With the cost of living forever on the rise, South Africans are always under pressure to find ways to make their money stretch just that little further.

When it comes to budgeting, a simple list of essential and non-essential expenses against your income is all that is required. This will give you a decent understanding of where your money is going every month.

But what about those nasty surprises?

Graham Craggs, spokesperson for Budget Insurance, says: “Many people forget to include some key expenses which can derail an otherwise well-planned, well-thought-out budget.”

Here are five expenses that people often tend to overlook:

1. Car maintenance

You’ve carefully budgeted for your monthly car repayment, annual licence fee, car insurance and petrol. Then your cambelt or clutch suddenly fails and there goes that holiday you’ve been diligently saving for. The best way to budget for car maintenance is to take out a motor warranty and/or service plan which will not only cover mechanical failure but scheduled services too.

2. Home loan interest rate changes

In January, interest rates increased to 10.25%. This increase prompted some home owners to cap their bond repayments which has both advantages and disadvantages. The main advantage of doing so is that if the interest rate rises again, your interest rate will be fixed. As for the disadvantages, if the interest rate should happen to decrease, you’ll most likely regret your decision. Try to negotiate the best possible interest rate when purchasing your property and use a bond originator to compare offers from different providers. If you already have a bonded property, consider having it refinanced with another provider at a lower interest rate.

3. School expenses

Parents often forget that when it comes to school, the spending doesn’t stop at school uniforms, stationery and school fees. Birthday gifts, fundraisers, pictures, camps and other outings can put pressure on your monthly budget so it’s wise to plan accordingly for these incidentals.

4. Pet expenses

If your beloved pet is injured or falls ill, the veterinary expenses could add up to thousands of rands. It’s advisable to put money aside each month for vet emergencies in addition to saving for pet food, vaccinations and grooming.

5. Home maintenance

If Murphy has his way, your gutters will collapse during the month that you can least afford it. Again, good routine maintenance is key, but it’s also wise to set aside funds each month for scheduled maintenance as well as unplanned repairs.

Article credit: http://pretoria.getitonline.co.za/2016/04/27/5-things-everyone-forget-to-budget-for/#.VyHDTUcTcnw