Finacial Pitfalls: The Miscellaneous Category

One area that many people have a difficult time with is the miscellaneous category. This is a category where you tend to put in unexpected expenses. It can be difficult because you may be putting things in this category that do not really belong there.

There are several expenses that you should not be putting into the miscellaneous category. Eating out is a common expense that is not planned for and then shuffled into the miscellaneous category. Other entertainment expenses, such as movie tickets, also get put into the miscellaneous category. These optional expenses should be planned for with a specific category in your budget. This can help you to stay within you spending limit each month.

So what expenses do qualify for the miscellaneous category? I would include things, such as parking fees for unexpected hospital visits or trips downtown. Stamps and other varied items you may need to run the household. These are not common items, but rather items that you purchase once every few months.

As you look more closely at your miscellaneous spending you may discover that the money is going to the same place every month, then you should create a new category. It is important to only use miscellaneous money for specific items, so that you do not run out of the money in that category, because you went out to the move, but then end up overspending because you needed paper, printer ink or stamps at the end of the month.

Often the holes in the budget begin to appear as you closely examine the miscellaneous spending in your budget. Take the time to really examine this category, as well as any others that you consistently go over. You may be surprise at how much you can save, by simply tracking the money in your problem categories.

Related Articles:

Financial Pitfalls: Discretionary Spending

Financial Pitfalls: Failure to Budget Important Categories