Annual Expenses
Money Management

Listing 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 payments that you make sporadically – either once a year, or once every few years.

Why list out annual expenses? Isn’t monthly enough?

Even though I’ve come across the advice ‘Budget for your annual expenses’ fairly often, I didn’t digest it until much later. Before this, I treated all my annual expenses like ad-hoc payments.

That’s not good, because when I do it this way, my finances get messy. I forget to plan for it, and 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 forget about these payments and have to pay fines!

Therefore, this list, so I can plan better. Here are all the annual expenses I personally pay for, and when during the year. I’ve divided it into:

  • $ for small amounts (how much? No sweat, I can pay!);
  • $$ for a couple of hundred ringgits (hmm okay no choice); and
  • $$$ for ADOI (crap must reduce expenses in the next few months)

Let’s go:

January

My annual expenses in January are:

February

My annual expenses in February are:

  • Tax payments – $$$ – I usually get my CP500* notice from LHDN in January, and prefer to pay the four-figure amount all at once, in lumpsum.

*CP500 is the 6 instalments business owners have to pay, which goes towards your tax payment for that year’s assessment. Read more about taxes: This Income Tax Calculator Shows What You Owe LHDN

March

My annual expenses in March are:

  • Partner’s birthday – $$ – It’s been somewhat of a tradition to do a staycation
  • Second Medical Insurance – $$ – I have a secondary medical card which I pay annually. In process to consolidate though

April

My annual expenses in April are:

  • Raya* – $$$ – Raya costs me around RM5k, mostly for duit raya gifts and contribution to Raya food. *Note: I know Raya’s actual dates and months varies every year. Let’s make this simple.

May

My annual expenses in May are:

  • Dad’s birthday – $ – We get together for a family meal πŸ™‚ Random fact: My Dad and I share the same birthdate
  • Driving license renewal – $$ – Thankfully can make advance payments for up to 5 years; if not, so mafan to do every year. My next payment is in 2025.

June

My annual expenses in June are:

  • FundSupermart Malaysia annual fee – $ – I use this platform to open my PRS account. Not a huge amount.
  • Brother’s birthday – $ – Usually belanja makan with the family or something

July

My annual expense in July is:

  • Sister’s birthday – $ – The youngest one

August

My annual expense in August is:

  • Business renewal to SSM – $$ – This one also can pay for multiple years in advance. I paid for 3 years in 2021, so my next payment is in 2024.

September

My annual expenses in September are:

  • Passport renewal – $$ – Technically it expires in February, but passports should have at least 6-months validity. I should get mine renewed in September.
  • Malaysian Writers Society membership – $ – Proud to be a member of Malaysian Writers Society!

October

My annual expenses in October are:

  • Other sister’s birthday – $ – The second-youngest one

November

My annual expenses in November are:

  • Website hosting & Domain renewal – $$ – I paid 3 years’ of Ringgit Oh Ringgit hosting in advance (next due: 2023), but the domain must be renewed annually.
  • ClickWP membership – $$ – To fix Ringgit Oh Ringgit’s technical issues as and when it comes up
  • Grammarly – $$ – A software I use to improve my writing work. I try to get it during the Black Friday/Cyber Monday weekend, its cheaper then
  • Wedding anniversary – $$ – Must commemorate with a fun experience πŸ™‚

December

My annual expenses in December are:

  • Mom’s birthday – $ – She likes family time, so usually we take the family out for dinner πŸ™‚
  • Christmas gift-giving – $ – Sometimes I participate in Secret Santa, it’s fun πŸ™‚
  • Zakat – $$$ – I calculate and pay my zakat (tithing the Islamic way) in December

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 4 of them – passport, driving license, website hosting and business renewal
  • I have at least one annual expense every month. Going to double-check my expense-tracking notes in case I missed anything, but I believe everything is covered
  • 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, especially 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

At first, I’m like, TWENTY-ONE?? TWENTY-ONE ANNUAL EXPENSES? WHY SO MANY?

Then I did my research and found that other people, especially families, have EVEN 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 – The property isn’t under my name
  • 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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16 Comments

    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 πŸ™‚

  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?

    Thanks,

    Nadrah.

    1. Hi Nadrah,

      Omg thanks so much for the kind words, you’re very sweet πŸ™‚

      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 πŸ˜‰

    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 πŸ™‚

  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….

  6. I do keep track of these big annual expenses. To avoid unexpected expenses, i plan these by having a small monthly auto deduction via “Tabung” in Mae app. I know i might be losing on interest since Tabung does not gain any return but it works for me. We can also name each tabung to match the annual expense.

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