Don’t Let Irregular Expenses Wreck Your Budget (or Drain Your Emergency Fund)

Right before our Thanksgiving trip, the AC went out on our vehicle. $600 later, we had a functioning AC. What a way to start a camping trip.

The good news was that we had the funds set aside for that specific reason—auto repairs. We've never used one of our targeted accounts before, and now that we have, I can attest that they are a fantastic idea.

Obviously the repair would cost the same whether it came from a big account labeled “emergency fund” or a targeted one called “auto repair.” We're out $600 either way, so why bother with separate, targeted accounts?

Two reasons:

  1. By paying from a targeted account, the three-to-six months emergency fund (EF fund) isn't tapped. We look at the EF as money for major or unforeseeable expenses only.
  2. Paying for repairs is never a joy, but it's easier when the money was there for that purpose.

It's extremely easy to set up targeted EFs, and they'll save you a great deal of frustration and headaches when faced with irregular expenses.

Step one: Calculate a reserve for targeted EFs
Once you are free of consumer debt and have a comfortable EF, start creating targeted EFs for expenses that are inevitable, but irregular. For example, we have a savings account for property taxes. That's a regular, yearly expense we can count on having to pay. We also have a good idea of exactly how much we'll pay.  A targeted EF is different because it's meant for expenses that will hit at some point, but you don't know exactly when or how much you'll have to pay.

Here's how to start creating your targeted EFs:

  1. Gather your expense history for the last 12 months.
  2. Calculate how much you spent on irregular expenses, such as car maintenance, medical bills, and home maintenance. You're looking for expenses that you know you'll have at some point, it's just a matter of when.
  3. Divide the sum for each category by 12.
  4. Save those amounts each month to build up enough savings to handle the expense. Or, if you don't have that much room in your budget, save up what you can in each category until you hit your reserve target.

Make sure you don't confuse the purpose of your accounts. Saving for a car is not the same as saving for an auto repair for a vehicle you currently own. That said, try not to create too many targeted EFs. Make the categories broad, if needed. We only have two targeted EFs right now, and we'll add a third for home maintenance next year.

Step two: Create sub-accounts
My favorite method for targeted savings accounts is creating multiple accounts at ING Direct, which I learned about here at GRS. Other banks probably offer similar setups. As you set up each account, label it for its specific purpose.

Bonus points: Automate it
Put your savings on autopilot to avoid the temptation to spend the money elsewhere. We started our auto repair savings account by setting up automatic deposits of $100 per month. In no time the account was big enough to cover our recent repair.

This is not a perfect method. Just because we only spent $600 on auto repairs this year doesn't mean we won't have a $1000 repair next year, but at least some money will be saved up to help cover the expense.

Peace of mind

One last benefit I want to mention is that when you've already predicted and accepted that you'll have these irregular expenses, and you've set aside money for them, it is less aggravating when they occur. If we had to pull money from our three-to-six-month emergency fund, I would have started off our trip thinking about how quickly we could replace the funds, and where we could cut back to do it as soon as possible. Or worse, if we didn't have any savings to cover the repairs, we'd be scrambling to figure out how to pay for it. Maybe we wouldn't be able to go on the trip. Instead, I left feeling relieved that the money was there and a car repair didn't blow our budget.

Peace of mind isn't a tangible benefit, but to me, it was the best one of all.

Do you have separate accounts for irregular expenses, or do you have one big emergency fund?

