It’s that time of the year again, folks! My vehicle plates expire this month, so it’s time to pay the whopping $101 to the state of Illinois to renew them! And you know what? That’s OK because I’ve been preparing for this expense since December!
Today’s post is going to tackle those annual expenses that we have each year, but somehow they still take us by surprise. You know which ones I’m talking about…
These are the bills that we only have maybe once a year, but every year they are around the same time, and somehow every year you might get that dreaded feeling, that “oh shit, I forgot about that bill” feeling, that “ugh, why” feeling, that “oops, over drafted cause I forgot that was set for an automatic payment” feeling.
I used to get caught off guard with these annual expenses. Then I realized that it didn’t make sense that I kept acting surprised with these types of bills because they happened every single year. Yet, in a way, it kind of did make sense. It’s easier to remember the bills you may on a monthly basis compared to the bills you only see once a year.
As the title suggest: out of sight, out of mind.
I thought to myself: How can I prepare myself for these “unexpected” bills, which are very much expected.
A huge part of my growth in the aftermath of my mishandling of money is in learning how to be financially proactive rather than reactive. As I discussed in last week’s post, I am barely learning how to proactively save money. I don’t have an adequate savings amount where if shit hits the fan, I can have a safe little bubble for a while. However, I’ve learned to be proactive in small ways.
When it comes to tackling these annual bills, the key is to actually think about them. I’m not saying constantly think about them each and every week, but what can help is making time to sit down during the year and making a list of what annual bills are due in which month. It honestly will only take less than 20 minutes to just make a list of them!
What do you do with that list once you make it? Put it somewhere you will look at it.
OR HEY WITH ALL OF OUR FANCY SMARTPHONE TECHNOLOGY, input it into your calendar and set a reminder for the month before it is due. This can eliminate the whole SURPRISE factor that really shouldn’t be a surprise.
But hey Angelica, I have my annual gym membership fee set for an automatic payment so I don’t actually have to think about it. It’s covered!
Gotcha. You’re right. The bill will be paid, but will you be prepared for that week or month if you didn’t remember your available balance might be lower than expected?
Another thing to keep in mind is that you can also plan to set aside money ahead of time for said annual bill, so that it isn’t a one time financial hit. Thereby, you might be under lesser money constraints when that bill goes through.
For instance, my plate renewal is $101 and is due every March. If I didn’t want to take the hit of $101 in my paycheck for March, I can decide to set aside an amount each month toward that $101. So, if my plate renewal is every year, then I can set aside $8.42 a month to have that cost covered come March.
$8.42? That’s less than I pay for Netflix a month! So, in short, it’s doable.
So, inquiring minds want to know… what are your annual bills that you have on your plate? How are you preparing for them?
I have plate renewal and gym membership fee in March.
Then I have a busy annual bill month in June with:
- Annual vet visit
- City sticker renewal
- Pet tags renewal
- Costco membership renewal
This is what it taking into account these annual expenses for June look like on my end:
Again, spreadsheets are my go to tool. Find what works best for you to be proactive.
Come back next week for the ASK THE PIG feature where I’ll answer the questions you’ve submitted. There’s still time to anonymously ASK THE PIG a question you have! Click the link and hit submit!