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Uploaded:2021-04-13
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In this episode, Chelsea shows us 15 items you're not including in your budget, but absolutely should be — from feminine and personal care products to annual fees and other irregular expenses.

Seasonal energy bill differences: https://www.utilityhound.com/utility-tips/winter-energy-bills-vs-summer/

Space heater cost: https://www.consumerreports.org/cro/news/2011/11/can-you-cut-heating-costs-by-using-a-space-heater/index.htm#:~:text=The%20electric%20space%20heaters%20tested,the%20national%20average%20electricity%20rate.

Pink tax: https://fsastore.com/learn/tampons-expensive

Cost of attending a wedding: https://www.usatoday.com/story/money/personalfinance/budget-and-spending/2018/03/28/how-much-attending-wedding-will-cost-you/33351507/

Pet costs: https://www.aspca.org/sites/default/files/pet_care_costs.pdf

Texas Wedding Link: https://www.texasmonthly.com/being-texan/texas-wedding-photographers-have-seen-some/

License costs by state: https://ballotpedia.org/Driver%27s_license_costs_by_state,_2018

Cost of drinking: https://www.thebalanceeveryday.com/what-lifetime-of-drinking-costs-4142309#:~:text=According%20to%20the%20Bureau%20of,to%20about%20%2411%20a%20week

Rideshare spending: https://www.cnbc.com/2018/05/11/how-much-americans-spend-on-uber-and-lyft.html

Landlord responsibilities: https://www.legalzoom.com/articles/real-estate-series-part-ii-what-is-a-landlord-responsible-for

Home insurance 101: https://www.nerdwallet.com/article/insurance/home-insurance-exclusions

Tipping: https://www.eater.com/2018/11/28/18112819/tipping-in-america-guide-restaurants-how-much

Tipped minimum wage bad: https://newrepublic.com/article/158377/its-time-kill-tipped-minimum-wage

Watch more of The Financial Diet hosted by Chelsea Fagan here: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLD30V46E07RR99cC0gCjKUbt-BKoDUcnc

The Financial Diet site: http://www.thefinancialdiet.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/thefinancialdiet
Twitter: https://twitter.com/TFDiet
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Hey, guys. It's Chelsea from The Financial Diet. And this week's video is brought to you by Skillshare.

And this week, we are going to be talking about the expenses that you are probably not including in your budget but you should be. Because often, at the end of the month when we feel like our goals and ideas for our money and our actual money aren't lining up the way we thought they would, and we have that feeling of but I stuck to my budget and made all the right choices. We're often misaligned because of those little sneaky expenses that we tend not to notice until it's too late.

You want to over account for everything so you'll never be caught off guard by anything. And since there are 15 of these expenses to add to your budget, let's not waste any more time. Number one is annual fees.

This is things like fees for your credit card, Amazon prime, your annual car registration, renewal fees on software subscriptions, your AAA membership fee, et cetera. Go ahead and make sure to put reminders on your calendar, for when these things are due and account for them in your savings and spending budget. If your fee is annual, break it down monthly assuming your budget is done monthly so that it can neatly fit into the rest of your expenses.

If an annual fee is $120, tack on that $10 a month. Number two is holiday gifts and other related spending. While it would be nice to forgo gifts and just enjoy the quality time spent with loved ones that the holidays can provide, this is America bitch.

We're about the gifts, we're about the swag, your mother is a money time spent with you by the fire telling family stories. She wants an iPad. But in all seriousness, for most of us if we are planning on doing some holiday spending on things like, gift, travel, decorations, et cetera.

We can have a tendency to be overwhelmed by the cost, and since it comes at the end of the year, it can often end up derailing the rest of our good yearly behavior. So do yourself a huge favor and create a dedicated holiday budget that includes everything. Gifts, and that way you can stick to the budget well ahead of time, and decide who's getting the iPad and who's getting cookies.

