© 2019 by EMM | Rochester, New York 14607

  • Elissa May Murphy

15 Expenses I Forgot To Budget For in 2018

Updated: Jul 25, 2019

It's about that time...

I reached out to my new tax guy this week and I have set up a meeting with a financial planner.

No, this was not part of my New Year's resolution. Instead, I just promised myself to try the best I can - on a daily basis - for whatever it is I'm up to. This week just so happened to be a three-day school week while trying to balance the art of getting my life together: monetary-edition.

2018 was full of jam-packed schedules, shuffling around the city of Rochester and creating for a living with not too much down time. Now that it's the beginning of a new year, I have compiled a personal checklist of things that must get tackled sooner, rather than later. As I look back at my crunched numbers of 2018, I am beginning to strategize what I can do now for a financially better tomorrow. The results were astounding! I have found

fifteen loop holes of overlooked expenses that I never ended up budgeting for.

My fellow freelancers (or friends and family of mine that are reading this who sport day jobs): I don't want you making the same mistakes that I have.

Without further ado, here are the fifteen expenses I forgot to budget for in 2018 (which will better-prepare me for 2019).

1. Eating Out

After a day of teaching, Alex and I are both back home around the 4 o'clock hour. Between our respective private studio schedules, we easily get bogged down with other things until around 7 o'clock; some days we are done sooner, other days we don't get home until midnight or later. This is subject to whether or not we have late night gigs. If that's the case, we find ourselves to tired and - well - over it to make food for ourselves. Take out, it is! Meal by meal, the receipts pile high. We are hoping to eat out less this year and spend more time in our kitchen.

2. Self Care

From getting massages on an irregular basis for my tension aches and pains, to not accounting gratuity expenses until getting up to the cash register and getting rid of those split ends with a new do... How was it that I never budgeted for them? Goes to show you how busy I've been, I suppose?


Note to self: budget separately for shoes! There were times that I couldn't decide whether or not I wanted one color over another, so I wound up buying two (okay, three) pairs of the same shoes in different colors, meaning I'm dishing out double (fine, triple) the money (sorry, mom). As my wardrobe becomes more streamlined, I, on the contrary, have found some great steals at thrift stores, while investing in some timeless pieces: over budget, but an investment with underlying longevity.

Be like Hannah Nickerson. Budget, people!

4. Holiday Gifts

Alex and I have held great streaks over the last few years where our holiday shopping - swear to God - had been completed by as early as November 3. We did get the majority of our shopping done by the twelfth this year, but I cannot tell you how stressed out I had gotten the week before Christmas when I had no gifts for some of my family members!

Because of that, I did support locally (hooray), but I also spent twenty-five percent of our budget on one item when I could have saved so much more, had I opted to purchase weeks ahead of time. In this case, my impeccable timing resulted in spending more money that I could have used to purchase more gifts (or simply save).

5. Birthdays Parties & Gifts

Can't forget about birthdays! We're trying to become better at gifting, even if it's as simple as mailing out a card in the nick of time. But sometimes those dates creep up sooner than anticipated, leaving us to last-minute stress spend.

Set iCalendar alarms at least one week in advance. Check to see if you have wrapping paper and other materials at your home or if you need to run out and buy supplies. Again, those little matters make for your budget to do or die.

Atop of the gift-giving: be sure to not forget to budget those celebratory beverages from the cocktail lounge or the nice meal you are about to have with your group of eighteen at the latest, local restaurant everyone has been dying to check out! Additionally, the more people in your party, the more you may have to configure for gratuity within your budget.

6. Visitors

What do you mean my brother is coming into town?

Mere instances like this could turn into heading out to eat, grub-hubbing (which charges additional fees), and possibly gift-giving (depending on the time frame). Although it's great to treat yourself, it's quick to go overboard. Eating out while not picking up that second cocktail you want may save you ten extra dollars!

7. Household Maintenance

Although we aren't home owners, some minor things just happen (we reside in an old home; circa 1901) that need immediate fixing. If we owned our own place, bet your bottom dollar that the amount of personal budgeting for this category would have to increase... Especially if we were to continue living in a place like this. Trust me: if we owned this house, there would be so many more things on our to-do list in order to give this beaut some TLC. But alas...

8. Travel Expenses

We don't do it often, but looking back at the time prior to August 2018 where I had been sharing Alex's car not only resulted in splitting auto insurance, but let's not forget the several times I took the train home {and sometimes back}

9. Car Expenses

Fast forward to today: I am the proud owner of my own MINI! It looks brand new (thank you, previous owner, for taking such good care of it), but it is a 2014.

10. Heating & Cooling Cost Differences

Based on the way Alex & I split the monthly expenses, this is Alex's forte. When asking him about it, cooling falls under electric. We try to be mindful with the temperature of the house and how/where the heat is disbursed from. Other than that, he makes it seem easy: he foresees this as an expense you just can't forget, therefore, we never forget to pay it time and time again.

Adults in training, ladies and gentlemen.

11. Pet Expenses

Calvin & Jet's yearly visit to the vet was a success, but it broke the bank. For everything to go well, there was two hundred dollars we forgot to budget. Furthermore, we thought Jet had a UTI. Turns out we attempting the minimal route by condensing to one litter box in the same room. Once we narrowed the litter box quantity down to one, Calvin literally stood in the way of Jet from using the litter box, forcing Jet (smart cat) to go to the bathroom in the kitchen sink. Hey, at least it wasn't our hardwood floors? We wound up bringing the second litter box back into the picture after tacking on an extra thirty dollars when we were attempting to get a urine sample from Jet. All of the sand (and all thirty dollars) went to waste.

12. Annual payments

This could be anything from paying in bulk for your auto insurance, to treating yourself to those Better Homes & Gardens and Magnolia Journal magazine subscriptions (just me?)... just when you think the opportunity comes around to save after getting a well-deserved paycheck, these annual expenses pop up, so it seems. Curate a list of these annual expenses. Write them down along with the month (and exact day, if you know it) of which the expense will come up, and you'll feel better prepared when they come back around.

13. Donations

Be it a monetary gift for a nonprofit, or our time (time is money, money is time) volunteering for a local shelter. These dates to donate always seem to creep up in our schedules just as we are in the freelance zone, keeping busy. As my mother always says: plan ahead! I say: enjoy it! Giving back should be an enjoyable experience, no matter the way you give back.

14. Medical Expenses

Even though I'm in good hands when I go to the doctor for my seasonal checkups, each time I receive my bill seems to host impeccable timing. Just when I'm about to go back, I get a bill from the time prior. They refuse to take payment right at the front desk, or else I would love to pay right on the spot.

I must say: now that I am on Medicaid (shamelessly), I pay nothing for my medication. Where was this when I was in desperate need of assistance trying to pave my path as a full-time freelancer? Now that I have the money, I find it ironic that I literally pick up the same medications and pay nothing. What a way to make a living...

15. Misc.

Aside from the following fourteen, I am still learning and am most certain that I must have overlooked more unforeseen expenses. Have I missed anything? What have you completely forgotten to budget for last year? How can we prepare for a better year, financially-speaking? Let us know down below!

Thanks so much for reading. Keep scrolling for related content to read through!


#Finance #Freelance #Adulting #Lifestyle #Budget