How to set up a sinking fund in your personal budget
You might be asking what is a sinking fund and why do I need it in my budget? The reason is, if you don’t have an accurate budget set in place, those yearly expenses will throw you into a tailspin.
The more you are in control of your money, the less your money controls you.
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By now you should have created your initial emergency fund of $1000.00 and you may be wondering what the sinking fund is and how does it compare to the emergency fund.
Read more about the Emergency Fund here.
Really the two categories don’t compare, they are two completely different funds. Your emergency fund is for a one-time crisis, such as, you need to fix the car, or an appliance gives out on you.
The sinking fund is for yearly purchases you need to budget for, but don’t fit into your monthly budget categories.
Make Sure you have downloaded the Budget Worksheets and filled them out. You need to do this with all in the household that have access to spending. That way everyone is on the same page.
How to Set Up Your Sinking Fund
First, start by writing down the ones you know off hand that apply to you. If you need to go back into last year’s budget or check register, to write them down.
What categories go into your sinking fund.
- Car repairs
- Car insurance paid yearly
- New car savings
- Homeowners insurance paid yearly
- Life insurance
- Doctor / dentist
- Vacation Savings
- Birthday, Wedding, Gifts
- Fees and licenses (car registration, etc.)
- Dues and subscriptions (magazines, memberships)
- School tuition and education fees
- Home maintenance and repairs
- Kids sports and activities
- New Home Down Payment
Now you have your list to choose from, add the ones you will be using and write them on a piece of paper or a spreadsheet. Get your totals from last years bank statements and fill in the total price next to each item.
Now divide that total into 12. This is the number you need to save each month in your budget for when these expenses come up. Believe me, they seem to come up at the most inconvenient time. There is a place in your budget to add this amount.
If you have them budgeted and the money put away in either an envelope or a separate bank account, you will be prepared.
I suggest setting up a separate savings account at your bank and having it automatically transferred on a specific date. You can do this online and don’t have to go to the bank. I transfer our holiday savings in the same way.
So let’s recap our steps:
Create Your Budget
Set up a 10% Savings Fund
Set up an Emergency Fund
Set up a Holiday Fund
Set up a Retirement Fund (coming soon)
Your Money Habits Control Your Budget
Now that you have all your critical funds set up to get an accurate budget set up, you may either notice a deficit or additional income in your wages vs. budget.
If you have a deficit, you will need to increase your income. No one wants to hear this but if you’re going to spend it, you have to earn it. I am not trying to be harsh or insensitive, I really care about your future.
If you have an excess of income, you can increase your monthly savings, your retirement, or work on paying off your mortgage. That is as long as you have no credit card or student loan debt.
It all comes down to habits and if you make that one decision today that you want better money habits you will have a better future and not have to live in fear or lack of security.
I will never forget the day when my Father passed away, and we realized my parents were living paycheck to paycheck without a thought of the future. This is the reason, I feel passionate about helping others.
Have you set up your sinking fund in your personal budget yet?
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