Are You Forgetting These Budget List Expenses?: May 2021 Budget Update

Budget list expenses are different from budget categories as they sub-categories that most people forget to consider when budgeting.

I’ve explained projected expenses on the blog many times however even these are unrelate to a budget list.

I’m not trying to make budgeting something that continues to add layers however the truth is, there are.

Starting with a basic bare bones budget is great if it’s a starting point to drive your money motivation.

I’ve found over the years that readers who do start with a simple budget printable that the need for more information builds.

By this I mean if a budget category is clothing perhaps you’ll want to break it down into details.

  • Footwear
  • Seasonal Clothing
  • Accessories

This may sound tedious however it’s a smart way to increasing knowledge about spending needs vs. wants.

It also gives you an idea of the costs involved so you can save for them as monthly projected expenses.

Today, let’s explore more into the reason why budgets don’t always live up to personal expectations.

I also want to go over many budget list expenses that seem to be the forgotten costs that you’re not budgeting for.

Let’s go.

Are you missing opportunities to perfect your budget list?

Don’t Be A Budget List Slacker

If you’ve been budgeting with a basic budget for at least 6 months you’ve graduated from beginners’ budgeting.

As simple as a bare bones budget is the reality is you’ll need more information to target your expenses.

I know, it’s the last you want to do however it will make a world of difference when balancing your budget.

One of the great things about budgeting is the opportunity to play around with it and adjust it as-needed.

Slacking doesn’t mean you are being lazy it means that you are leaving doors open or there’s missed opportunities.

Frugal living was a big part of our financial success but to live that lifestyle you need a comprehensive budget list.

Budgets do work but they can work harder for you the more information you provide it with.

No matter what budget system you use for calculations you can always add fuel to the fire.

First things first, what’s your budget objective? Don’t know? Let’s explore.

You Need A Budget List Objective

How to pinpoint specific budget list expenses

Wow, this topic has me thinking back to the beginning of our budgeting days while renting a room.

Well, we didn’t use a budget as much as we just made sure we kept costs to a minimum.

At the time that was our budget objective : Spend less than you earn.

As time went on we bought a house and the need for a monthly budget became a priority.

Although our house was devoid of furniture nothing was important as paying the bills.

You can always sleep on the floor or an air mattress as long as you have money to pay the bills.

This is a reason I suggested to any of you considering buying a house to create a mortgage budget.

You can do this while you’re living at home with family or renting before you buy.

As for increased awareness of money management our objective changed.

We still went with the original of saving more than we spend but we continued to broaden our budget list.

By doing so it allowed us to target all of the little things we were forgetting when creating a budget category.

You Choose How Many Budget Categories You Want

Although there is no rule about how many budget categories to have less is more as you graduate through the system.

For example, you may have started your beginners’ budget like this;

  • Rent/Mortgage
  • Groceries
  • Hydro
  • Gas
  • Vehicle
  • Insurance
  • Miscellaneous

As you progress into the world of budgeting your objectives will change.

You may want to target your debt repayment plan, increase or add retirement savings or build an emergency fund.

These are all great additions to your monthly budget however when creating a budget list you dig deeper.

For each of the examples below think about how you arrived at the total amount you’ve budgeted for.

Did you consider adding hair care under health and beauty, glasses/contact lenses and accessories, braces, dental, massage, physio, spa visits, nails, facials?

Even with work benefits or other benefits that cover costs for dental, physio, massage, etc.

What is your portion of the payment?

Although you can’t always know what procedures you will get done in the least save projected expenses.

This means you will estimate the costs of potential expenses or those you know you’ll be paying for throughout the year.

However, if you know you will be paying costs for your monthly massages add that to your budget list.

