Friday, April 12, 2019

Are Non-monthly Expenses Ruining your Budget Plan?

by Wendy Wedum, MSU Extension Pondera County

I must admit I had a small moment of panic this today! I’ve been preoccupied with some family happenings and I realized the registration for my car is due…luckily it’s not expired and better yet, I have the money set aside for the bill!

If you have a system for tracking your family living expenses, you probably have a pretty good idea where your money goes. But, have you ever found that you spent more money at the end of some months or at end of the year than you thought you did?

One reason for overspending could be related to non-monthly bills like car licensing, insurance, holiday and birthday gifts, taxes or unexpected expenses like medical bills or repairs to your home or car.  If non-monthly expenses are burning up your budget, here is a potential solution. 

MSU Extension has a financial planning tool to help plan for non-monthly living expenses. The MontGuide is called Schedule of Non-Monthly Family Living Expenses and it helps you figure out how much money needs to be set aside each month to avoid the stressful feeling that can happen when several major bills are due at the same time and there is no money set aside to pay for them.

The Schedule of Non-Monthly Family Living Expenses MontGuide has a worksheet to identify and list non-monthly expenses that happen during the year.  The steps are very simple and help identify and save money for expenses before the money is needed.
You start by listing your non-monthly expenses. This might include things for school such as pictures, sports, supplies, and events or for the car such as licensing, insurance, servicing, or tires or personal expenses such as birthday and holiday gifts, household repairs, memberships, personal care or vacations.

Then you make an estimate of the cost for all your items in the month or months when that non-monthly expense happens.  After all the expenses are listed, add them up to see what your grand total is.  Divide the grand total by 12 to figure out how much money needs to be set aside each month.  Then remember to add this amount to your monthly budget and put it into your savings.  That way you will have the money you need and it will help to avoid the feeling of financial stress when the non-monthly bills are due.

For more information, there are several options.  
1. Connect with your local Extension Agent, 
2. Click on this link to download a free PDF ofthe Schedule of Non-Monthly Family Living Expenses MontGuide   
3. Call Wendy Wedum at 271-4054.  

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