Organizing Your Finances: Do You Know What Your Annual Expenses Are?

Each Monday morning, I plan to post my thoughts on Organizing Your Finances. Through this series, I hope to share a tip or two that address a common problem that many of us face in our daily lives — that of organizing our finances. I’d love to hear your thoughts on this initiative and would love it more if you could share a tip of your own. And, as always, do spread the word if you find this useful.

Often, we’re so caught up with our day to day expenses, that we forget to think about those annual ones — the ones that suddenly creep up from nowhere and when money’s really tight in your wallet. Generally speaking, any expense that you pay for once a year counts as an annual expense. Typical examples are insurance payments, property tax payments, health-club memberships, maintenance contracts, and such.

We tend to lose focus on such expenses because they are spread out through the year. For instance, you could be paying your vehicle insurance in January, your property tax in May, your health insurance in September and so on. Often, when it’s time to pay for such an expense, we find ourselves rummaging for the required cash. Worse, we simply give up and charge these expenses on our credit cards.

But you can do better. Do this exercise today.

Make a list of all your annual expenses — list each expense, the expense date, and the expense amount.


1. Car Insurance, May 01, 2010, Rs 10,000

2. Gym Membership, June 15, 2010, Rs 15,000

I was shocked when I totaled my annual expenses. How about you?

Next up: An annual expenses savings template. Stay tuned.

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