  • Mortgage/Rent – Extra mortgage payments, rental insurance, extra rental costs)
  • Groceries (going to the butcher, vegetable boxes, meal kit delivery, seasonal fruit and vegetable pick-your-own) either save it for projected expenses or add the cost to your overall grocery category.
  • Health and Beauty (hair, hair care, nails, face care, body care, massage, pedicure, medical spa (hair removal and professional face or body procedures)
  • Prescriptions
  • Pets – (vet expenses, lodging, city tags, poop bags and accessories, pet treats, pet food, etc.) break it all down as much as you can to come up with a total rather than including pet with your groceries.
  • Hydro
  • Gas
  • Telecommunications and other subscriptions
  • Home Maintenance
  • Kids – school clothes, back to school supplies, school trips, school photos, yearbook, religious expenses (for us it will be communion costs next year) graduation, etc.
  • Sports teams or other activities and hobbies
  • Entertainment/Eating Out
  • Allowances

Premise Behind A Budget List

The idea of a budget list is to allow you to dig deeper into a budget category rather than just scratch the surface.

Even if it’s only a once a year expense consider what types of costs it will involve so you save for it.

The expenses that you forget to add into your monthly budget category are critical.

If you can be as accurate as you can your budget will balance easier.

For example, if you know that you need to buy 1 bottle of Pantene conditioner and shampoo a month and reg price is $5.99 a bottle add it in. If they are on sale, even better but budget according to regular retail price.

What you don’t want to do is guess how much you can save in a budget category.

Another budget mistake is avoiding expenses such as toothpaste, shampoo, cotton swabs, or other expenses.

If you have $1000 a month to spend on the following budget categories don’t do this.

  • Groceries $100
  • Utilities $340 (you should know or have an estimate)
  • Gas $60
  • Room Rental $500 (this is fixed so you know the expense)

It looks good on a budget but if it’s not accounting for what you really spend than it won’t ever work.

You may find out that you can’t afford a $500 a month room and perhaps might consider moving.

Groceries at $100 may not be realistic nor would be $60 worth of gas.

The idea is to be truthful with your budget even if you find out you can’t balance it.

This is another reason why multiple income streams can be helpful.

Keep It Real Or Face Debt

Consider this…

Would you rather find out how much money your budget needs to balance or go into debt?

It’s easy to say F@@k it and see what happens over time but you already know the outcome.

Your options are to deal with it now or deal with the debt collectors later.

Undoubtedly, I’m betting you’d rather figure out how to accurately reflect your budget numbers.

Updating Your Budget List – What You May Be Forgetting.

List Of Budget List Items To Consider Adding To Your Budget Categories

I’ve had readers tell me that they will use emergency funds if they run out of money during the month.

Although you can do that the savings is not meant to fund your budget expenses like that.

An emergency is an emergency. For example, We got into a truck accident in May and I had to pay the $500 deductible to my insurance company.

I knew there was a deductible IF there was an accident but you can’t predict that. This is where the emergency fund came in handy for us.

What am I forgetting in my budget list?

Your budget list will be different from our which is why these are only examples below.

Now, I’m going to share with you what budget list items you may or may not be forgetting.

You may even have other budget list ideas that we are forgetting and it’s important to comment below and share your ideas.


  • Masks/Medical masks or shields
  • Dry cleaning (coats, clothing, bedding)
  • Hair Care
  • Nail Care
  • Spa Care
  • Vitamines and other over the counter products that you know you use
  • Insurance premiums
  • Investing costs
  • Lottery tickets
  • Home lottery tickets
  • Garage sale purchases
  • Facial and Body care
  • Date nights
  • Babysitter
  • Lawyer or paralegal fees (if you know that you will have these expenses work them in your budget otherwise your emergency savings may have to take the expenses).
  • Immunization costs for travelling
  • Passport
  • Permanent Resident fees
  • Translation fees for documents for a passport (if needed)
  • Delivery charges for online purchases (this is tough because you don’t always know what you will pay or purchase.) An example I could use is Mrs. CBB gets monthly delivery of medication to the house that she purchases online. The delivery cost is $6.99.


