Miscellaneous expenses are a budget category that we call the ‘junk drawer‘ of budgeting.
Everyone has at least one junk drawer in their house containing bits and bobs of things that don’t have a place.
With budgeting, it’s impossible to predict every expense you will have over the year.
I remember once a reader asked me why our miscellaneous expenses were so high.
There’s no honest answer for that apart from it was items that had no home in our budget.
The good news is that as these miscellaneous expenses pop up, we document them.
By documenting miscellaneous expenses, it has helped us revise our budget at the end of each year.
Today I want to discuss a few things with you;
- How to budget for miscelleaous expenses
- Why it’s important to document misecellaneous expenses
- Ways to improve your budget if you don’t use projected expenses
How To Budget For Miscellaneous Expenses
First, let’s discuss miscellaneous expenses and why they may not have a home in your budget.
Last year I blogged about how to budget personal expenses that came out of nowhere.
Today we’ve taken it further and talk about documenting these expenses to break them down further.
By doing so, you will either increase your budget categories or include new expenses into a current class.
What are miscellaneous expenses?
Miscellaneous expenses are those purchases that you haven’t budgeted for or have no category.
For example, before we bought our kitten, we didn’t have a pet category in our budget.
The purchases that would have fallen under the pet category were put under miscellaneous expenses.
Since we knew the kitten was part of the family the following month, I updated our monthly budget to include pets.
Miscellaneous Expenses Example Two
Another example might be one-time purchases such as plants that we didn’t consider under home maintenance when we created the budget category.
Next year our budget will include garden and landscaping, or we will factor in the costs of buying our gardening purchases into the home maintenance category.
Essentially, when we create our yearly budget at the end of the year, we allot x amount of dollars for each category.
If we buy items that we hadn’t considered when we created the budget, we park it under miscellaneous.
When Mrs. CBB tallies up the receipts, she documents the miscellaneous purchases in our free printable budget binder document.
I wasn’t going to release it, but I thought perhaps some of you might be going through the same thing.
As I mentioned above, I wrote a similar post about budgeting miscellaneous expenses and included a free printable.
Since then, we’ve buckled down, and instead of tracking for six months, we track the entire year.
It may seem a bit nerdy, but for us, we like to break our budgets down and ensure we budget enough.
Since our son has been diagnosed with ADHD/ASD high functioning with a sensory processing disorder, our expenses are changing rapidly.
That’s why we decided that six months wasn’t enough for us as it only gives us half of the picture.
Importance Of Documenting Miscellaneous Expenses
When it comes to miscellaneous expenses for our family, documenting them IS crucial.
As mentioned at the end of the year, we discuss every miscellaneous expense and find a home for it.
We are tightening our budget as much as we can so we aren’t overspending.
What would you do if you had to buy a flower bouquet for a funeral, friend or spouse?
If I faced that situation, I’d either have to use my allowance to pay for it or park it under miscellaneous.
The revised budget at the end of the year would include the possibility of having to buy flowers.
What about if you donate money to charity or a Go Fund Me that you haven’t budgeted?
Coincidentally, two days ago, a friend of ours is in the hospital ICU trying to fight off Covid-19.
Since we don’t have a donation budget category, we put it under miscellaneous until budget revision.
We’ve both noticed that our donations are increasing over the years, and it’s time we give them a home.
If you haven’t figured it out by now, you know how easy it is to spend more than you earn,
It’s also easy to spend more than you budgeted for, which can screw up your goals.
We try to balance the budget by spending less in other categories when this happens, but it isn’t working.
It almost seemed as if we were cheating the budgeting system, which is why we stopped it.
From now on, if we buy something and haven’t considered the expense, we document it and complete a budget revision.
How To Revise Your Budget
We tend to revise our budget once a year, but we used to twice a year but decided to stick with once a year.
We revised the budget straight away, with the purchase of our baby kitten costing us $300 plus vet bills.
It’s up to you to tackle your budget categories, but buying for us meant a new pet category.
Some of you might already have pets and buy another, which is where you may find you haven’t budgeted enough.
I would put the expenses in miscellaneous and, at the end of the year, tally it up and work that number into your budget revision.
Now you know that you have enough money budgeted each month for two pets instead of one.
If you are thinking, Mr. CBB, this is too much work. Trust me; it’s worth it.
The same thing happens with projected expenses that you know will pay once, twice or three times a year.
Those are the easy projected expenses you can save for every month in your bank account until they come due.
Lastly, please print our free printable for your budget binder if you want to document your miscellaneous expenses as we do.
You can never be wrong putting too much work into your budget rather than nothing at all.
