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)
My annual expenses in January are:
- Netflix – $ – I use the Netflix Premium hack to get this for cheaper 🙂
My annual expenses in February are:
- Tax payments – $$$ – I usually get my CP500* notice from LHDN in January, and prefer to pay the four-figure amount all at once, in lumpsum.
*CP500 is the 6 instalments business owners have to pay, which goes towards your tax payment for that year’s assessment. Read more about taxes: This Income Tax Calculator Shows What You Owe LHDN
My annual expenses in March are:
- Partner’s birthday – $$ – It’s been somewhat of a tradition to do a staycation
- Second Medical Insurance – $$ – I have a secondary medical card which I pay annually. In process to consolidate though
My annual expenses in April are:
- Raya* – $$$ – 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.
My annual expenses in May are:
- Dad’s birthday – $ – We get together for a family meal 🙂 Random fact: My Dad and I share the same birthdate
- Driving license renewal – $$ – Thankfully can make advance payments for up to 5 years; if not, so mafan to do every year. My next payment is in 2025.
My annual expenses in June are:
- FundSupermart Malaysia annual fee – $ – I use this platform to open my PRS account. Not a huge amount.
- Brother’s birthday – $ – Usually belanja makan with the family or something
My annual expense in July is:
- Sister’s birthday – $ – The youngest one
My annual expense in August is:
- Business renewal to SSM – $$ – This one also can pay for multiple years in advance. I paid for 3 years in 2021, so my next payment is in 2024.
My annual expenses in September are:
- Passport renewal – $$ – Technically it expires in February, but passports should have at least 6-months validity. I should get mine renewed in September.
- Malaysian Writers Society membership – $ – Proud to be a member of Malaysian Writers Society!
My annual expenses in October are:
- Other sister’s birthday – $ – The second-youngest one
My annual expenses in November are:
- Website hosting & Domain renewal – $$ – 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 – $$ – Must commemorate with a fun experience 🙂
My annual expenses in December are:
- Mom’s birthday – $ – She likes family time, so usually we take the family out for dinner 🙂
- Christmas gift-giving – $ – Sometimes I participate in Secret Santa, it’s fun 🙂
- Zakat – $$$ – 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!
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.