  • Therapy and supplies (our son has Autism so we buy him sensory toys)
  • Before and After school care
  • Summer Camps and Activities
  • Sports and sports equipment including uniforms and footwear, skates, helmets, bikes, scooters
  • Extra-Curricular activities such as coding classes, music lessons
  • Class Trips
  • Tutoring services
  • Year Book
  • School Donations
  • Pizza Day
  • Clothing including footwear and accessories
  • Birthday gifts for party invites
  • Special occasion expenses (Valentine’s Cards, Bake Sale, School fundraising events)
  • Glasses and other medical supplies or expenses
  • Goggles, safety vest, safety jacket, water shoes

Medical Costs

These may or may not be covered by personal benefits, work benefits, or OHIP however they may not be. The good thing is that many medical expenses may be included on your yearly income tax return.

  • Dental/Braces/Teeth Whitening/Crowns
  • Physiotherapy
  • Mental Health Therapy
  • Medical Notes, Forms, Missed Appointments (these you can’t budget for as you won’t know if it will happen but keep them in mind when building your emergency savings)
  • Eye exam costs, eyewear, specialty equipment)
  • Disability supplies
  • Alternative medicine or care
  • Circumcision
  • Massage Therapy
  • Occupational Therapist
  • Behavioural Therapy
  • Private Nurse
  • House Cleaner
  • Personal Support Worker
  • Retirement Home or Long-term care expenses paid out of pocket
  • Transportation services

OHIP covers the cost of one major eye exam (for vision and general eye health) every 12 months, plus any minor assessments you need, but only if you are:

  • 19 years and younger
  • 65 years and older


  • Parking costs or pass (I pay $500 to park with my employer, plus we get 12 parking passes for Mc Master University Hospital for the year) Any other parking costs that you know you have to pay for.
  • License renewal and sticker renewal are projected expenses that you can save monthly but commonly missed budget items.
  • Bus Tickets or passes
  • Toll Roads
  • Subway
  • Taxis
  • CAA
  • Vehicle repairs
  • Rust Proofing
  • Tire Changes
  • New Tires and Rims
  • Car washes
  • Oil changes or buying the materials to DIY
  • Gas/Petrol
  • Window fluid and other under the hood needs

Memberships/ Dues/ Subscriptions

  • Spotify
  • Magazines
  • Amazon Prime
  • Netflix
  • Work-related Dues
  • IPTV fees
  • Overage fees on your cell phone (watch this carefully)


  • Home/Office Supplies
  • Office electronics, software, equipment upgrade, update or repairs
  • Office furniture and lighting
  • Postage/Parcel Delivery
  • Personal Assistant
  • Office cleaner
  • Travel expenses including parking, gas, hotels, food not covered by your employer upfront or at all. Perhaps you’re self-employed.
  • Donations
  • Church Tithe


  • Specialty foods
  • Food for parties or summer gatherings
  • Party food
  • Food delivery (Skip The Dishes)
  • Costs for collecting food at the grocery store
  • Online food delivery costs
  • BBQ
  • Propane tank refills
  • Charcoal
  • Paying to take a friend out for something to eat and drink (monthly shared costs to go out twice a month) girls night, boys night.

Home Expenses

  • Yearly window cleaning
  • Yard and landscaping costs
  • Garden supplies, vegetable seeds, bird feeders and seeds, plants, pots, soil, wood sticks, string, plant food, farm supplies, greenhouse supplies.)
  • Driveway sealant
  • Leaf bags, garbage bags
  • Rodent and bug sprays
  • Local dumping fees
  • Bin For Renovations or decluttering
  • New or used appliances (if you know you will need them) one-time expenses can be saved in projected expenses as well.
  • Septic Tank Cleaning (yearly or every two years save as projected expense)
  • Critter removal services or mice traps
  • Tools that you know you will need to buy
  • Renters insurance
  • Laundry expenses (coin laundry or wash and fold services)


Typically these are once a year expenses that we would consider projected expenses and save for each month until the occasion.

  • Birthdays (think about all of the gifts you typically send or buy for family and friends)
  • Holiday celebrations or parties (Easter, Valentine’s Day, Birthday, Christmas, New Years, Canada Day)
  • Halloween costume, decorations, and candy
  • Christmas lights or replacements
  • Anniversary
  • Weddings and everything related to it (a one-time expense that should be saved including bridal shower, honeymoon expenses, bachelor party).
  • Trips of any description (avoid putting them on credit) pay cash.

