Spending plan breakers

Along with gifts being spending plan breakers (see my previous post on this topic), I also came up with some other expenses that haven’t exactly been surprises, but I could have done a better job of planning for them.

They include:
Gym membership
Professional association membership(s)
Magazine/newspaper subscriptions
Other subscription services with once a year costs (i.e. XBox Live, AAA, club/union dues, etc.)

I fixed the gym membership issue by setting up a reoccurring monthly withdrawal from checking to savings into an account specifically for renewing the membership when the time comes. The magazines and other ‘entertainment’ style expenses have just come out of our ‘amusement’ budget in whatever month the bill comes. It’s not exactly perfect, but it works for the time being.

I’m not really sure what to do about the professional memberships or things like AAA coverage. I suppose I could plan to save $5-$6/month for these in an account, but that seems a little silly. A $60/year membership doesn’t really cause our spending plan to be totally foiled, as we often come in underspent on at least a few categories so it ends up not making a big difference. I haven’t really seen a good spending plan that includes these type of expenses.

How do you manage once a year fees or subscription costs? Are there better ways of doing this than just fitting it into my regular spending plan?

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2 thoughts on “Spending plan breakers

  1. We have a special account for these types of recurring expenses and handle them like you described doing for the gym membership. We add them up for the year and set aside 1/12 of that each month. We include things like insurance premiums, travel expenses, eye glasses, Christmas gifts, and parking permits (as well as some of the items mentioned in your list). Throwing in travel and insurance makes it a more substantial amount worth setting aside each month.

    • That is a good idea! I may have to try that. I’m always forgetting about things like that, and it bugs me. I bet I could make a list of all of them if I sat down and thought about it. Will have to implement this soon and report on the results–thanks! 🙂

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