List of Irregular Expenses

Budget for these expenses that crop up throughout the year

Mature couple doing paperwork and using computer
••• Musketeer/Getty Images

Feel like something is always blowing your budget? Irregular expenses are likely to blame. While most people have a handle on their monthly expenses, far fewer have a handle on those expenses that pop up every now and then. Take a look at this long list of irregular expenses, and make sure you've included everything in your budget that you should.

Insurance

Your insurance expenses may be billed monthly, or they may be billed annually or quarterly. If the later is the case, be sure to build these recurring costs into your budget, so the premiums don't sneak up on you. Here are some types of insurance that you may have (and need to budget for):

Taxes - Retirement - Charity

If you don't make contributions throughout the year, these can quickly turn into large expenses that you'll have to fund at the end of each quarter or year. Here are some common contributions that you may need to plan for:

  • Estimated tax payments
  • Property tax: If this isn't rolled into your mortgage payments, or you've already paid your house off, you'll need to have a plan to pay this yearly.
  • Income tax payment: if you think you might owe money at the end of the year, you'll need to build in some savings to cover the cost.
  • Retirement contributions: If you wait until the end of the year (or tax time) to make your contributions, make sure the money will be there when you need it.
  • Charitable contributions

Home Expenses

It's important to stay on top of the care and upkeep of your home, but often these expenses catch us by surprise. Here are some things you need to plan ahead for:

  • Home maintenance
  • Home repairs
  • New appliances, repair or replacement
  • Furniture replacement and additions
  • Bedding, kitchenware, linens
  • Lawn care
  • Garden expenses
  • Tree care and removal
  • Homeowners’ association dues

Vehicle Expenses

There are many expenses associated with owning a car, truck or motorcycle, that go beyond gas and insurance. Here are some things that you need to budget for:

  • Vehicle maintenance
  • Vehicle repairs
  • Tires
  • Vehicle registrations
  • Vehicle inspections

Utility Expenses

  • Replacing your cell phone to update to the latest model, or when lost or stolen
  • Pay-as-you-go cell phone minutes

Education Expenses

Being in school, or having kids that are in school, gets expensive in a hurry. Here are some expenses that are likely to pop up:

  • Tuition bills
  • Class dues
  • Technology fees
  • School and office supplies
  • School pictures and yearbooks
  • Field trips
  • Testing fees

Health Expenses

Even if you have a good insurance plan, there are likely to be some unexpected expenses that arise over the course of the year. Here are some to consider:

  • Yearly check-ups (medical and vision)
  • Glasses/contacts
  • Medical bills
  • Dental cleanings
  • Dental work
  • Insurance deductibles (enough to cover your largest deductible)

Pet Expenses

Your best friend can also rack up plenty of unexpected expenses, including:

  • Pet check-ups, vaccinations, prescriptions
  • Pet grooming
  • Pet licensing
  • Pet boarding
  • Veterinary health insurance
  • Emergency veterinary care

Personal Care Expenses

What you wear, and how you look, can cost you a lot of money over time. Be sure to planfor:

  • Hair care, nail care
  • Clothing and shoes
  • Jewelry
  • Cosmetics

Leisure Expenses

  • Vacations/Travel, including transportation, lodging, food and admission fees
  • Magazine subscriptions
  • Newspaper subscriptions
  • TV/movie streaming subscriptions (ex: Amazon Prime)
  • Season tickets/season passes
  • Fine dining events
  • One-time tickets (to concerts, plays, conferences, theme parks, festivals, etc.)
  • Home electronics, computers, mobile devices
  • Hobby supplies
  • Sports activity supplies, clothing, shoes, equipment, fees
  • Membership fees (for clubs, gym, work-related organizations, warehouse clubs, co-ops, etc.)
  • Kids’ activities fees (sports, dance, scouts, after-school clubs, camp, etc.)
  • Gifts
  • Christmas (food, travel, clothes, gifts, decorations, etc.)

If you are not sure how to go about adding these irregular expenses to your monthly budget, here's help: