Friday, November 30, 2007


One of those things Dave Ramsey is always saying is "Give every dollar a name" when budgeting. I'm working on my December budget with this in mind. But a mistake I've made in the past is naming every dollar so minutely that I'm not prepared for unexpected expenses that don't fall into my carefully-crafted catagories.

For example, in November, the following expenses cropped up: (1) My high-school senior needed $13 to go on a class outing to see Beowulf (they couldn't just read the book?); (2) My five year old granddaughter who still wears pull-ups at night left hers at home when she came for Thanksgiving--who knew that the smallest package costs $12?; (3) No one could find the corkscrew for the Thanksgiving wine and none of my neighbors had one--six unbudgeted dollars(and dang if I didn't find my old one when I was putting the turkey roaster away two days later!); (4)There were two baby showers and one retirement party in my office in November--exit $60; and (5) A friend invited me to a cocktail party--I knew she was running for state attorney general but I didn't realize the party was a fundraiser--another $25 gone, though I will recover it when I file my state income taxes.

SO--$116 dollars that had no name but still had to come from somewhere.

That's what I really hate about budgeting. How, exactly, could I have predicted any of those expenses? And none of them qualifies as an emergency expense.

So, I'm now adding a budget entry for miscellaneous. But it's just a guess as to how much to put in it. For December, I'm making it $75 and keeping my fingers crossed.


Anonymous said...

You can't deduct political contributions on your taxes. They're not considered charitable giving.

I'm Grace. said...

Political contributions, up to $50 on a single return or $100 on a joint return are deductible in my state--not as a charitable deduction, but as a political contribution. This is on my state income tax form, of course, not the federal forms.

Living Almost Large said...

I think that the best way to budget these miscellaneous things is to label some of it.

Like gifts I give myself $100/month for birthdays/baby showers/weddings/Christmas. I have been keeping track of my spending so I know I spend more in May and December, but it averages to $100/month.

So gift giving. Also put in school expenses, that what I do.

Now then to real misc expenses? Well then I would put in say $100/month if you think that's what it will run you.

But for a couple of your expenses I think they could have fallen under different categories.

Jennifer said...

I agree with you completely. Some things will come up that are difficult to foresee. Maybe you can just have a plan to but any leftover money in that category at the end of the month towards debt?