You probably know how much you are spending on food, clothes and housing, but what about miscellaneous expenses? These may include vet bills, gifts, gym memberships, ATM fees and more. From an accounting perspective, miscellaneous expenses include credit card fees, regulatory fees and other business costs that don't fit within specific tax categories. In either case, it's important to figure out where your money goes and budget accordingly.
Miscellaneous expenses are small costs that don't occur regularly. From an accounting perspective, these may include advertising fees, legal fees, safety items, parking costs and more.
Consider also: What Is the Percentage Breakdown for Budgeting Expenses?
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Know Where Your Money Goes
The term "miscellaneous expense" means different things to different people, depending on the context. Generally, this category includes small expenses, such as haircuts, magazines, books, baggage fees and home decorations. Gym memberships, for example, are an essential expense for athletes and active people engaging in regular exercise. But if you only go to the gym occasionally, then it's a miscellaneous expense – simply put, it's not something you budget for.
Consider also: List of Typical Household Expenses
In accounting, this term is used for small transactions that don't occur regularly and don't fit into a specific category. They are recorded in a general ledger account and may be deductible. Office rent, utilities and other regular expenses are recorded in separate accounts. Below are some examples of deductible miscellaneous expenses that your business may incur:
- safety items, such as work gloves
- membership fees
- business credit card fees
- tuition fees
- licensing fees
- parking fees
- professional fees
- some tools and supplies
Advertising costs, franchising fees and internet-related expenses, such as domain registration, are deductible too. You can also write off the cost of hiring a lawyer, accountant or other professionals, notes the IRS. Likewise, companies can deduct the cost of moving machinery. Lobbying expenses, demolition expenses and anticipated liabilities are not deductible.
Cut Down on Miscellaneous Expenses
Whether you are an individual or a business, it's essential to track your expenses and cut unnecessary costs. Millennials spend close to $210 per day, according to Sunmark Credit Union. Americans aged 45 to 54 spend about $202 per day. Restaurant meals, entertainment and other miscellaneous expenses make up a large chunk of their budget. These small costs can add up quickly and drain your paycheck every month.
One way to reduce your spending is to plan your meals ahead of time. Do you really need to buy potato chips, crackers or pizza after work? Probably not. Instead, you could purchase almonds, peanuts, dried fruits and other healthy foods in bulk and make your own snacks. Likewise, you can save hundreds of dollars a month just by making coffee, smoothies and fruit juices at home.
Assess your lifestyle habits and seek ways to cut costs. For example, if you only go to the gym once a week, it doesn't make sense to pay for a membership plan. In this case, it's more convenient to invest in basic home gym equipment or join a fitness club that allows you to pay per session. You can also save money by going to movie theaters less often and switching to streaming services like Netflix, Hulu or Amazon Prime Video.
Reducing Professional Miscellaneous Expenses
If you are an entrepreneur, you can make small but impactful changes to cut business costs. American Express recommends moving your files to the cloud and going paperless. Another way to avoid unnecessary spending is to buy office supplies, merchandise and consumables in bulk. If, say, you operate a dental practice, it's cheaper to go online and purchase sealers in bulk than visit a local specialty store at the last minute. You can use the same strategy to reduce miscellaneous expenses, such as work clothes or safety items.
Consider also: 1099 Rules for Reimbursed Expenses for a Subcontractor