Pet Care

  • Pet Toys
  • Care for your pet (pet grooming)
  • Pet Insurance
  • Clothing for pets
  • Food is obvious
  • Kitty litter, scoops, bags
  • Cat and dog treats or other pet foods and cleaning supplies (we have a fish tank so I buy x amount of food yearly)

A Budget List Helps Decrease Financial Anxiety

Although budgeting, in general, can help reduce financial stress using budget categories that are reflective of your budget list is better.

If you have ideas let me know and I’ll add them to the lists above.

Just remember if it’s a one-time expense add that into your monthly projected expenses. If not and you will pay for it monthly then factor that into your budget category.

Related: How Do I Budget For Irregular Expenses?

Discussion: Have you noticed that the way you budget today is advancing compared to when you began? Share your thoughts and comments below.


CBB Family Income Report May 2021

May 2021 CBB Net Income and Savings

Hi CBB Friends,

Where did all of our money go in May?

As mentioned we were in an accident so we paid $500 which wasn’t bad compared to the thousands in damage.

We also had a pet accident that cost us near $900 in fees to get an emergency vet visit, overnight stay, X-ray, and pain meds. We did not have pet insurance at the time as we had just bought the cat. Get pet insurance. Trupanion Pet Insurance Canada

I bought an inflatable pool for the family which cost $142 which I thought was reasonable.

Oh, and we made a trip to Costco and we bought extra which boosted the grocery expense.

This is not something we normally do but since Covid-19 we’ve tried to stay out of shops as much as possible.

Other than that most of our expenses went to home maintenance.

Take care,


Family Budget Percentages

May Budget Percentages 2021

Our savings of include investments as well as any savings for this month based on the net income of $9775.98

Equally important is that we save money in our projected expenses for things that need to be paid for in the coming months such as Christmas.

All of the categories took 100% of our income which shows that we accounted for all of the income in May 2021.

This type of budget is a zero-based budget where all of the money has a home.


May Net Income and Actual Expenses – Canadian Budget Binder

Below is a breakdown of our expenses which helps us to understand where all of our money goes.

  1. Chequing– This is the bank account where all of our debt gets paid from. We use Simplii Financial, TD Canada Trust, and Tangerine Bank. Join Simplii Financial today! 
  2. Emergency Savings Account– This is a high-interest savings account.
  3. Regular Savings Account– This is a savings account that holds our projected expenses.
  4. Monthly Budgeted Total: $6570.80
  5. Monthly Net Income Total$9755.98
  6. (Check out our Ultimate Grocery Guide to see where our grocery money goes)
  7. Projected Expenses: These are expenses we know we will pay for throughout the year = $852.91
  8. Total Expenses Paid Out: $7332.15
  9. Total Expenses Paid Out: Calculated is $9755.98 (total net monthly income) – $852.91 (projected expenses) – $1570.92 (savings to emergency fund) = $7332.15
  10. Actual Cash Savings going into Emergency Savings: Calculated is $9755.98 (total monthly net income) – $7332.15 (actual expenses paid out for the month) – $852.91(projected expenses) = $1570.92


Below you will see two tables, one is our monthly budget and the other is our actual budget.

This budget represents 2 adults and a 6-year-old son, plus retirement investments.

Budget colour chart: If highlighted in blue that means it is a projected expense.   

Since May 2014 we’ve been mortgage-free so much of our money will be directed at savings, investments, and renovations.

I appreciate that you enjoy this budget update each month but I do hope you view this as an educational tool rather than comparing your financial numbers as our situations are all unique.

Spending less than we earn and budgeting has been the easiest way for us to pay down debt and save money.

Monthly Budgeted Amounts May 2021

May Monthly Budgeted Amounts- Canadian Budget Binder

Actual April 2021 Budget Expenses

May 2021 Actual Budget Expenses Canadian Budget Binder

2021 Monthly Budget Challenge

Budget Challenge 2021 Rules
Budget Challenge 2021

Currently, we have 4 Budget Challengers for 2021.

Let’s see who can keep up for the entire year and who drops out of the challenge.

