60 Sinking Fund Categories To Help You Budget Better

Are you tired of increasing your credit card debt around Christmas time?

Are you tired of saying you will take a vacation next year but it never happens because you can’t afford the plane ticket?

These unfortunate circumstances can potentially be avoided. Sinking funds are your solution! You can keep large purchases off of your credit card by establishing and funding one (or more) sinking funds.

In this post, you will find 60 sinking fund categories to help you budget better.

sinking funds for budgeting and debt freedom

What is a sinking fund?

A sinking fund is another method for saving money. A sinking fund is a mini-savings account for a future purchase or expense. Basically, a sinking fund is where you stash a set amount of money every month over a period of time in order to pay for a future expense. For example, if you already know that you’ll want to buy the kids presents for Christmas, you can start saving now so you don’t have to swipe your credit card on Black Friday.

Yes, you probably already have a savings account, and maybe you already have an emergency fund fully funded. However, I would bet that you could benefit from having a sinking fund or two. Sinking funds are not necessarily the same as an emergency fund or savings. Myself and others tend to use sinking funds for non-monthly expenses, like Christmas gifts, a vacation, and car maintenance. So, the money for my Christmas Sinking Fund is entirely separated from my traditional savings account.

Sinking funds could be your answer to staying on budget, not overspending, and paying off debt faster.


  • Homeowners Insurance
  • Property Taxes
  • Home Maintenance
    Home Repairs
  • Home Improvements
  • Landscaping/Outdoor Maintenance
  • Pool Maintenance
  • New House (down payment, movers, etc.)
  • Furniture and Appliances


  • Car Insurance
  • Car Registration
  • Car Maintenance
  • Car Repairs
  • Replacement Tires/Batteries
  • Detailing and Washing
  • New Car
  • Bus/Train Pass


  • Health Insurance
  • Dental Insurance
  • Life Insurance
  • Medical Bills
  • Prescription Drugs
  • Over-The-Counter Medicine
  • Vision – contacts, glasses, etc.
  • Medical Equipment


  • Household Items
  • Groceries/Eating Out
  • Beauty/Grooming Products
  • Entertainment – movies, events, etc.
  • Travel – car rental, airfare, hotel, etc.
  • Birthday Gifts
  • Christmas Gifts
  • Holidays – Thanksgiving dinner, Easter outfits, 4th of July fireworks, etc.
  • Seasonal Decorations
  • Gifts – Mother’s Day, wedding, etc.
  • Clothes and Shoes – new clothes for work, back-to-school clothes for the kids, etc.
  • Back-To-School Expenses – clothes, supplies, etc.
  • Child-Related Expenses – birthday party, cheerleading camp, travel sports team, etc.
  • Child-Care Expenses – daycare, summer childcare, etc.
  • Tuition – college, private school, etc.
  • Annual Subscriptions – Amazon Prime, Hulu, Netflix, etc.
  • Membership Renewals – Sam’s Club, Costco, etc.
  • Professional Memberships and Events – dues, annual conferences, etc.
  • New Baby Expenses
  • Wedding
  • Retirement Party
  • Pet Care – routine veterinary check-ups, medications, etc.
  • Pet Items – food, treats, toys, bedding, etc.
  • Pet-Sitting – for while you’re on vacation, last minute travel plans, etc.
  • Pet Grooming
  • Donations/Charity


  • Self-Care – massages, hair, nails, etc.
  • Date Night
  • Vacation
  • Gym Membership
  • Home Gym Equipment
  • Self-Employment Expenses – office supplies, etc.
  • Self-Employment State and Federal Income Taxes (just in case you owe money)
  • Self-Employment Annual Fees – domain, hosting, etc.
  • Splurge Item – luxury handbag, new phone, piece of art, etc.

Sinking funds help keep your budget on track. You may create multiple sinking funds, and later realize that you want to change certain ones. Just find the right sinking funds that work for you. I hope this list of sinking fund categories empowers you to budget better and stay out of debt.

What are your favorite sinking funds? Tell us in the comments.

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