No matter how much you don't want to pay for that $100 toaster your sister has on her wedding registry or your cats' $300 vet bill, some expenses are unavoidable. It’s part of adulthood. Trust me, I'd rather take a nap with my blankie and have my mom make me dinner too. As an adult, it's easier to plan and budget for these bills and unforeseen events rather than sacrifice your fun money. I promise, you'll face much less emotional and financial trauma if you account for these expenses rather than let them sneak up and steal your wallet out of your back pocket.
1. Car Repair
Eventually, you're going to need new tires, and brake pads, and then a transmission. Trust me, no one likes dipping into their savings account for an oil change. Put aside $20 a month so when your mechanic tells you it's finally time for a pricey repair you won't cringe and shed a tear reaching for your wallet.
We're at the age where more and more of our friends send us an invite to an open bar and expect a gift in return. Trust me, when it's your turn, you'll want the Ninja blender or an envelope full of cash. You'll feel a lot better about forking over $75 for a new set of silverware you'll never use if you've included it in your budget.
Bonus tip: RSVP for the prime rib and make good use of the open bar, you deserve it.
Take one look into your dog’s eyes and tell me that he wouldn't save for your unforeseen medical expenses if he could. Don't be a monster, save up for shots, vet visits, and future unexpected occurrences. Adopting a pet into your life is a large expense but has an even better payoff. Make sure you know the financial obligation before you take your girlfriend into the humane society and she falls in love with a furbaby that you cannot afford.
Don't be that asshole that refuses to sponsor a kid at Christmas or throw $10 into the food bank collection box just because you didn't budget for it. Keep your change in a jar and hit up a Coinstar when it comes time to donate. This way you're saving without feeling like you're sacrificing anything. You'll feel like a hero when you're able to give $20 worth of pocket change this year instead of your usual lint covered nickel.
You need to get haircuts. I know they're expensive. I know it sucks paying $30 for a lady to talk your ear off for 20 minutes while your hair gets 1/8th of a centimeter shorter. No one is going to take you seriously with your split ends hanging in your face. Save up for these. Just go.
6. Birthday Gifts
Eventually, you’re going to forget someone’s birthday and scramble to find an acceptable gift. As selfish as it sounds, you don't want to pull from your vacation fund or beer money to buy a gift you won’t ever be able to use.
Every six months, my car insurance automatically withdraws from my checking account. Most companies will offer you a hefty discount to pay a lump sum such as an annual or semiannual rather than a monthly fee. For example, Progressive offers this discount anywhere from $75-$120 every six months. Just for paying six months at a time? Yes. Save up. Do this. It'll save you thousands over the years.
That laptop you bought before your freshman year of college? It’s probably pretty close to its last good years. Instead of treating yourself to that new shirt or buying that last drink at the bar, save that money and put it towards a new computer. You won't feel as guilty spending $1500 on that new MacBook if you've been planning and saving up for it.
Long story short, if you save up for these events in advance, you won't be surprised and scrambling when they occur. It will be much easier on your wallet and your personal funds if you set a little aside each month to prepare.
As always, thank you to Zack Mathis for reminding me that puncuation exists for a reason.