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Are You Actually Staying On Budget? 5 Costs Commonly Forgotten About

Posted on October 17, 2019

woman sitting in a blue chair working on an Apple laptopBudgeting might be something incredibly boring, confusing, and tedious, but it is something everybody should do. Especially when your life changes, like changes in employment or where you live, you should be consulting your budget.

The key to a good budget is accuracy. The more accurate you are with your budget, the better you’ll understand your financial situation. So when it comes to building a budget, updating it, or just making sure you are on track, you need to account for every expense and purchase you make. To help you in this effort, we’ve come up with some commonly forgotten expenses that can throw off your budget.

Yearly Expenses You Aren’t Paying Monthly

When building a budget, most people design it on a monthly structure. It makes sense, most bills are paid monthly and people get paid at least monthly if not twice a month. Yet there are some common expenses many pay yearly, not monthly, including:

  • Car Insurance
  • Home Insurance
  • Life Insurance
  • Yearly subscriptions
  • Car registration
  • Holiday expenses
  • Retail store memberships
  • Taxes
  • Annual credit card fees
  • HOA fees
  • Amazon Prime
  • And more!

To incorporate these expenses into your monthly budget, break down each cost you pay into 12 payments, and then put that money into a savings account. That way you aren’t caught unaware when the bill comes due and can avoid dipping into your main savings or going into debt. Pioneer offers a Special Purpose Savings Account that can help you prepare for each expense and earn extra interest towards your yearly goal.

Forgotten Subscriptions

young woman with her hand outYou can sign up for a subscription for practically everything. They are extremely convenient, yet also easily forgotten. It’s quite easy to plan on cancelling a subscription, forget about it the next day, and only remember about it when your next package arrives.

With building your budget, you need to account for every subscription service you are paying for. One great way to do this is to go through your monthly statement and see if there are any services you are paying for that you’ve missed. Better yet, you might catch a service you aren’t even utilizing that you can cancel!

If you add a new subscription to your life, put it in your budget right away. That way you actively know about it and don’t find yourself in trouble at the end of the month being $30 short because you forgot about it.

Recreation and Hobbies

two women golfingIt’s important for all of us to have fun and do things we enjoy. That’s why it’s important to include a part of your budget to having fun. That can cover eating out with friends, going to the movies, or buying new model trains for your collection. The important part though is that you set a specific amount each month for you to spend however you want.

This can help in two ways. First, it can help prevent overspending on non-essentials by setting a hard limit for yourself.  Second, it can push you to treat yourself to what makes you happy. But you need to include it in your budget or you’re more likely to forget it.

If you want to see what you spend every month right now on recreation and such, use the Money Management tool in myPioneer. This can breakdown how much you are currently spending on these items to help you better understand your current spending and how much to budget for yourself.


How often do you get a haircut? Is it a monthly event or do you go a couple of months? When you do go, do you have to do something special or extra? Depending on your situation, a haircut could cost anywhere from $15 to $100. Be sure to account for this expense when it does come up.

It’s not just haircuts that are often forgotten. Other cosmetic costs like manicures/pedicures or something similar are items you need to include in your budget. If you don’t get them every month, split the cost up per month or have a set amount each month for cosmetic costs.

Pet Expenses

woman holding a dog in a forestYour furry or scaly family members deserve to be taken care of and that costs money. You’ve got to pay for food, keep them clean and well groomed, and cover medical costs that might occur. When putting a budget together, it’s common to focus on your needs and to forget about your pet’s needs.

Include how much you spend a month and per year on your pet so you can be properly prepared. This can include food, toys, grooming, and everything else you buy for your pet. It’s smart to budget some money to save each month for emergency vet visits.

Is Your Budget Good Enough?

Your budget is important to staying financially stable and reaching your goals. If you’ve never built a budget before, or feel like you need some help, you don’t have to do it alone. Pioneer partners with GreenPath Financial Wellness to help our members do things like build a stable and accurate budget, consolidate debt, and other financial skills.

Learn More About GreenPath!

Member Benefits
Special Purpose Savings Account GreenPath Financial Wellness
eStatements Online Bill Pay


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