Budget Killers: Unexpected Expected Expenses.

Managing money and staying within a budget can be difficult enough, but constantly getting dinged with unexpected expected expenses can be downright hard.  You know the ones I’m talking about, right?  The expenses you expect you’ll have someday, but they end up unexpectedly coming all in the same week.

I thought since I was being so good about organizing my food pantry I wouldn’t need to spend any money this week.  I dutifully stayed away from my favorite bagel store and ate every breakfast at my kitchen table.   I surely thought this week would be a slam dunk on the ‘no spend’ side.

Silly me.  What was I thinking?

Here’s what I ended up spending for the first week of August:

  • S.A.T./A.C.T. (last ones, thankfully) – $104.00
  • Son’s haircut for senior pic – $25 plus tip
  • Razors (BJ’s used to have the lowest price, but now I’m not so sure) – $47.00
  • Registration for two cars – $110.00
  • Sitting Fee for senior pic – $40.00
  • Extra gas for three drivers this week – $45.00
  • Glasses and Contacts for daughter – $230.00
  • Messenger bag for son for school – $3.60 (I used a $25.00 Amazon GC)
  • Milk & Half and Half – $5.00

And the total is…


Holy moly.  That’s a lot for a ‘no spend’ week… :(

I really didn’t expect to spend any of this money, although I should have.  I knew my son had his senior pics, and would probably need a haircut.  I knew my daughter was going to the eye doctor and that she would need more contacts, at the very least.  I knew this was a busy week and both my kids would need cars to drive to their job/activities, and I needed to drive to work.  The only expenses I truly didn’t see coming were the razors (I thought we had enough when I checked a couple of weeks ago…) and the college testing fees.  (My son doesn’t take the SAT until November, and it’s only August.)

Last night I spent some time pouring through spending diaries of past August, September and October spending so that I could better prepare for what is to come.  I noticed that there will be a lot of school expenses that will come due at the end of August and beginning of September as well as a couple of birthdays, property taxes (ugh), water bill, homeowner’s association bill…etc. etc.

I decided that it might be best for me to take one week at a time so I wouldn’t feel overwhelmed.

Here’s what’s on my list for this coming week:

  • printer and last minute dorm supplies for daughter (Budget: $150.00 and not a dollar more.)
  • Milk, produce
  • Kombucha Tea to try for my daughter (We are visiting this little cutie this weekend! And, he is now 10 months today!)


  • Emissions testing for one car
  • Gas for both my husband’s and my car (since we are traveling this weekend and will need to fill up again)

Hopefully this list will stay short.  However, I fully expect to see some unexpected expense get added to this list… :)

Do you get caught with unexpected expected expenses too?

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  1. Stephanie says:

    spending is crazy! I am right there with you – I was just talking to dh about how much we have spent this past month… School stuff & clothing mostly here….but dd is going to be 11 and has seriously just grown 6 inches in the past year… nothing at all fits her! And now she is too tall to fit into kids clothes, so the cost of clothing is totally skyrocketing! Not to mention travel softball dues coming in soon & also up soon are travel basketball dues! EEK! I really do need to get back to my watching every penny!!!!

    like you said – one week at a time… you will be great – good thing you didn’t eat your bagels!

    • Yes, I remember expenses growing exponentially as the kids got older. I’m afraid it’s only going to get more expensive (think college…dorm…wedding… 😉 ) I was a softball player… loved it…but I’m betting things got way more expensive than when I played (it was free!) LOL
      I’m switching to cash only again, and it seems to be working. I don’t get paid again until next Thursday, so the cash in my wallet has to last until then. Fingers crossed!

      • Stephanie says:

        that’s awesome! I need to get to that…. and maybe think about coming back to blogging… that helped a ton in the past 😉

        I can only imagine how things are going to keep getting expensive…. softball, if she makes the team $250 + uniform costs (prob around $100!) Basketball, if make team $200! Need to start rolling some pennies!

