Annual Expenses
Money Management

All The Annual Expenses I Have to Make Every Year

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You’re familiar with monthly expenses. The biggest chunks are usually Accommodation+Transportation+Food. Plus Loan Repayments for some people.

How about annual expenses? Are you already familiar with yours? These are the payments that you make only once a year, or once every few years.

Confession: I’m not very familiar with my annual expenses until I sat down and wrote this article. Before this, I treated all my yearly expenses like ad-hoc payments, even though I’ve come across the advice ‘Budget for your annual expenses’ fairly often. I just didn’t digest it until now.

And maybe that’s why I tend to get surprised when the time comes for me to make those annual expenses. It’s like, already? But I already made the payments…oooh that was last year. Even worse, sometimes I forgot about these payments and have to pay fines!

Here are all the annual expenses I personally pay for, and when during the year. $ is for small amounts (how much? No sweat, I can pay!); $$ is for a couple of hundred ringgits (hmm okay no choice); $$$ means ADOI (crap must reduce expenses in the next few months).


My annual expense in January is:

  • Zakat – $$$ – I try my best to pay my zakat (tithing the Islamic way) in January, but sometimes I drag this on and only make the payment before I do my taxes, in May.


Surprisingly, I don’t have any annual expenses to pay for in these three months. Woah this is a revelation.


My annual expenses in May are:

  • Taxes – $$$ – Taxes for businesses are due on 1 June every year, so I submit it in May usually
  • Dad’s birthday – $ – Random fact: My Dad and I share the same birthdate
  • Driving license renewal – $$ – Thankfully can make advance payments; if not, so mafan to do every year. My next payment is in 2020.


My annual expenses in June are:

  • FundSupermart Malaysia annual fee – $ – I use this platform to open my PRS account.  They charge RM8 annually. Not a huge amount.
  • Raya* – $$$ – The last time I calculated my Raya expenses, it came up to RM2095 – more than I expected! *Note: I know Raya’s actual dates and months varies every year. Let’s make this simple.
  • Brother’s birthday – $ – Usually belanja makan with the family or something


My annual expense in July is:

  • Sister‘s birthday – $ – The youngest one


My annual expense in August is:

  • Business renewal to SSM – $$ – This one also can pay for multiple years in advance, up to 5 years. My next payment is in 2021.


My annual expenses in September are:

  • Passport renewal – $$ – Technically it expires in February, but because it’s common practice to have passports with at least 6-months validity, I get my renewed in September. The next time I’m due for passport renewal is in 2022.
  • Malaysian Writers Society membership – $ – Proud to be a member of Malaysian Writers Society!


My annual expenses in October are:

  • ACCESS Blockchain Association Malaysia annual membership – $$ – My membership number for ACCESS Malaysia is 0001 😀
  • Spotify Premium – $ – I calculate and add my Spotify Premium expenses in one go every year – just RM44.80 per year because I’m in a Family plan 😀
  • Other sister‘s birthday – $ – The second-youngest one


My annual expenses in November are:

  • Tenancy agreement fee – $$ – For the apartment units I’ve rented, and the one I’m renting now. The shortest duration I’ve done is 1 year; the longest is 3 years.
  • Website hosting & Domain renewal – $$ – I paid 3 years’ of Ringgit Oh Ringgit hosting in advance (next due: 2020), but the domain must be renewed annually.
  • ClickWP membership – $$ – To fix Ringgit Oh Ringgit’s technical issues as and when it comes up
  • Grammarly – $$ – A software I use to improve my writing work


My annual expenses in December are:

  • Mom’s birthday – $ – She likes family time, so usually we take the family out for dinner.
  • Christmas gift-giving – $ – Sometimes I participate in Secret Santa, it’s fun 🙂

Analysis of my annual expenses

I guess here’s the fun part – making sense of all these data. From the above, I can see that:

