Some things are nearly universal, and have been mentioned already. My "favorite" forseeable expenses in this category are:
- Disaster preparedness (hurricanes in my locale)
- Car fees
- Car repair
- Items that break, such as engine, transmission, etc. The car will break. Don't plan for this using your emergency fund.
- Car maintenance
- Scheduled maintenance
- Consumables, such as fluids, tires, etc.
- Car replacement
- If you are paid off, not having this expense may feel good. But, if the car dies, you will be scrambling to fit a car note into your budget. And, if the car lasts a long time, you may save enough to buy a replacement outright.
However, I also advocate saving for expenses that are specific to you. Look back on your expenses for the last 12 months, minimum (18 or 24 may be better). Ask yourself these questions:
- What expenses were an emergency for me?
- Was it a real emergency, or was it forseeable?
- What were my large expenditures, emergency or not?
- Was the large expenditure forseeable?
- Did I budget for it?
- Why didn't I budget for it? (a question I recently added to my process)
I ask about large expenditures because you may make enough that you can "eat" these lapses in budgeting, as I did for many years. It is not an emergency now, but it turned into an emergency down the road as my spending went out of control. Look at all expenditures over a certain level, say $100 or $200.
Some personal examples of expenses that aren't quite so universal, but turned into small emergencies:
- Social organization dues
- Personal convention attendance
- Professional organization fees and dues
This last one was rather unexpected. It is the reason why I ask the question "why didn't I budget for it?" These fees and dues are for my professional-level certifications. In my industry, they are "always" paid for by the company. A year ago, they weren't paid by my former employer because they planned to lay me off. This year, they weren't paid by my present employer because I am technically a temporary worker (4 years is temporary?). So, from now on, I plan to save for this expense. If my employer pays my dues, then I stop saving for the expense, but keep the money I've saved.