Budget Categories You’re Probably Forgetting!

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It happens almost every month.

Hubby and I have our budget meeting and we think every dollar is accounted for.

Then, about half way through the month BAM…seven birthday party invitations from the kiddo’s daycare.

Okay, maybe not actually seven, BUT it’s always something…am i right?

RelatedHow to Have a Budget Meeting with Your Spouse

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You should always have a miscellaneous category for the things that are just absolutely out of your control, but there are a few budget category items that you can predict and are probably just forgetting!

RelatedMonthly Budget Percentages

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11 Budget Categories You’re Probably Forgetting in Your Monthly Budget

Annual Subscriptions

This happened to us this year.  We completely forgot about our Amazon Prime membership renewal in February.  It wasn’t a cheap one either, since we pay for it on an annual basis. Do you have anything you only pay for once a year?  Make sure you are planning for it year round. Set aside a little fund so you can be saving up throughout the year, and when the expense comes up you have zero worries.


Don’t forget about any credit card or banking fees that seem to unexpectedly pop out of nowhere! Even a $5 fee can throw off your budget if you’re not prepared.

School Photos

They always get me.  I tell myself that I already have plenty of photos, but then those photographers just know how to get the perfect shot. I simply can’t resist. Don’t even worry about the $65 dollar price tag for 4 wallet size photos. Just know that you are probably going to want them, so start saving now! Set aside school photo money in the spring and fall to be safe.

Car Repairs

If you have an older car, repairs will be inevitable!  In order to avoid digging in to your emergency fund or putting car repairs on a credit card, make sure you are setting aside a little money every month for a new battery or burnt out tail light.

Car Maintenance

You probably already budget for your car payment, auto insurance, and gas, but don’t forget about less frequent car maintenance budget items like oil changes and annual car registration!


We are gearing up for 4 haircuts this month!  That can be a lot of cash, even if you select an affordable salon. Make sure you are estimating how much haircuts will cost (with tip) for your family, and plan ahead. Maybe even try to space them out so you don’t have 4 in the same month like us! If you prefer extra luxury, like highlights or other specialized salon treatments, try setting aside a little every month from your personal “fun” money budget, so it doesn’t come as a huge expense.

Dry Cleaning

If you regularly wear outfits that need to be dry cleaned, then this might not be something you forget. We usually wear scrubs to work, so dry cleaning only comes up once in a while when we have a big event or trip and need to “dress up”. If you’re not a frequent “dry clean only” person, don’t forget to squeeze this in the budget when you need to.


Holidays like Christmas, Easter, and Valentine’s Day should not be a surprise. Every year you hear about people that go into debt at Christmas like it’s some kind of emergency. Don’t let the holidays throw off your budget. You can start saving for Christmas year round, or start 6 months in advance. Whatever works for you! Don’t forget decorations, food, class parties, and other obligations you may have for each holiday.

Other gifts (birthday, wedding, baby shower) and Birthday cards

If you have kids, you probably spend a good amount of your weekends going to Chuck e Cheese and buying birthday gifts! You don’t have to get out of control with your spending, and don’t be afraid to say no if you can’t make all the parties work within your budget. Set aside a little birthday fund and birthday card budget for unplanned party invites. Also, make sure you are checking the calendar for family birthday’s if you are the kind of person that likes to send cards. Same goes for wedding and baby shower gifts! Frugal hack: The DollarTree is the BEST place to get birthday cards! Seriously, only $1 for the same quality as the ten dollar cards at the grocery store!  This changed our lives!  Really.

Co-Pays, Deductibles, and Co-Insurance

You already pay a small fortune for your monthly health insurance premiums, but unfortunately the buck doesn’t stop there. If you know your family has a doctor appointment coming up, or if you’re in the midst of cold and flu season, start a little fund for those “hidden” medical costs. Don’t forget that you’re responsible for your co-pay, any deductible amount that you haven’t yet met, and also co-insurance or out of pocket max. RelatedHow to Save Money on Health Care

Identity Theft Protection

I used to think this was a waste of money or a scam “insurance” to have.  However, since I’ve been following Dave Ramsey, he highly recommends to have identity theft protection and I totally agree in the world we live in today! What budget buster always gets you each month?  Let me know in the comments below!

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    2. Girl, We have THREE birthdays in the house within 5 days of Christmas. that doesn’t even count my FIL and baby sister. Tell me about that December budget. I start in August to prepare for December. My Birthday is at Thanksgiving and my oldest boy is in February. I was all set on my winter budget. Now my niece and her family moved up from FL and all those jokers have summer birthdays. ARRGH summer budget busted. Time to back up and punt 😉

    3. I have been trying to help my daughter have a budget. when she gets money, she spends it. Thank you!

    4. I have done many of these things but I am trying to help a couple of others who are just getting started. These ideas are great

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      Hi Erika, They are part of my FREE budget planner download which you can get here: https://cairnsfamilycreative.com/freebie-budget-planner/

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    hi! I'm shannon

    I’m a wife, mom of three, doctor, and blogger! In 2018, I decided to turn my mom blog, into a personal finance blog so others could follow along on our journey to pay off over HALF a MILLION dollars in student loan and practice start up debt. I hope you enjoy following along, and maybe even find some inspiration along the way.