Monthly Expenses You May Have Forgotten About
Making a monthly budget is a great way of managing your cashflow, and ensuring that you have what you need, when you need it. However, many of us tend to only count the things that come directly out of our accounts without also considering the smaller but still regular charges that pop up from time to time.
Here are seven common monthly expenses you’re going to need to look out for – beyond the usual energy bills.
Food prices are rising and are likely going to continue as such for a while. This is thanks to supply chain issues and inflation – it’s a perfect storm of increasing costs for the consumer. Therefore, it’s worth keeping a tighter rein on your groceries. However, many of us forget just how much we spend on food when out and about – it’s all worth balancing.
For example, if you normally buy lunch at work, do you know how much it all adds up to at the end of the month? Could you consolidate this better by making lunch at home and taking it into work instead? Our monthly food bills can all creep up, and this is absolutely the case when it comes to bigger families.
If you’re an eager gym-goer, then it’s probably likely you keep tabs on costs. However, many of us have gym memberships and simply forget that we’re paying for them! As such, these costs can creep up and up, costing hundreds of pounds each year. That’s fine if you’re actually making use of your membership, but if you don’t have the time or can’t get to your gym, it’s time to cancel your monthly charge.
Consider doing so for a temporary period if you’re not sure – and take a look at your attendance. If you go to the gym more than twice a month, that £12.99 fee might be worth it – be ruthless, if not.
Streaming entertainment is a big part of most of our lives. With Netflix, Prime Video, Apple TV, Spotify and Disney+ being just five of the big apps available to stream from at home and on the go, there’s an abundance of choice. What’s more, these apps are all surprisingly affordable month to month – and that’s where things can stack up.
While you may only be paying up to £10 per month for each service, consider how many you actually pay for – and how many you use. Is it really worth keeping Apple TV if you don’t use it? Is it better to drop Spotify for a while to save some cash? Six or seven streaming apps adds up to £70 per month, and £840 per year – it may be a good idea to take stock.
What’s more, if you’ve paid attention to the news lately, Netflix will be bringing in a raft of changes soon – from advertising to potentially charging for password sharing. Therefore, do a spring clean of your streamers.
Birthdays and special occasions
Thank social media for reminding us about upcoming birthdays! However, in order to better prepare your budget for the month ahead, you’re ideally going to need to have important dates mapped out in your calendar.
Using a physical calendar – and not just relying on Facebook – will help you to ensure you have enough money put aside. Not only will this help your financial plan, it will also ensure that you can provide for gifts where necessary, and are better prepared for these occasions.
Birthday costs stack up – presents, days out and more – and if it’s milestone birthdays, there may be even more expense. Budget carefully.
Health and Beauty Products
Health and beauty products are things that many of us buy intermittently. We do not need new make-up, shampoos, medications, or hygiene products every week. However, when we do need to restock up on them, ensuring that we have enough money to buy them is essential. If you already have a monthly plan for your bathroom essentials, then great – but many of us don’t think too deeply about our monthly outgoings on soap and cleanser!
Therefore, creating a special budget for all of your hygiene and beauty products every month is always a good idea. Certain products last for months and therefore do not need to be bought as frequently as others. However, budgeting ahead means you can top up if you need to, and if not, you have a bit of extra money to spend elsewhere.
The TV Licence
If you watch any kind of TV content in the UK, it’s still a legal requirement to own a TV licence for your household. While many people choose to pay for a year upfront, it often proves to be more convenient to clear these rates on a monthly basis – which can start from £13.25 each time.
This may not seem like much – but as it is out of sight and out of mind, many of us forget about this bill. Along with your council tax and any other legal / crucial charges, be sure to plan the TVL into your schedule. Failure to account for it might just land you in hot water.
Finally, if you’re using an arranged overdraft (and there is no shame in doing so), you’re likely going to accrue monthly fees, as agreed with your bank. These rates will vary from provider to provider. However, if you are deep into an overdraft and are still trying to get out, seeing a £20 – £30 charge appear at the end of every month can be a bit of a knockback. Unfortunately, until you are back in black again, these fees will keep appearing – and it’s easy enough to forget about them.
So, take stock of your bank’s prescribed interest rate. Be sure to read their terms and conditions carefully, and budget a rough, average amount for this cost each month. In this case, it’s better to err on the side of caution – try and budget a little higher just in case you are caught off-guard. As with the TV Licence, this is one fee you must be prepared for!
Whatever your month on month expenses are, in certain cases you might not be able do without them. LoanBird has a vast supply of loan options that could assist you until your next payday. Whether it’s a home improvement loan or a holiday loan, you can easily Apply Now for free to compare the best loans to suit your needs.