J.D.'s note: As I write The Book, I'm amazed at how often I refer back to the idea of targeted emergency funds. I find them useful in Real Life, too. It's so much less stressful to pull from your home-repair fund to fix a leaky roof than to drain your main emergency fund…

More about...Budgeting

Become A Money Boss And Join 15,000 Others

Subscribe to the GRS Insider (FREE) and we’ll give you a copy of the Money Boss Manifesto (also FREE)

Yes! Sign up and get your free gift
Become A Money Boss And Join 15,000 Others
guest
111 Comments
Oldest
Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Amy
Amy
10 years ago

Great Article! I have an EF and several targeted funds ranging from House Taxes and Insurance, pet care, money for workshops related to my hobby and a vacation fund. I started these in April of this year and have automatically sent 12-20 dollars to each targeted fund each week since then. One thing though, I didn’t wait till I had the regular Emergency Fund up to it’s target goal. I just plunged in and started funding the targeted accounts along with the Emergency Fund. I didn’t want to wait forever to start the target accounts, b/c things break or opportunities… Read more »

Cara
Cara
10 years ago

I love using targeted accounts! My emergency fund is in a separate account that I don’t even display in my account summary (out of sight, out of mind). I’ve set up targeted accounts for home and car maintenance. I’ve also set up a “fun” account because I’m a recovering cheapskate and need a little nudge spending on things like vacation without feeling guilty.

Writers Coin
Writers Coin
10 years ago

M and I had this discussion a LONG time ago and I was trying to talk her into this targeted account system. Her response was a blank stare and this: “We’re out $300 no matter how you cut it. What’s the point?” She’s got a point, but I like the idea of trickling money into specific accounts each month and then psychologically you feel like these types of things are already “paid for.”

But the more I thought about it, she’s right: the math don’t lie.

Wealth Steps
Wealth Steps
10 years ago

As part of our family finance strategy we keep the emergency fund for true emergencies. Instead of targeted accounts I just add to a savings account every month. Unexpected expenses will then come out of this account. IOW it is a general account not targeted but serves the same purpose. It really comes down to a matter of psychology…what works better in your mind. It should be noted that the car breaking down or your furnace busting up could be considered and emergency by some therefore tapping into the EF fund would be permissible for them. For me emergency is… Read more »

threeoutside
threeoutside
10 years ago

I have two savings accounts, one for what I call “liquid savings,” and the other is “DO NOT TOUCH EVER!!!” I have money deposited automatically out of every paycheck to both of them (last I checked, it was like, 15% of my net paycheck, between the two accounts). I take things like vacation cash, clothing purchases, unexpected veterinarian bills, car repair, etc., out of the liquid savings. That’s where I stash money for planned future buys, too. The Do Not Touch savings I let accumulate until it hits a certain amount, then I *have* been buying a CD with it.… Read more »

Jonasaberg
Jonasaberg
10 years ago

I’ve thought about setting up targeted EF’s but I don’t really get a lot of unexpected expenses. I’ve only been tracking expenses (exact expenses, down to the penny) since April but I can’t really remember anything major from the last three years. I do, however, like the *idea*. As someone already said; it’s like it’s already paid for. At the same time though, I can see that it wouldn’t be very practical. I’m already saving for a number of things and if I mix in a few more I may get too easily confused. For these reasons I’d just use… Read more »

Deborah
Deborah
10 years ago

I have several targeted funds, but only 2 of them are really emergency funds. One is for car repairs ($25/paycheck since my car is less than a year old) and our large Emergency Fund (which is fully funded, but I still put $25/paycheck into it). I also have targeted savings accounts for travel (that’s been $200/month, but I just paid for most of the big trip I’ve been saving for, so that’s going to change) and I recently emptied the savings account that I built up for my new car purchase. The travel fund will be almost emptied in March… Read more »

Mrs. Money
Mrs. Money
10 years ago

I have what I call a “secret account” where I stash money for these purposes. This is how we’ve structured our accounts at our main bank.

http://ultimatemoneyblog.com/how-we-use-our-checking-and-savings-accounts

It’s been working pretty well!

Chris D
Chris D
10 years ago

Nice article. A couple q’s, though:
– currently we send all “targeted funds” to an interest-bearing checking account that we don’t touch. Excel keeps track of what’s where for us. Redneck Bank makes better interest than ING (by a long shot! something upwards of 3%). Is there anything with comparable interest but also with subaccounts?
– how do I “automate” my funds deposited into a number of different sub-accounts? Do I need to make several automatic deposits from my checking ($26 here, $35 there,…)? Or can ING (or whomever) divide the money up as I request automatically?

