But what about paying for those once in a while expenses you don’t always plan for?
Weddings and birthdays and showers, oh my!
It’s wedding season for my and The Hubby’s friends and family…and birthday season, and shower season, and anniversary season. And while we do have advance notice for these things, they’re not the kind of things we normally factor into our monthly budget. Especially not when a big string of them all take place within a few months over the summer.
And, they’re not cheap! Birthdays aren’t so bad, but baby showers can be pricey. And weddings! Not only do you pay for the bridal shower and wedding gifts, you also usually pay for a new dress or pair of shoes so your family doesn’t see you wearing the same outfit to all four weddings this summer. (Or at least I do.) Then there’s the bachelor or bachelorette parties, the new birthday parties for all the babies whose showers you went to last summer…let’s just say that being in yours 20s (or very early 30s, a-hem!) means you’re going to have lots of extra gifts to buy as your circle of friends and family grows very quickly.
On a less fun note, there are also unexpected expenses like car repairs, home repairs, vet bills, and any number of other things you don’t have any notice for at all. How do you cover those things when they spring up?
The answer? An occasional expense fund
You can’t plan for the unexpected expenses that will come up, but you can count on the fact that they will come up. So we’ve started an extra savings fund just for these expenses. Every paycheck, we put aside a certain amount that we can draw from whenever we need it.
That way, when a shower or birthday comes up, it won’t wreck our budget for the month. And, if something big and bad happens, like a car repair, we’ll hopefully have a little built up by then so it doesn’t really wreck our budget.
Why isn’t this the same as our emergency fund? You could argue that things like car repairs could fall under the emergency category, but for us, we’re just considering them (big) inconveniences. A real emergency, in our minds, would be one of us losing our jobs, or having a serious health problem, or something similar life-changing. We don’t want to dip into our emergency fund for smaller things like if one of our dogs gets sick, because while that does cost a bunch, we want to reserve every dollar we can in our emergency fund in the event that something huge happens.
Hopefully, it never will, but it gives us peace of mind to know it’s there if we need it.
In the meantime, our occasional fund can cover all the other unplanned things that crop up now and then.
Do you have an occasional fund? How do you pay for “out of the budget” expenses?
photo credit: Tax Credits