This video post is by staff writer Adam Baker. Baker previously featured a post on his own blog entitled, 67 Ways NOT to Sell a Car.

Courtney and I apply a fun name to any expense in our lives that we should’ve planned for in our budget, but didn’t. We call them Budget Busters. Even with persistent effort, we find it impossible to account for every irregular expense. As I note in this week’s video, we make an important distinction between a true emergency (random events we cannot foresee) and irregular expenses that we should have known were coming.

We have two primary categories where Budget Busters tend to run rampant: transportation and home ownership. I’ve broken these two categories into two separate posts and this week, in part one, I’ll be focusing on transportation.

Almost everyone is used to planning for gas, oil, and auto insurance, as these are routine costs associated with operating any vehicle. However, it’s much rarer to account for all the miscellaneous expenses that can come up, such as accidents, tires, repairs, tickets, parking, registration, plates, fares, tolls, and so on.

In this video, I discuss the concept of Budget Busters and provide examples of many of the expenses that have popped up to ignite havoc in our own budget.

The contents of the video include:

  • My definition of a Budget Buster [0:21]
  • Your car breaking down should not be a surprise [1:13]
  • Planning for repairs and replacing tires [2:10]
  • Other car-related Budget Busters (accidents, tickets, plates, etc.) [2:50]
  • The big problem: multiple Budget Busters in the same month [4:15]

Many of these irregular expenses are small enough that we can ignore planning for them. After all, most of us can squeeze a parking pass, a toll road, or a car wash into our budgets without noticing. The real issue comes when we miss work because our car breaks down a few days after we receive a speeding ticket on our way to pay for our new plates. When Budget Busters team up to attack at once, things can get rough.

The key is to do our best to brainstorm these irregular expenses and add padding to our emergency funds, our savings accounts, and our budgets to help cushion the inevitable blow. We’ve alleviated a lot of worry by adding 20% to your transportation budget!

What transportation expenses have popped up recently to surprise you?

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