Importance Of Budgeting
The idea with budgeting is:
- Learn what your spending habits are
- How to control your monthly expenses and stay out of debt
- Ensure you have the money to pay for your expenses
- Educate yourself and continually improve or tighten your budget
Debt comes at a very high cost with interest rates and the repayment timeline.
Kick debt to the curb once and for all, and always revise your monthly budget as needed.
Discussion: What items might show up in your miscellaneous expenses?
Leave me your comments below, as I’d love to read your feedback on this topic.
CBB Family Income Report
Where did the money go in August?
A few budget categories have been getting smashed lately since Mrs. CBB was diagnosed with a Limonene allergy.
We’ve had to read the ingredients on every beauty product she has and then find new brands to replace them.
Almost every product had Limonene or Linalool, including her toothpaste.
Luckily her dentist found her a brand without it; unfortunately, it’s $50 for two tubes.
Another pitfall is that limonene is in limes, lemons, cherries, dill, mint, tomatoes etc.
I’ll probably write a blog post about allergy patch testing and her results and increased budget costs. , our
This month, our pet category increased as we stocked up on kitten food, both wet and dry.
It was also our son’s birthday, and we purchased a few gifts in advance for him.
This month I also found a great deal on outside lights which we needed badly.
I picked up five lights and installed two on the garage area, front porch, sunroom, and one more to install.
That’s our month. If you have any questions, please leave them below or message me privately.
Have an excellent budget month in September.
Family Budget Percentages
Our savings of include investments as well as any savings for this month based on the net income of $9170.20
All of the categories took 100% of our income which shows that we accounted for August 2021.
This type of budget is our favourite and is called a zero-based budget, where all the money has a home.
Monthly Home Budget Expenses
Below is a breakdown of our expenses which helps us to understand where all of our money goes.
- Chequing– This is the bank account where all of our debt gets paid from. We use Simplii Financial, TD Canada Trust, and Tangerine Bank. Join Simplii Financial today! Read more about Canadian online virtual banks which are a must to check out.
- Emergency Savings Account– This is a high-interest savings account.
- Regular Savings Account– This is a savings account that holds our projected expenses.
- Monthly Budgeted Total: $6570.80
- Monthly Net Income Total: $9170.20
- (Check out our Ultimate Grocery Guide to see where our grocery money goes)
- Projected Expenses: These are expenses we know we will pay for throughout the year = $852.91
- Total Expenses Paid Out: $6046.45
- Total Expenses Paid Out: Calculated is $9170.20 (total net monthly income) – $852.91 (projected expenses) – $2270.84 (Savings to emergency fund) = $6046.45
- Actual Cash Savings going into Emergency Savings: Calculated is $9170.20 (total monthly net income) – $6046.45 (actual expenses paid out for the month) – $852.91 (projected expenses) = $2270.84
Estimated Budget And Actual Budget
Below you will see two tables: our monthly budget and the other is our actual budget.
This budget represents two adults and a 7-year-old son.
Budget Colour Key: If highlighted in blue, that means it is a projected expense.
Since May 2014, we’ve been mortgage-free, redirecting our money to savings, investments, and renovations.
Our budget update is an educational tool rather than comparing your financial numbers as every situation is unique.
Monthly Budgeted Amounts August 2021
Actual August 2021 Budget Results
2021 Monthly Budget Challenge Update
Currently, we have 3 Budget Challengers left for 2021.
Feel free to comment about any of the challenger’s budget reports using their Budget Participant Number in the comment section.
Budget Participant #1
Unfortunately, our budget one participant passed away, but I know she will want us to finish this challenge.
Budget Participant #2
Happy September, CBB readers.
I did a horrible job tracking my money in August.
I can always ‘track it’ as I use a credit card, so I always have the amounts spent.
However, sometimes my boyfriend gives me cash to buy things for him, and I fail to track the expenses.
We also have my boyfriend’s father staying with us, which has added to our monthly budget expenses.
Going back and tracking things, though, I was surprised by my gas and fast food purchases, and the rest seemed pretty normal.
Fast food was $190.01, the highest I’ve ever had it track in one month.
Again, I have done a lot of travelling this month, and with my bad habits, this means I eat out quite a bit when I’m on the road,
I have bought some food for my boyfriend and his father while we’ve been on the road.
My gas was $210. This is shocking to me, although the gas prices have risen.
I know I’ve travelled a lot, but that’s the highest it’s ever been and way higher than I would have thought.
Most of the times I’ve bought gas this summer, I’ve saved 5 or 7 cents a litre from playing that Irving prize game.
