Lynnae at Being Frugal tagged me and asked about my biggest budget busters. The request could’ve been difficult since I don’t budget. Fortunately, I have been experimenting with Mint.com, and I was able to pull out some big purchases and budget busters. So, here are my top fives (in the reverse order):
5. Eating Out
A few dinners out do add up quickly. Aside from my mortgage and the hospital bills, eating out represents the third largest expense category for my family.
TGI Friday’s and Outback are the lucky winners in this category.
It’s odd that my gas and electricity expenses are not captured by Mint.com — I will have to figure out why. Anyway, I was paying $175 a month for gas and $125 for electricity last year (level payment plan). At the beginning of the year, I had a goal to reduce these utility expenses by 10% each. Unfortunately, that didn’t work out. My gas bill went up to $189 and my electricity went up to $172 this year — ouch.
Image from auntyevil via Flickr
3. Cellular phones
It’s amazing how many cell phones are in use today, considering the expenses. My family doesn’t have any money problem, but we still feel the sting every time we get our cell phone bill. Not counting my mortgage, this represents the third most expensive item for our household expenses.
2. Gift for my wife
When my wife gave birth, I wanted to give her something to commemorate the event. So I decided to buy her a diamond pendant that turned out to be $500 more expensive than planned.
But hey, celebrating first-born son is something we can only do once in our lifetime.
1. Hospital Bills
If my son was born a few years earlier, we wouldn’t have to pay anything. Unfortunately, our health insurance has been getting worse yearly. After my wife gave birth in December, the bills finally arrived in late March. So far, we paid close to $1,500 and I am not sure if it’s all over yet.
Since I already shared my biggest budget busters, what are yours? Remember, each comment you leave earns you an entry to win a $50 Amazon gift card.
Pinyo is the owner of Moolanomy Personal Finance and a Realtor® licensed in Virginia and Maryland. Over the past 20 years, Pinyo has enjoyed a diverse career as an investor, entrepreneur, business executive, educator, financial literacy author, and Realtor®.