We're talking holiday travel so that you're never caught off guard by how much it costs to go fly to see a loved one, decorations, if you're putting up decorations in your own home. And any other auxiliary expenses. I recommend setting this budget up well before the holidays are around.

No reason you couldn't do it now for this year's holidays. The point is you want maximal time to save for it and minimize the extent to which you'll be surprised by how expensive the holidays can be. Number three is seasonal utility increases.

For instance, depending on where you live, your utilities will tend to be quite different in July than they are in January. For those of us who live in New York City with steam heat and window units in the summer for AC, we will often spend on average about $50 to $100 a month more in the summer than we do in the winter. Take a look at your past year's utility bills, note the differences in months, and actually integrate them into your budget.

And you can extend this beyond the basic utilities and also account for auxiliary weather regulation in your home, which can include things like, space heaters for that one weird room in your house that never gets hot like our guest room. It's like there's dementor in there all the time. Or it could even be things like humidifiers and dehumidifiers, depending on your weather needs.

And don't think that just because one of these things is small that they don't add up. Consumer reports estimates it would cost just under $3 a day to run a space heater during your waking hours. That's over $84 a month in additional utility costs for one measly space heater.

Number four is feminine products and personal care items. These are often the types of things that you can just pick up absentmindedly while shopping that add up to huge cost at the end of the month. Even though tampons and other period products are an essential need for women, consumers still have to pay a sales tax on them in 35 states.

The average sales tax in the US is 5%. So a $7 box of tampons will cost about $0.35 in taxes. The average woman will use about 240 tampons a year, which comes out to about $50 each year with tax.

And if you're not including personal care items as a line item in your budget, it is time to do so. Take a look at the past few months of spending and see how often items like this end up working their way into your cards, without necessarily being reflected in your budget. From tampons to ibuprofen, to makeup, to toothpaste.

The point is not necessarily to cut any one of these items out specifically, for example, if like me you spend a good amount every month on dry shampoo, that's your life to live. But do make sure that it gets accounted for even when it doesn't neatly fit into any other item category. Number five is pet costs.

According to the ASPCA, the annual total cost of having a dog can run between $1400 and $2000 a year, when you tally up food, grooming, medical care, toys and supplies, et cetera. It's around $1,100 a year for cats. And if you're spending $100 or more on something a month, it definitely needs to be a line item in your budget.

And if like me, you have a pet you travel with frequently or who has health concerns of any kind, that number can easily go way, way up in a given year. Pet insurance can be a great option although it's not a perfect solution for any given situation, but making sure to integrate the expenses of your pet and to account for when things aren't going totally perfectly. For example, senior pets have much different considerations than puppies or kittens do, is an important way to ensure that you'll never be caught off guard.

Number six is pet sitting, plants sitting, and house sitting. Now my previous point only spoke to the cost of owning a pet, but not necessarily to ensuring they're cared for when you're gone. That could include things like dog walking, someone babysitting your pet while you're traveling or out of town.

When it comes to things like your plants, it could be someone coming by to water them on a certain schedule when you're not able to do so. It could be someone house-sitting for you while you're gone for an extended period. When it comes to things like pet sitting, that can easily run you $50 or more a day in cities like New York City.

And even if your friend's doing it please stop pay your friend. Don't make this be some weird thing where they now feel obligated to take care of your pet for free. Long story short, any time you are planning for and budgeting for travel, do not forget to include the cost of what it will take to maintain your life when you're not there.

Number seven is wedding guest costs. Now we were all given a brief reprieve from this in the year of our Lord 2020. But we all know well enough that those vaccines are coming and we're going to end up shoved into a salmon pink bridesmaid dress, and shelling out $1,500 to go to some reception hall in a suburb Dallas, Texas, to celebrate a person that we went to high school with getting married.

It's coming back. Yeah, so apparently, I'm being corrected here. Texas has just been not engaging with the corona narrative and having weddings all the same this year.

