We all know to watch out for higher heating bills in the winter, or increased water costs in the summer. But what about the smaller costs, that add up to large costs, just the same. One of my biggest winter spending traps is on dryer time at the local laundrymat. Not only do we wear heavier, bulkier clothes in the winter, the colder, wetter weather means the clothes don’t dry as fast outside. And as our house is both small and humid, drying things inside is not the most practical of options, although I do resort to doing so from time to time. We usually end up taking laundry to be dried a few times a month. It only costs â‚¬2 to dry a load of washing, but if we take ten loads a month (not entirely out of the realm of possibility) then that’s an unbudgeted â‚¬20 that has just been spent.
I‘m not saying that spending the money is bad, or that I (or rather my husband) shouldn’t take laundry to be dried. In my opinion, that â‚¬20 is money well spent, as otherwise we would end up with a damp, moldy house full of damp, smelly laundry. No thank you. To the contrary, it’s important to remember and recognize that certain costs are real, even if they only appear seasonally. This is one of the reasons that I like the Pear Budget Budgeting system so much- you are able to budget for these irregular expenses.
What are some other examples of irregular seasonal expenses? Some examples that spring to mind include replacing lost mittens, buying more cat litter because our cats are spending less time outside, regularly expected car maintenance or annual membership fees needing to be renewed. None of these are truly unexpected, they just sometimes slip my mind when I am doing my monthly budget. I’ve started writing them down on my calendar when they happen and adding them to the same month’s budget for next year. I don’t think I’ll ever catch all of them (and some are so small that they don’t really make that much of a difference, like the cat litter) but I’ll save myself a few surprises along the way.
What are your irregular seasonal expenses?