Budgeting 101 - Necessities

In my budget, you may have noticed that we budget for groceries and then what we call "necessities". You may be wondering what all that entails and I hope to answer that in this post.

We are pretty minimal from what we used to be a few years ago when I 'had to have' all different kinds of perfume, hair products, face items, etc. However, I learned I don't need all that and I'm quite content with just the basics. Our necessities budget is separate from our grocery budget. Meaning, when I spend $120 a month on groceries that is JUST food, not necessity items.

So what counts as a necessity for our family? Here is our list and we only buy as needed:
  • Toilet paper
  • Deodorant
  • Shampoo & Conditioner
  • Soap - for shower use and to make my liquid hand soap
  • Toothpaste
  • Toothbrush
  • Breath mints
  • Trash bags
  • Aluminium foil, plastic wrap, ziploc bags
  • Lysol
  • Face lotion
  • Contact solution
  • Hair gel
  • Body spray
  • Dishwasher gel - sometimes I make my own
  • Baking soda
  • Dish detergent - I use Ajax
  • Vinegar, tea tree oil for my homemade all-purpose cleaner
  • Borax, washing soda and Fels Naptha for my homemade laundry soap
  • Q-tips
  • Cotton balls
  • Dryer sheets
  • Fabric softener
  • First Aid items
  • Sunscreen
  • Razors

I keep a price list of my necessities so I know what price they average. Most of the items above are not purchased monthly, but rather bi-yearly or yearly. We used to buy paper towels all the time but you really could do without and we like using hand towels for drying our hands. I also don't use perfume because I love fruit smelling body sprays and evidently the bees love it too because they won't leave me alone haha. ;-)

For my hair, I'm pretty minimal now - shampoo, conditioner, coconut oil and a comb! I don't need anything else, except if I curl my hair I will use my heat-protectant spray but I haven't done that in a long time.