Sink Funds: The Ultimate List of Items To Add

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 Here’s how to expect the “unexpected” with your money. 


Unexpected expenses can put you on the struggle bus faster than anything, but if you dig a little deeper you may find that they aren’t as unexpected as you think. 


Truth Bomb 💣: Let’s stop saying they are “unexpected” and start calling them as they are. Expenses you conveniently forgot about because you want to spend all your money on the present. 


The problem is your “forgetfulness” is costing you big time! You are pulling out credit cards for birthdays and Christmas, broke because of FOMO every other month, and asking for rides or paying for expensive Ubers when your car is out of commission.  


Future minding and future planning is a must on your ReEducated Money Journey


Moving forward put your real unexpected expenses in your emergency fund  with a prayer that all the money is there when you need it, while the expenses you know and plan to happen become your brand new sink funds!


Sink funds are the ultimate Baes of your budget. They treat you right, they save you from struggle, they can be automatically filled, and they make budgeting easy. 


I’ve listed 100+ different items to add to your sink funds and you may have even more in your unique lifestyle. To keep things more organized and less overwhelming place each item into broad-ranging categories with the individual cost added up.

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How to Figure Out the Cost of Sink Funds


  1. Go through your bank and credit card statements from last year by downloading your transactions.
  2. Use the preconfigured categories on the excel spreadsheet to figure out all of your expenses within the categories below 
  3. If you are just starting out budgeting remember to set a budget for things in your sink fund instead of going off of last year’s expenses. For example, Christmas can now be $50 per person instead of the expensive random number you get when you are done shopping. 


The Main Sink Fund Categories 

  1. Wants 
  2. Needs 
  3. Events 
  4. Gifts 
  5. Car 
  6. Annual Expenses 
  7. Future Expenses 
  8. Business Expenses

These are not set in stone, but helpful examples you can use. 


Sink Funds for Beginners

If you are just getting out of broke sink funds can be hard to pull together. When you are ready to master budgeting pick the main categories such as Car, Christmas, Annual, Health, and Toiletries. You can add the other categories as you save or earn more money. 


How to Calculate Sink Funds

  1. For annual sink funds take the full cost of each category and divide by 12 months. For example:  $1000 gift fund / 12 months = $83 a month
  2. For future sinking funds divide the full cost of the item by the number of years you want to save and then divide that number by 12 months. For example: $12,000 car/ 7 years/ 12 months= $142 a month
  3. The final cost is how much you need to set aside per month for all  of your sinking funds.


Where to Keep Sink Funds

I use my Capital One High-interest saving accounts (I get 25 free saving accounts)  for every category, but my future expenses. I place those in my Betterment savings account.

If you are saving up something for years place in the highest interest account you can find, leave investment accounts alone unless you want to risk losing money in your sink funds. 

Also, every single one of those categories are funded automatically from my paychecks. I set up the automatic payments once and check in on them every quarter for changes or updates. When I need the money throughout the year it’s just there, no more surprises or “Oh Snaps!” 


Ok,  get ready to kiss the money struggle goodbye with almost every pop-up expense I could think of to create a sink fund. 



Your co-pays and medications can really add up over time so be sure to prepare for them. Plus, if you don’t have any vision or dental issues paying for a yearly cleaning or checkup could be sink funded to save on insurance. 

  • FSA 
  • Dental Checkup 
  • Medical Checkup 
  • Vision Checkup 
  • Medications
  • Glasses/Contacts 
  • Teeth Whitenings 
  • Vet 


Cars need preventative care and don’t last forever. Have a sinking fund to catch all your car expenses before you need them. 

  • Oil changes 
  • Windshield wipers 
  • Headlights, brake lights 
  • Car wash
  • Rental car if your car breaks down  


I call the items below wants because these items can easily be removed if you have debt to pay or need to use these funds for an emergency. They are things you desire, but are not essentials in your annual budgeting. 