I will get my travel reimbursed for work but haven’t got my travel cheque, which will come sometime in September.
Besides those, the only surprise expense came from buying my boyfriend an Xbox s for $496.75.
He will be paying me back in September, but it was an unexpected find, so he grabbed it.
He has been looking for one, but they are sold out where we live.
While I was out of town and found one, II grabbed it for him, but these costs maxed out my credit card this month.
Though one big shock, I got a raise in August! I got just shy of a $2 an hour raise.
I have never once asked for a raise, often feeling that I was paid what I was worth.
Since taking on a new role at work, I felt the workload was much higher than I would have ever dreamt.
When I first took the job, II decided to bite the bullet and ask, and voila, I got a raise.
Next month’s expenses include ordering firewood if I get it delivered that month.
My vehicle needs an oil change, and I’ll have to purchase winter tires as I don’t have any.
So over the next couple of months, I have a decent amount of expenses coming my way.
I was supposed to be in Atlanta in September, but the trip was cancelled.
Unfortunately, I cancelled one week of my two-week vacation, but I may still try to go somewhere.
I’m hesitant to book things when we can shut down in a moment.
Oh well, we’ll see what the future holds!
Mr. CBB Response
Congratulations on getting the raise, but most of all, you asked for it, which many people are afraid to do.
Do you save for projected expenses?
Is it your job that takes you on the road often? I noticed the price of gas has gone up where we live as well.
Our gas budget has increased this month as well travelling back and for to my sisters-in-law to renovate.
Only a few more months until the challenge is over, so I hope you’ll be able to share what you’ve learned.
Budget Participant #4
Here’s my budget, and I tried this month to stay on track.
I’m not paying for my son’s stuff anymore as he got a temporary job at the fair for eight days.
He has some leads on full/part-time jobs, so I’m hoping he lands something permanent.
I don’t have meds, a chiropractor, Pokémon or my son’s clothes.
As well, I added TSN for my football, an app for 18 dollars a month.
I also added a water softener for 30 dollars a month.
This month I sold a bike for 50 dollars and plan on selling more items that we no longer use.
My dad gave me two big bags of cans to return my son gave me $200.
I talked to my house insurance representative, and now I pay $110 per month as of September 14th.
I’m taking more overtime at work to earn extra income for the month.
I found out why my mortgage is 68 dollars more a month. It’s because my property taxes went up.
Even though my expenses are higher than my income by 251.94 dollars, It’s getting better.
I feel more in control now and will continue to reduce my expenses and increase my income.
Mr. CBB’s Response
That is awesome to hear that you feel in control of your budget and know what you need to do.
I do have one question for you because I was unsure about what was said.
What does this mean?
“I don’t have meds, a chiropractor, Pokémon or my son’s clothes.”
Has this challenge helped you with the accountability of your money?
Budget Participant #5
August was a busy month with mudding, sanding and then, of course, painting of dents chips and back exterior door.
I’m glad the paint store could match the paint chip with the exact colour. It was also my Granddaughter’s birthday. Unfortunately, I went over budget.
I started August with $253.17, which goes towards the autopay of bills the first week of the month.
With birthday gifts and painting tools, I spent ($267.68 for the month) of August, which was $165.96 more than I paid for July.
For August, the groceries I budgeted were $500.00, and I went over by (-$24.26).
Thankfully groceries came in less than July by $4.04, so I’m happy with the small win.
Anything extra for groceries my daughter pays on her own.
My RBCLOC (line of credit) ended in July with a balance still owing of -$2444.32.
Luckily, Im will be putting a bit more towards the balance owing each month to pay it off.
My projection for having RBClOC (line of credit) paid in full was for October, but I calculated incorrectly by the end of December.
Making adjustments to my budget is fine, but I will continue moving forward with my journey.
In August, I had one no spend for the week.
I know my emergency fund should be filled first, but it is slowly gaining momentum.
At the end of August, I’m ending with $177.31
I’m happy with the app 1Money as it’s working great for me.
You’re right; it’s ok to make budget adjustments because we can’t predict the future.
For example, my wife has a bad allergy to limonene, so she’s had to replace her health and beauty products.
Unfortunately, anything fragrance-free always costs more money, so we rely on PC Optimum points to save money.
How did your no spend challenge go for the week?
I’ll have to check out the 1Money app, and I’m glad you’ve found something that works for you. Yay!!
Thanks for reading, and I will see you back in October for our September 2021 Budget and Budget Challenge Updates.
Please comment below if you have any questions about the CBB budget update or the budget challenge members?