Feel free to comment about any of the challenger’s budget reports in the comment section by using their Budget Participant Number.

Budget Participant #1

Every time I have a contrast CT, it takes 4 days to quit feeling queasy.

It has also been an expensive month for us what with paying the landscapers to open our garden for the summer and renewing our pest control contract for another year.

As well, sending in our RRSP and TFSA contributions for 2021.

We have our annual property taxes and a much-needed roof replacement to tackle next month so it looks like this summer we’ll be broke, broke, broke!

Budget Participant #2

Good morning Mr. CBB and all,

Not much interesting with my fiances this month. One unexpected payment – should have been expected but I thought they would delay payments because the business was closed due to COVID restrictions.

I had my property tax payment, just shy of $400 but now it’s paid up for another 6 months. As well, I also had an unexplained credit on my visa, but after doing some digging it was the autopay that’s set up on my credit card.

For some reason, they changed the ‘home office’ of the payment to a different province. I’m not sure why, but now I just have to remember that so I don’t question it each month.

Fast food and gas were down quite a bit this month. I’d say fast food about half to 60% of what I normally spend a month and gas maybe 20-25% down.

The rest of my bills were about average with the exception of counselling which was a bit more than usual $250. Oh yes, and I actually bought $100 US currency, so technically I haven’t ‘spent it’ yet but with the exchange rate, a bit lower I had to buy some and hope for the best that travel will be happening again soon.

I haven’t done up the full total yet, but I’d say I saved about $300 extra dollars this month which will go into more long-term savings. I’m hoping to go to Europe for my 40th birthday next year so I’m trying to put aside enough money for an epic trip!

Home Selling Disaster

So I mentioned previously that my mom was selling her house and buying my grandparents house. She is now in the new house but everything fell apart with her sale.

Someone out of province bought her house and then the day before closing said he wasn’t going to buy it, and he was refusing to pay the deposit he promised.

I don’t know how that’s possible as I thought the real estate agents had to have the money to give you if someone backed out, but I guess there are loopholes, and the guy buying the house knew those loopholes being that he was a real estate agent.

So now my mom has the house back on the market, but it is empty so it’s not as attractive to people. I’ve never understood that, I can visualize furniture in a room that has nothing in it. I find it a bit easier than seeing someone else’s furniture in the space, but whatever.

Hopefully, it sells soon. She now has to pay about 3x a month more for insuring an empty property. So far she hasn’t let me pay a cent, even though I told her I would help her buy the house and pay for the moving fees but she’s being stubborn. I plan to give her my tax return if she’ll take it.

Anyways, that’s it for me this month.

Hope everyone is enjoying the summer weather we are starting to see!

Budget Participant #4

May 2021 Budget

May was a very busy and fast month as the sump pump quit working.

The good news was that my dad gave me one and we installed it. 

Using my SGI rebate the cost for the plumber was $265.

I’ve been using the budgeting cash jar method and it did not work for me.

A few changes I would like to make are to find a cheaper phone plan for my son and me.

As well, I am grocery shopping weekly as that works better for my weekly routine.

I have also been on the search for a better house insurance price as I am paid until the end of June.

  • Chiropractor visits every 6 weeks.
  • Savings of $100
  • I will be getting a new life insurance policy this month.
  • Purchased a CBD roll-on stick for body pain that works.
  • My bus card will last longer now as I’m taking the free shuttle for work only when I work until 6 pm.
  • In June I’m on vacation for 19 days and planning to host a yard sale.
  • I have applied for a job and if I am successful, I would see an increase in my rate by $2.
  • Other considerations that I am researching for my home are a new furnace, air conditioner, and water softener.
  • Home repairs as general upkeep for our home will be completed.
May 2021 final budget totals Budget Challenger 4
May 2021 final budget totals Budget Challenger 4

Budget Participant #5

May Budget Participant 5
May Budget Challenger 5

That’s all for this month everyone. I hope to see you back in July for my June budget update.


Please leave any comments or questions below for the budget challengers.

The post Are You Forgetting These Budget List Expenses?: May 2021 Budget Update appeared first on Canadian Budget Binder.

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