  2. Our expenses this week were truly unexpected – $800 in medical bills! Really frustrated right now!

  3. Now that I am retired and on a pension I REALLY can’t afford to have too many unexpected expenses but sh-t happens doesn’t it!?! I “loaned” Kazi $200 to apply to teacher’s college (really unexpected) and i KNOW that won’t be the end of school-related expenses for her. I thought I had things timed perfectly (my retirement and she’s been out of school now for a year) but even well laid plans can fall apart. Sigh…

    • Yep, the best laid plans….That’s nice that you can help your daughter. Does she want to be a teacher? Just like Mama?

  4. I was so happy when the last SAT test was taken here. Good luck to your son (in Nov.) and I think the cash only is a good plan. Good luck to you with that.

  5. This is the story of my life Sharon, but now that I only have ones child left in college and she is a Senior I see the path clearing a little……. have faith it just gets better and that grandson gets cuter. Is that possible?

    • Hi Kim! Lucky you to only have one more year of college…I have 5 more….sigh. Thanks so much, he is a cutie!

  6. Have you thought about signing up for Dollar Shave Club? There are 3 different types of plans for different types of razors. We are spending $3 a month and my husband really likes them. I use the also :) Here is our link which would help us out if you decided to join :) http://www.dollarshaveclub.com/prestonsearl

  7. Ooooh yes. Check out my recent post about my dental disaster… a completely unexpected $882 bill :(

    Something that has helped me A TON is saving for those EXPECTED periodic expenses that I used to pretend wouldn’t be a big deal but always ended up adding up.. something that doesn’t have a due date every month, but will need to be paid for eventually. I hated scrambling for the cash when it was time to get my hair cut or the car needed an oil change.

    I now have multiple 360 Savings Accounts set up for various yearly goals (many of them already aimed at 2015).. Christmas, photo sessions (important to me specifically), gifts, float trip, etc. In my cash wallet (expenses I dip into more often than once/year) I have cash set aside for car care, pet care, household/personal items, etc. I create a “new” budget every 2 weeks/payday and try my best to account for upcoming expenses outside of normal bills. But, as my blog post shows, I can’t plan for everything *sigh*

    • Bummer about the dentist! Dental work is so expensive.
      Yep, I have those accounts too (through Ally Bank), but some of mine were empty because of overuse. Because I didn’t use cash most of the summer, I fell short in the categories. Not anymore. I’m a cash girl again. :)!

  8. Your grandson is beautiful. What a head of hair!
    Anyway: unexpected expenses for us……after we drove our new RV for a few miles, our SUV started to shimmy and shake. DH thought the bearings were going to fall off. Not so. We just needed new tires. @$530! Ka-ching. Plus a few RV odds and ends we didn’t know/plan about @$250 plus.
    Our biggest loss last month was wasting a huge amount of dollars on moving expenses. If we had known ahead of time we weren’t moving to Florida I would have given/donated most of our furniture while still in Rhode Island. Instead we spent a lot of money on boxes & moving supplies, plus hundreds on UHaul costs. Unnecessary to the tune of $1000, I am sure! (I won’t add it up for fear of heartbreak).
    Three weeks ago I pulled into the supermarket parking lot and couldn’t avoid going over a white plastic bag that was filled with empty beer bottles. End result: unrepairable flat tire. It cost me a whopping $138 to replace just one tire. Thankfully, I fought this one with the store manager, put in a claim and got reimbursed!

    • Yes, those were truly unexpected. Bummer about the tires. I’m so glad you fought the flat tire incident. How annoying.
      Live and learn about the move part. Just think of all the money you SAVED by not buying it! At least now you know, right?

  9. I love reading your posts. Glad you are back. I think that we all just have to assume there will be these unexpected expenses, and try to have some wiggle room to pay for them. Good idea to look back to last years spending to get an idea what it looming ahead.

    • Thanks Sherri, I love the feedback. It’s actually very eye opening to see what I’ve done in years past.

  10. We have some dear friends visiting us next week for 4 days. I desperately need new towels, which I’ll be shopping for today. I’ve known for over a month they are coming, and of course I’ve known for longer than that some of our towels are have reached their expiration date so to speak, but I just keep putting off buying new ones. (Thanks for mentioning the SAT/ACT test – I need to register my son for that too).

    • Sometimes Kohls has good prices with coupons. Towels can get expensive, so that is an expense for sure.
      Ah, the SAT/ACT tests. Don’t you just love to hate them?

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