Do You Have Misc. Category in Your Budget?

Today’s post is about me asking the readers for their help and input. I’ve been following a budget since February of this year and I thought I had this budget thing down and feeling good about myself in the beginning. But I ran into some hurdles when dealing with budgeting or not budgeting enough for gifts and other things that I forgot to consider.

Some of my readers commented that they have a misc. category for these unexpected items. So my question is what constitutes as misc. item in a budgeting world? I know budgeting is very personal and everyone’s idea of misc. category includes different things, but I just want some idea. I did sort of have a misc. fund built into my budget around $20.00 to buy those occasional laundry detergent or dry cleaning. But I didn’t include other things such as my hubby’s school books, gifts, and just things that come up in general I guess.

My next question is how much or what percentage of your income do you allocate to misc. category? I’m sure this amount depends on what’s actually included in the misc. category. My $20.00 misc. budget for laundry detegent and dry cleaning was fine, but I just didn’t budget for items that should be budgeted which caused me a headache.

My last question is if you don’t use up your misc. budget fund for the week or the month, do you continue to accumulate over time or do you put into savings or lump it else where? My other categories, if I don’t use all of it, I put it towards paying down my debt. It usually isn’t much, but it’s something. I don’t know if I should continue to grow it in case if some costly unexpected thing happens.

It’d be a great help if you guys can tell me what’s included in your misc. category, what amount or percentage, and what you do with left over for the month?

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13 thoughts on “Do You Have Misc. Category in Your Budget?

  1. I don’t have a misc. category, but with going up to OC for a few weekends I’ve realized I had to with “anomalies that aren’t really anomalies since they happen frequently!” Laundry detergent I think I would put in the “needs” category (groceries, gas, toiletries). I think I might put a hundred or so into it, and whatever isn’t used goes straight to my debt.

    • You’re right. Laundry detergent is a need, but since I don’t buy them often enough, I just left them out of my regular grocery budget. $100 sounds like a reasonable amount to start with for misc. budget. Thanks for your input as always~

  2. We don’t. We budget enough for all fixed expenses only + weekly allowance. Our ”weekly allowance” is all variable expenses including groceries, gas, cat, baby, life essential and a little bit of fun money. We’ve determined how much we give ourselves after months of playing with the budget. I consider our weekly allowance a fixed expense so when our pay(s) are deposited into account ”A” we pay the bills required including our weekly allowance which I transfer to account ”B” where all variable stuff gets paid (debited) out of. Account B does not get a separate budget. The money that goes into that account is monitored- Ie make sure we don’t go nuts on food, gas in car, cat and baby fed but I can’t say I spend exactly $100 every week on groceries sort of thing. In terms of gifts etc- we’re paid bi weekly so we both get 2 ”extra” pays/year. Of these extra pays we allocate monies for things like Christmas, gifts, my annual licensing fee to work etc. Non-monthly expenses if you will. I know a lot of people- like Mr CBB from Canadian Budget Binder- budget every single thing and track it, that works great for him but I’d lose my mind 🙂

    • I toyed with the idea of having two checking accounts to fixed expense and variable expense like you do before, but my husband didn’t want it. I might have to revisit that idea and pitch it to him again. Thanks Catherine~

  3. I don’t have a category labeled misc. but I do have a category for guilt free spending and random stuff that does not fit into any of my other categories which I need (but mostly want) gets bought with that money. I generally have a monthly limit I will set at the beginning of the month and every week I will allot money to the category based on any events I have written on my calendar. I do roll over any money that’s left to the next week so that it can build up over time and if something comes up, it can cover it without putting too much strain on that weeks budget.

    • As I was thinking about this topic, I got confused misc. budget with emergency, which most of what I’m thinking about maybe unexpected, but shouldn’t be treated as emergency. So rolling over left over money for a bigger whoopsy might be a good idea so I won’t even consider using emgergency fund. Thanks.

  4. We have a miscellaneous budget that covers toiletries and any other spending needed for the month that doesn’t really have a proper category. For larger expenses we know are coming up (like your husband’s school books) we have money put aside each month so it doesn’t hit us all at once. I also have a “my sister is coming to visit” fund put off to the side with $30 or so in it, because we always end up going out to eat when she’s in town. Maybe you could stock a “gift buying” fund similarly?

    • I think one of my problems is forgetting some of the upcoming expense, like my hubby’s school books. I need to figure out what’s coming up thoroughly, be more organized, and plan ahead. Thanks Kyle~

  5. Pingback: 1 Year Blogoversary | Michelle's Finance Journal

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