20 Sinking Fund Categories You Need In Your Budget

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Sinking funds are seriously cool. For real. 

I’d even say sinking funds are worthy of the “GOAT” title. 

Sinking funds can save your budget by helping you keep the “surprises” at a minimum. You know those surprises…. Surprise car repairs, surprise water bill, surprise pet expenses

If you didn’t have sinking funds for those surprises then you’d most likely have to dip into your emergency fund, right?

See that’s not what you should have to do. If you’re prepared with some sinking fund money, you can use that and boom! Expense is paid, and the emergency fund is still fully-funded, protected, and sitting pretty in a high-yield savings account where it belongs.

Sound good?

What is a sinking fund?

A sinking fund is a fund that you create to save up for purchases over time so you don’t have to fork out the money all at once when you have to pay it.

These purchases don’t have to be something huge (but it can be!), it could also be for things that aren’t a regular expense, or things that can be a bit unpredictable (like a car repair!).

Sinking funds can be especially helpful if you’re on a tight budget or have an irregular income.

**Another cool thing about sinking funds is that you can also use them in your business (if you have one). Create a sinking fund for your website hosting, your email marketing software, 

Sinking Fund Categories

To get you started, here are over 20+ sinking fund categories that you could use in your own budget!

For a few categories, I’ve also included possible contribution amounts so you can get an idea of how it could work for you.

If you’d like more sinking fund category ideas, you can take a look at your own budget and your bank statements. Look for any huge irregular bills and consider creating a sinking fund for them!

Car / Vehicle Sinking Funds

Anything involving your vehicle can go into this category, you could also break things down into more categories if you like.

Car Repairs

Think about the maintenance you may need on your vehicle(s) in the future. Oil changes, new tires, new brake pads?

These are the types of things you could create a sinking fund category for!

How Much To Save: You could save $50-$100 a month for this category.

Car Replacement

If you have an older car like we do (2005 Toyota….) you should consider creating a sinking fund for a new (to you) car!

How Much To Save: Depending on what type of care you have now, you could save $50-$200 a month for this category.

Car Insurance

Everyone who has a car needs car insurance! So why not create a sinking fund category for it?

You might be paying this monthly already, but some companies will give you a nice discount if you pay a six months and/or one year up front! Take advantage of the discount by using sinking funds!

How Much To Save: You could save $50-$600 a month for this category (it all depends on how much your insurance is on average).

Home Sinking Funds

It doesn’t matter if you have a house, condo, apartment, box, you should have at least ONE sinking fund for your home! Expenses will ALWAYS come up!

House Down Payment

Saving for a house? The down payment would be a great sinking fund!

How Much To Save: You could save at least $100 a month for this category.

Home Repairs

Repairs are definitely going to come up. Think about things like the water heater, the A/C, pest problems, etc. Be prepared!

How Much To Save: You could save $50-$100 a month for this category.

Big Ticket Home Items

This could be things like new appliances, new pieces of furniture, or new carpet or cabinets.


You can sometimes pay HOA (Home Owner Association) fees all at once, which makes this a great candidate for sinking funds!

How Much To Save: You could save $50-$100 a month for this category (it depends on your HOA fees).

Water Bill

If you’re someone who has the ability /has to pay their water bill monthly or quarterly, you could create a sinking fund for it.

Other Home Sinking Fund Categories

Don’t forget about things like home owner’s insurance, parking fees (if necessary), and lawn care.

Medical Bill Sinking Funds

If you have access (and the ability) you should definitely be contributing to an HSA account, but if you aren’t contributing to one, definitely consider creating some sinking funds for unexpected medical bills.

Dental Work Sinking Funds

Teeth cleanings / checkups happen about every sixth months, and if you need any other dental work done, you could create a sinking fund.

Vision Sinking Funds

Do you wear glasses or contacts? Perfect for sinking funds! You could also create a sinking fund for your yearly vision exam.

Child Expenses


Does your child attend private school or attend college? Consider creating a sinking fund for it. You might even be able to snag a discount for paying all at once.

Other Sinking Fund Categories For Kids

Don’t forget about daycare, any activities your kids might be involved in (like sports!), school supplies, and any money you want to put towards holidays/parties/gifts for their friends.

Other Sinking Fund Categories

Here are some other sinking fund categories you should consider.

Pet Expenses

Per expenses can include cost of food and treats, vet exams, and the cost of any medication needed.

Christmas Shopping

Imagine if you started saving for Christmas shopping starting in January? Wooooo! That would take a lot of pressure off wouldn’t it? And it would make it easier for you to stay on budget if you already had a sinking fund created.

How Much To Save: You could save $50+ a month for this category.

Birthday / Gift Giving

Start saving up and planning for birthday gifts and other gift-giving in advance. Don’t forget about possible gifts for things like engagements, weddings, and house-warmings.

Clothing / Shoes Sinking Fund

Create a sinking fund for clothes and shoes that you will need yearly.

Travel / Vacation

Start a sinking fund for a vacation or traveling to a conference or other event you’d like to attend. Don’t forget the cost of the event, the airfare, and any accommodations!

Yearly Renewals / Memberships

You could save up for things like Netflix, Youtube Premium, or something like HomeChef.

How Much To Save: You could save $10-$100 a month for this category (depending on the service, of course).


Some partners give themselves allowances that they can spend however they want, this would make a great sinking fund!

Charitable Giving Sinking Fund

If you’re interested in charitable giving, you could create a sinking fund so you can give in bigger chunks!

Do you already use sinking funds? If not, would you consider trying it out?

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