Embrace Your True Expenses

Illustration. A woman thinks about setting aside $100 each month for an annual bill.

What is a True Expense?

True Expenses are your large, less-frequent expenses. For some, you'll know the amount and due date – like your auto registration or annual insurance premiums. Others aren't as concrete. You may not know exactly when you'll need to replace your tires, but you know the time will come. You can plan ahead.

How to Embrace Them

Some of the money you have now needs to be set aside for large expenses down the road. Break them into manageable monthly expenses and budget for them.


Consider what large, less-frequent expenses are coming up, and your best guess as to when they'll hit and how much they'll cost.


Set a goal and YNAB will help you determine how much you need to budget each month in order to be ready. No stress (or credit cards!) necessary.

Don't be caught unprepared!

Here are just a few True Expenses to consider when setting up your budget:

  • Taxes
  • Annual Subscriptions/Memberships (Amazon Prime, iCloud, Costco, Roadside Emergency Services)
  • HOA fees
  • Car Registration and Licence Renewal
  • Professional Dues
  • Yard Care (including Pool and Lawn care, and Snow Removal)
  • Day Care/Summer Camp
  • Vet Bills

For more examples, or to reach out to see what other YNABers recommend budgeting for, check out our True Expenses Forum thread! 

Imagine a big bill coming in and… you just pay it. When the holidays roll around, there's no need to get out your credit card -you're ready! It’s not magic, it's Rule Two of the YNAB Method!

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