  • I have 21 different annual expenses. Most of them are categorised under Business, Donations & Gifts or Misc Needs – all categories I use for my personal expense-tracking
  • I can make several years’ worth of advance payments for 5 of them – passport, driving license, website hosting, business renewal, and tenancy agreement
  • I have at least one annual expense every month in 9 out of 12 months. Going to double-check my expense-tracking app in case I missed anything, but I believe everything is covered
  • I NEED to prepare for the future when tax payment time will coincide with Raya time – expecting this in… 2020? Both of them are in the $$$ category, double ouch!
  • It’s in my best interest to limit the number of my annual expenses. Having said that, I do plan to add a couple more, like accounting fees (for my business) and insurance, if they give discounts for paying annual instead of monthly premiums. Well I’ll cross that bridge (and update this article) when the time comes, I guess.

Annual expenses that I don’t have to make


Then I did my research and found that other people, especially families, have more annual expenses to make. These are expenses like:

  • Road tax and car maintenance – I don’t have a car
  • Housing insurance, taxes and other fees – I don’t have property
  • Children’s school fees and expenses – I don’t have kids
  • Academic fees – I’ve graduated
  • Credit card annual fee – All my credit cards are free-for-life types

Those of you who have one or more of the above. How many annual expenses do YOU have to make per year? If you have a lot of payments, how do you keep track of them? Do you have a system?

Did I miss any other types of annual expenses? If yes, let me know in the comments section!

Last thoughts

I hope this mini-finance exercise will help me plan my budget better. If I STILL get fines after this, or get surprised by upcoming payments, I also don’t know what I should do -_-

Do your own list too. I’m so curious to know how many annual expenses YOU have to make, and what they are.

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    1. Hi Aine,

      Same here – I don’t really plan these annual expenses in advance, too. Going to see if listing all the expenses like this make a difference or not 🙂

  1. Hi Suraya! Ive been reading your blog for quite a while and gotta say one of my favorite personal finance blog hehe

    Question here, so how you manage this annual expenses like saving a little bit every month or you just use your saving?



    1. Hi Nadrah,

      Omg thanks so much for the kind words, you’re very sweet 🙂

      Re: managing these annual expenses. Well like mentioned, I didn’t really keep track of them, so they money always come out of savings. I’ll be more mindful and make sure to save a little bit extra from now on to make up for it, I guess!

  2. Gosh, I’ve been nerding out hard on tracking my money this year, Suraya!

    I’ve been following every ringgit that comes in and goes out so I know exactly where they’re coming from, where they’re going and how hard they’re working for me each month.

    Some people look at me in disbelief and think I’m OTT when they learn what I’m doing to track my money, but I have to say…I’m actually having fun doing it and learning so much about myself, my financial habits and all the variables that affect my behaviour around it―things that most of us consider taboo or not worth thinking or talking about.

    Sure, there’s some work to be done upfront if you want to have all this data at your fingertips, but I’ve found that there are so many upsides to having it. For one, building this awareness around money has forced me to be more proactive about finding better ways to manage and grow it, so it’s definitely something that I’ll keep doing in the foreseeable future.

    So far, my annual expenses tally up at 16, which is astounding, considering that I live pretty simply. But hey, the more you know, the better equipped you’ll be at optimising things 😉

    Thanks again for sharing!

    1. Hi Michele,

      I’m so happy to read your comment – relate so much to what you said! Like you, I’m enjoying this process of learning about myself, too! Keep it up!

      Also, 16 is an okay figure, don’t be so hard on yourself 🙂

  3. Great post. Sometimes I got surprised by the unexpected expenses, but in fact I did pay for them in the past years. Guess I need to list down these expenses too!

  4. Hi Suraya

    Great blog you have I must say.

    Do you use sinking fund system? I find it very useful to manage my annual expenses..

    1. Thank you, Nazmi!

      I don’t use a sinking fund system. Instead, I rely on high savings to pay off life’s expenses. Then I simply replenish them

  5. I’ve been following your blogs and I really like your this topic. Actually, I’m similar to you as I never heed much on these annual expenses. I should list down mine. The only thing I remember to pay on time is vehicle road tax renewal….everything else, always kena fine…including my own driver’s license. Birthday sendiri also forget….

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