Chickybeth
Chickybeth
10 years ago

I have separate accounts at ING: Emergency Fund, Car Maintenance, Car Insurance, and Pet Emergency. I also have set up goals at SmartyPig.com to save for a house down payment, a trip, and a Holiday fund for next year. (I just love SmartyPig!) If I had to pull money from my Emergency Fund to pay for car repairs, etc. it would be totally demotivating to me. The separate accounts give me permission to spend on the things that come up that I really need without feeling like I’m stealing from my future. If it wasn’t for GRS, I would never… Read more »

Tyler Tervooren
Tyler Tervooren
10 years ago

Very timely post for me as I’ve made several unexpected repairs myself this month to my 20 year old truck and I’ll be making some more shortly as it took me 15 minutes to start it this morning! I keep a sub-account labeled “vroom vroom” (I like to give them silly names to keep it fun) which was originally planned as a car down payment fund. However, I’ve pretty much decided that I don’t want to own a car anymore, so this fund is now my maintenance fund until I can iron out all the details of going car-less. Of… Read more »

Dustin | Engaged Marriage
Dustin | Engaged Marriage
10 years ago

We have around 10 “sub-account” or sinking funds that we fund on an annual basis. These range from car repairs to vacation to home decoration. We love the feeling of security these provide, and it’s great to not feel guilty buying a few new pictures for the house because you already budgeted for it and funded those expenses ahead of time. We don’t physically create sub-accounts to accomplish this. All of the money is in one account (well several, but you know what I mean) and we keep track of each category in an Excel sheet that’s linked to our… Read more »

KM @ Long-Distance Life blog
KM @ Long-Distance Life blog
10 years ago

I like this concept and have been playing around with the idea myself…I think, though, multiple accounts would be demotivating to me at this point (I’d only be able to put a small amount in each, and they’d build up very slowly). I think the two separate accounts mentioned in the comments is a great idea–general savings and emergency fund.

On the other hand, I might feel guilty about tapping the “general savings” to go on vacation, knowing that I wouldn’t have it there anymore for car maintenance…lots to think about.

Jackie
Jackie
10 years ago

I do this as well. It’s less depressing to take money out of a particular account when you know that is the purpose of the account. It also helps prevent rationalization, so that the funds don’t get used for something unintended.

As a side note, if you don’t want to literally create separate accounts for the various designated funds, you can set up a spreadsheet to separate them.

Meghan
Meghan
10 years ago

I have two accounts. One is an emergency account that is only for a major emergency (job loss or major illness/disability), and the second is for larger occasional expenses (insurance, pet care, etc.) and also unexpected expenses that I don’t consider to be major emergencies (like having to repair my computer). I agree with those who said that there is a psychological benefit to having sub-accounts. On the flip side, if you are dipping into your emergency account for things like car or home repairs, then it may not feel like a true emergency account, which may make it easier… Read more »

feminstfinance
feminstfinance
10 years ago

I apply this concept to non-emergency irregular expenses, too, like gifts (in my family almost everyone’s birthday is clustered in two months, so with Christmas and Hanukkah there are only three months of the year where we’re buying gifts that can’t be easily cash flowed) and running expenses (more expenses in the warmer months). Right now I’ve got subaccounts going for travel, a CSA subscription, vet bills, running expenses, professional fees, home maintenance, and work clothing. Maybe one or two more. Basically it’s the difference between which budget categories operate on an envelope system, accumulating month to month, versus which… Read more »

George
George
10 years ago

Great points. I think it a really important part is it to automate it. If we don’t make it automatic, it is way to easy to let it slip by without getting done.

KS
KS
10 years ago

Too many subaccounts would make me insane. Something “unexpected” happens every month, but the kind is different. So we took a look at our expense sheet, figured out on average every year what the unexpected expenses looked like (car, pet health, home repairs), and put a sum every month into an account for those expenses, whatever they were. We pull out what we need from that account and don’t worry about what the category is. The big EF is separate.

