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Don’t let these surprise expenses throw off your budget

don't let surprise expenses throw off your budget

When you’re trying to stick to a budget as a gig worker, it’s important to estimate your expenses accurately. But most budgets focus on weekly or monthly expenses, such as rent and groceries, and other costs that occur regularly. Those types of costs make up a lot of our spending, but not all of it. Other annual expenses can derail even the best laid plans when they seemingly come out of nowhere. 

Here are some of the most commonly forgotten expenses and how you can include them in your budget, so they never surprise you again. 

Yearly car registration 

Yearly car registration fees vary wildly, so this may or may not be a budgeting concern for you. In some states, you may owe less than $20 to register your vehicle, while in others you may spend several hundred dollars. No matter what your fee is, you can avoid surprises by learning when your registration is due and estimating how much it will be. Then, divide that amount by 12 to find out how much you should save each month. Instead of spending that amount, set it aside and by the time your registration comes due, you’ll already have the funds saved up. 

Increase in insurance premiums 

Insurance premiums may increase for planned reasons, such as adding a dependent to your health insurance through marriage or adding a child to your family. Thankfully, you’ll have some warning before one of these events occurs! Before your wedding or the birth or adoption of your child, give your insurance company a call and ask how your premiums will increase. You’ll know how you need to adjust your budget, and hopefully have at least a month or two to make changes. 

Other types of insurance may occur for unplanned reasons, such as an increased car insurance premium after too many accidents or an increase after a promotional reduced rate. Try to get as much information as possible from your insurance company upon sign up or when you have a question. The sooner you know what will happen, the sooner you can start saving for your adjusted premium. 

Family birthday gifts 

Birthdays come every year and yet sometimes we forget that buying gifts can have a big impact on budgets. If you love to spoil your nieces and nephews or like to treat your parents to gifts on their birthday, you don’t have to blow your budget. Instead, make a budget now for the amount you’d like to spend on each person. Divide your annual total by 12 to find out what your gifts budget should be each month and set that amount aside each month. You can even withdraw the amount in cash and store it in a marked envelope. (P.s. indi cardholders have access to more than 60,000 free ATMs nationwide.2) Then when a birthday comes up, you’ll have already earmarked the money for gifts. 

Federal taxes 

Taxes are one of the trickiest parts of being a gig worker. If this is your first year as a gig worker, you may be especially surprised when you file your taxes and find you owe an enormous amount of money. Since taxes aren’t withheld from gig workers’ paychecks, you’ll need to pay these taxes yourself. You can lessen the hit to your wallet by estimating your quarterly taxes and using indi’s Autosave for Taxes features with their bank accounts made especially for gig workers.2 Then, you can set aside a percentage of each payment for taxes. You won’t have to sweat your estimated tax payments or dread filing your taxes each year. 

Some expenses are truly unexpected, like emergencies. But you can plan for regularly occurring annual expenses with a little bit of time, organization, and help from indi’s banking features.  

  1. Visit this locator to find a PNC or PNC Partner ATM near you where indi customers can access money fee-free. 
  2. indi’s tax features are not a substitute for individual tax planning or for legal, financial, or tax advice. These features are intended only as a tool to provide a basic sense of your potential tax savings needs. Because indi will not know everything about your finances or your personal situation, the Tax Savings Goal generated by indi may be more or less than your actual tax liability. The Tax Savings Goal generated by indi does not account for local taxes. Using funds designated as Tax Savings for other spending may leave too little money to pay your taxes. 

This article is not intended to provide financial, tax or legal advice and the information provided may not address your individual circumstances.