And it's arguable that for all of the weddings that have been put off this year, you may have more wedding obligations in 2021 than normal. And it's not only an expense when you're actually in the wedding in some capacity, it's also extremely expensive just to attend a wedding. According to a 2018 survey, guests attending weddings spend an average of $628 between travel, clothing, wedding gifts, hotel stays, wedding associated parties, et cetera.

And you may already budget for the travel and gift portion of attending weddings, but what about the tangential costs? Will you need an Uber or lyft to the airport, or to or from the venues? What about lunch if you have a few hours to kill between a church service wedding and the reception at a different location?

What about the late night food and a hangover breakfast after the wedding? It's easy to not only not account for these expenses, it's also easy to slip into a mode of screw it. I'm already spending the money and it's a wedding who cares.

Over budget for any given wedding. But also if we're being honest here, feel free to say no to more weddings. I feel like that should be a thing that changes after coronavirus.

You don't have to go to every wedding you're invited to. You have other financial goals. It's enough with these weddings.

You're not special. What is it? We've all been to some weddings that were beautiful moments, where you truly felt God's love shining through and we've all been to weddings where you're like, we could have done without this.

Number eight is non-recurring donations. Many people do have a regular spot in their budget for recurring donations. You might be a patron of something, you might be involved with a charity of some kind, but the truth is especially around holiday times, these expenses could come up as one offs that you may not plan for.

And in the meantime, do a thorough accounting in your budget for things that you may have signed up for in that regard that you don't remember about. It's easy to sign up for recurring $5 monthly donation to some cause or another, and then quickly forget about it. The more we leave a dedicated portion of our budget to being charitable and supporting causes and organizations and people who we want to, the less we will feel like it has to come in conflict with the rest of our budget choices.

Number nine. License renewals and upgrades. Now this point is coming to you live and direct from someone whose driver's license has been expired since 2016.

And the funny thing about that is that even the driver's license itself was still a provisional driver's license, because I just drove on a provisional driver's license for years and never actually went through the trouble of getting my upgraded driver's license. But the cost of renewing your license is easy to forget because it's only something you have to do once every several years, depending on the type of license and where you live. License renewals vary in cost and duration.

In New York, for example, it cost $64 for most people and lasts for 10 years. While in Missouri it costs for $10 but only lasts for three years. And also remember that you will need a real ID designated license or an enhanced driver's license in order to fly domestically starting in October 2021.

Passports also work. A real ID will cost the same amount as a regular driver's license but an enhanced license will have an additional fee. You'll need to check out your state's DMV website for more information.

What a racket? There is always squeezing money out of us. The stone is dry, we have to import blood to give.

Number 10 is alcohol spending. For those who imbibe. A lot of us consider alcohol as part of a food or restaurant category, which is probably not the best thing to do both because cost per unit on these items can be way different.

For example, you can easily get a $20 on-trade at a restaurant and then also spend $20 on a drink to go with it. Really not the same thing we're working with here. But it's good to keep in mind where these two budgets actually land and not conflate them.

According to the Bureau of Labor statistics, Americans spend about 1% of their gross annual income come on alcohol. For the average household that is $565 a year, $5,650 in 10 years, or a whopping $22,600 over a 40 year period. And it's worth noting that $565 per year breaks down to about $11 a week, in some cities that will barely buy you one cocktail.

So it's very probable that your spending exceeds that. But this is one area in which you may not want to be above average. When you consider how much your food and dining budget is impacted by the choice to opt in or out of alcohol, you'll realize that you could make your dining out budget stretched way further if you decided to take some of those trips without necessarily imbibing.

And a similar rule goes for your grocery bill. Also we should just be drinking less. It's not good for the skin.

It's not good for the soul. Number 11 is ride apps. In New York City in 2018, the average spend on Uber per month was $84.