  • Vacations 
    • Insurance 
    • Flights 
    • Toiletries 
    • New clothing 
    • Souvenirs 
    • Hotel/
    • Airb BnB
    • Emergency cash
  • Home bar
  • Seasonal Wardrobe updates 
    • Clothing 
    • Shoes 
    • Accessories 
    • Purses 
    • Bras 
    • Panties 
  • Nail Salon
  • Spa
  • Perfume/Cologne 


These are usually needed expenses that you prepare for in advance. You may not use these categories regularly, but if life happens and you need therapy or  need to get a certification for a new job it’s there to use. 

  • Utilities ( If they fluctuate)
  • Coaching 
  • Therapy
  • Classes/ Courses/ Certificates/ Tests



If you are a new entrepreneur this is a great category to have until you move to a business account.


Toiletries and Household 

These expenses can add up so quickly. Make sure you have a sinking fund for them because these expenses vary. They most likely won’t show up individually on your bank statement download so this will have to be quesstimated or researched. I  buy the same thing every year so I know the price or I use my Sams Club Scan and Go App to get the exact price. Check Amazon and your online receipts for exact prices as well. 


  • Body Lotion 
  • Toothbrush and Toothpaste 
  • Shavers and Creme 
  • Facial Care
  • Body wash 
  • Feminine Products ( I use this now)
  • Laundry Detergent
  • Makeup 
  • Hair Care 
  • Air filters 
  • Toilet paper  
  • Hair Salon (coloring or cuts)
  • Barbershop 
  • Water Filters 
  • Paper towels 
  • Trash bags 
  • House Cleaners 
  • Diffuser Oils
  • Pet Grooming 
  • Pet Care


These things can easily bust a hole in your budget and make you feel like crap for going over budget or for not being able to get someone special a gift. Be sure to estimate the cost of cards, gift bags, gift wrap, bows, and decor.  

  • Christmas [Send them an Amazon List to make your life easier]
  • Birthdays 
  • Valentines day 
  • Easter 
  • Mothers day 
  • Fathers day 


 These make life all the more memorable. Prepare for the expense by planning your year ahead of time. Look up concert and festival schedules. Check-in with engaged friends or newlyweds who could have babies on the way. I would plan to have  2 to 3 events a quarter and even more during the holidays. 

  • Concerts 
  • Festivals 
  • Weddings 
  • Marathons or 5k’s
  • Date nights (+ Babysitter) 
  • Monthly outings (Brunches) 
  • Holidays: Memorial/ Labor/ St Patricks/Halloween 
  • Family photos 
  • Baby Showers 
  • Birthday Parties 
  • Christmas Parties 
  • Halloween Parties 
  • Local Annual Events 
  • Back to School 

Annual Expenses 

These expenses would murder my budget until I started using sink funds to pay them outright. They are so much easier to swallow when the number is broken down into months. 

  • Memberships 
  • Renters Insurance/ House Insurance 
  • Car Insurance 
  • Car Registration (Your Birthday month)
  • Triple-A 
  • Property taxes


Future Expenses

 You know these expenses are coming one day, even if they don’t come every year. Go ahead and start looking ahead and saving now. These should be placed in a high-interest savings account to add hundreds of dollars extra a year. 


  • New Tires for all cars 
  • Brakes 
  • Car tune-up 
  • Air Filters 
  • Car Fluids 
  • Details
  • New Cars


  • Cellphones (Stop acting like you won’t get the new iPhone.) 
  • Computers
  • TV’s


  • Updates/House Taxes 
  • Beds 
  • Appliances 
  • Furniture 

New House:

  • Utilities Down payments
  • House Downpayment 
  • Upgrades 


My Last Two Cents

I hope that list empowered you instead of overwhelmed you.


 Life ain’t cheap but it can be prepared for. Do the “hard” work ahead of time to be ready for it.


Sink Funds will save you from so much money struggle! 


Sink funds are just one stop on your ReEducated Money Journey, start yours today! 


-ReEducated Rizzy 


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