to do is set a budget for these so that I am prepared for these. What I make sure is that the budget is enough.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

*

CommentLuv badge