Now that I’m a real functioning adult, I’ve decided to start budgeting. I tried a bunch of software, some templates, a book, all that jazz, on the subject. After noting the differences and similarities, I realized that a lot of young adults are leaving things out of their monthly budgets and that is why their budgets aren’t balancing like they should. So, with that in mind, here are four things you’re probably forgetting to include in your monthly budget. Once you factor them in and account for them, you’ll be on the road to success.

Toiletries

None of the sample budgets I looked at had a slot for toiletries, but since I wear makeup everyday and have a lot of hair, I have to buy foundation, mascara, and shampoo pretty regularly. Not to mention makeup wipes, toilet paper, contact lens solution, et cetera. Many toiletries you won’t have to buy every single month, but budgeting a small allowance for toiletries every single month will keep you from cursing yourself when you have to replace your entire bathroom cabinet one month and completely blow your budget. Keep in mind how long it takes you to go through certain toiletries and buy in bulk when you can.

Entertainment
Most budget sample sheets have a spot for entertainment, but they don’t always break down exactly what it means. It’s more than movie tickets and RedBox rentals. It’s also a ticket to the theater or a concert in the next city over you’re excited for. My biggest issue with entertainment budgeting is that I have to buy a lot of these tickets in advance, so it’s hard to track that by month. So, I try and look at my next three months and what kind of events I have coming up. I also budget a little more than I normally need for entertainment so that if a great opportunity presents itself, I’m in the clear.
Pets
Being a cat owner, pet costs are pretty low. I buy cat food along with cat litter, and that’s about it. She doesn’t need to go to the groomer. She only visits the vet every year and a half or so, but not everyone is so lucky. Often, many forget to include pet costs in their monthly budgets, especially if those costs are a little more sporadic. Maybe you buy a really big bag of dog food, so you only need to replace it once every two months. Maybe your cat only uses litter in the winter months, being outside the rest of the year. These are all things to account for in your budget. I’ve never had a non-feline or canine pet, but the costs can also add up for guinea pigs and fish that need a new tank or even once in a lifetime surgeries like spaying and neutering. Better to plan ahead and budget for it then try and cut back on groceries that month to afford it.
Streaming apps

Now that I’m a real adult, I’m trying to pay for more of the things my parents used to cover for me, including Netflix, Amazon Prime, and Spotify. These costs are usually pretty low, but not accounting for them can throw your budget out of whack. Calculate your monthly costs for these streaming services and consider looking into paying for a year up-front because you’ll likely save money.

Aryssa D
FFL Cabinet Member