Esther Shaw

Budgeting for big payments

By Esther Shaw 15/12/2014

Esther Shaw offers her tips on how to budget for occasional large payments you might have to make.

Even the most careful spenders can get thrown off track by a few 'big' payments in short succession. A reminder to get your car serviced, a birthday you'd forgotten about, credit card bills – they can all easily creep up on you.

That's why, when it comes to budgeting, it's important not to focus solely on monthly expenditures; you also need to include everything you have to pay out for, including annual or 'occasional' costs such as birthdays, weddings, car tax, MOT (not forgetting potential repairs), and insurance renewals. The best way to avoid getting caught out is by simply spending an hour or so going through the 2015 calendar, filling it in with everything you know you have coming up. Begin by marking down important dates such as birthdays, anniversaries, as well as any weddings you're attending over the next few months. Then note down the renewal dates for all your insurance policies, including home, car, travel and pet insurance and so on.

Don't forget to add in any other annual expenses such as the TV licence, and gym memberships – as well as occasional expenses, such as dental check-ups. If you want to be really organised, you could add up all of these costs and divide them by 12, to factor them into your monthly budgeting. Alternatively, set aside a little money from each pay packet to spread the cost. 

For an extra helping hand at budgeting, head to or take a look at our PDF guide.

This Money Matters post aims to be informative and engaging. Though it may include tips and information, it does not constitute advice and should not be used as a basis for any financial decisions. Sainsbury's Bank accepts no responsibility for the opinions and views of external contributors and the content of external websites included within this post. Some links may take you to another Sainsbury's Bank page. All information in this post was correct at date of publication.