In LA, it was $64 and in Atlanta $56. Now right now you may not be going a ton of places and therefore not spending your usual amount on ride share apps and taxi cabs, but that number is likely to go back up as life continues to normalize. Like with alcohol, it's important to budget for this separately so you can analyze how much you are spending on this item, rather than just rolling it into transportation costs.

Because it's easy once all of these things are conflated to just assume that your transportation costs are consistent and on some level unavoidable. But when you think about the outsized amount of money that's spending on an Uber or a Lyft entails as opposed to taking public transportation, or walking, or biking, you quickly realize that these things are not to be conflated. And cutting out one can have an enormous impact on the overall budget.

Forcing yourself to separate them out and account for it means you'll never be surprised by how much you default to these ride shares, but also means you will not be taking it for granted as an unavoidable transportation cost. Number 12 is home repairs and maintenance. And yes, this is true even if you're renting.

Although landlords are primarily responsible for ensuring the habitability of a rental unit, both landlords and tenants are responsible for certain repairs. For instance, the landlord must perform any maintenance work that is necessary for keeping the rental unit livable for the tenant. The landlord is also legally responsible for repairing any defects and will be liable for any injuries resulting from a defect that the landlord failed to repair or repaired ineffectively.

However a landlord is not responsible for repairing damages that were caused by the tenant, or the tenants family, guests or pets. And if you do on your home it is very important that you take a close look at your homeowner's insurance to understand what is and isn't under that purview Number 13 is niche cleaning products. We all have that all purpose spray in a roll of paper towels covered.

But what about things beyond that? As you get older, you realize that different things need different cleaning products and you'll learn it the hard way when you try to clean stainless steel with all purpose cleaner. Now what you will actually need will depend on what's in your home, but a few good things to start with are, stainless steel cleaner, granite or marble cleaner, leather cleaner, bleach, wood floor polish, pet stain slash odor remover, grout cleaner, mildew remover, power washer, and likely many things in between depending on where and how you live.

I don't know you. Number 14 is a non-wedding / non-birthday gifts. These are everything from thank you gifts, to housewarming gifts, to hostess gifts, to the new person at the office gifts, to sorry gifts, to sympathy gifts, to-- anything in between that will just come up throughout the year often at times you least expect it.

Having a small dedicated budget for all of the incidental gifts not only helps you never be surprised by those costs, but also help you to be the person who doesn't show up empty handed and remembers people special moments, which will take you pretty far in life. Lastly, number 15 is tipping. Anyone who-- look, OK.

Beeb, beep. Public service announcement, coming in hot. Here's the deal.

Put down what you're doing or eating or thinking about. If you watch TFD. If you even dare to breathe on the TFD community or comments section, and you do not tip at least 20%. 20% is the floor, not the ceiling, get out of here.

Get out of here. If you cannot afford to tip, you cannot afford to utilize the product or service. And I understand.

You're like the system is unfair. Why should I have to tip a server when they should just be paid a fair wage. I agree.

The answer to that is you should also be advocating for a much better system and a much better minimum wage for tipped workers. We could phase out a tip system, but that's a policy change. Occasionally, establishments will eliminate tipping and compensate their workers more fairly, but outside of that if you are going to a restaurant, for example, and you decide it is within your budget to buy that food, you must integrate a good tip into it.

And especially in the year of the pandemic, when we are reliant on service workers more than ever. That person who's crossing town in a snowstorm to deliver your food deserves a very good tip, especially when you consider that some of those apps tend to cut in on those tips. And if you're ordering something and your pre-tip total is really low, always make your tip at least $5.

Even if you're ordering a $5 coffee, you're paying these people for their time and they are not fairly compensated otherwise. Now I'm looking to you, my beloved chic, thoughtful, always on point TFD commentariat. To shut down anyone who tries to start a fight about how you shouldn't have to tip 20% or you shouldn't have to tip at all or whatever.

We're not having that debate here. This is my house. Get out of here if you want to have that debate.

Tip well and integrate tipping into your budget. Or you can't afford the thing. That's the end of that story.

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