Karen A
Karen A
10 years ago

We have two accounts for emergencies: one for property taxes because we recently paid off our house (hooray!) and one for car repairs. My husband is reimbursed for mileage, so we began putting that extra check into an account for fuel and maintenance. We also keep a long term liquid savings account with nine months of living expenses. As money accumulates, we shift it into investment accounts.

kj
kj
10 years ago

While I have separate accounts for our next home down-payment and our next car purchase, all other savings gets lumped into one account that I consider “emergency/unexpected” funds. I don’t know if my psychology is just different or what, but having that money there when I need it is enough security to keep me from using on the sale boots (as a previous poster mentioned) without having to go through the hassle of figuring out how much I need to allocate toward irregular or unexpected costs and how much should be allocated to true emergency costs. Maybe it’ll bite me… Read more »

James from Tech for the Masses
James from Tech for the Masses
10 years ago

Nice article. To combat this particular problem I’ve implemented a couple savings accounts that I never had before. As JD has talked about ING Direct being so great for this, it has made my life so much easier. I have 2 accounts for these kind of things: 1 – Emergency Savings (If its a really big issue) 2- Non-monthly expenses (Well if its something unexpected ,yearly fees, etc) I set it up that each month money gets dumped into those two accounts. When an emergency or unplanned expense comes, its there. It wont throw off my entire budget and ruin… Read more »

smirktastic
smirktastic
10 years ago

Targeted savings funds are the best thing I’ve done for our budget in years! I set up one for car repairs/maintenance, one for property taxes and one for gifts. All are funded by direct deposit right from our paychecks, so we can’t spend it first. Our main checking and savings accounts are at a local credit union (easy to access) and the targeted funds are at an online bank (separate and not as accessible). The money is there when we need it for that specific purpose. I think TOO many small accounts would splinter our takehome pay to a point… Read more »

Craig
Craig
10 years ago

Targeted emergency funds and savings accounts have really been about peace of mind for me. My fiance and I are planning a wedding and the idea of having targeted funds for a banquet hall, DJ, florist, etc. has really allowed me to know that we have enough money for such an undertaking. As long as targeted EF’s are in a safe place such a an FDIC insured savings account and not stuck in something like a CD I feel they make total sense.

Nicole
Nicole
10 years ago

My husband and I are very different in this respect. I like having all my money together. The accounts only differ by how quick the access to them is. Somewhere between $100 and $1000 in checking (immediate access), 1 months pay in savings (a few minutes), 3-6 months expenses in online savings (a few days) (or laddered cds when the interest rates merit it), all the rest in stocks (which I don’t like selling but could in an emergency). It seems like there’s an emergency every month, so emergencies have just become a regular expense paid out of the regular… Read more »

saving it up
saving it up
10 years ago

I have all of the money in one account, but keep track of these sub-accounts on Excel. It makes a big difference for my psychologically to see that I have money set aside. And when I have to use it, my budget is not wrecked for the month. I have sub-accounts for the car, the kid’s medical, and kid activities (going to the museum or whatever). I also use my spreadsheet to roll over extra money for utilities. For example, I plan on $170 for electric, but rarely go that high. The extra money rolls over to the next month.… Read more »

Andrea
Andrea
10 years ago

Lots of subaccounts is a neat idea, but wouldn’t work for me. Instead, we work on the 2 account system like some other folks do- we have an annual expenses savings account (for irregular expected expenses and unexpected minor “emergencies”) and a very small “do not touch except in case of major emergency” fund account. I think I need to move the major emergency fund to another bank, though, because it’s way too tempting to spend out of that account when it’s right there on my regular online banking with the account I use for my monthly expenses. Out of… Read more »

jeffeb3
jeffeb3
10 years ago

More important than the two reasons given (IMO) is that by separating out the accounts, you aren’t able to do shady math, and count the money for yourself twice. If you need 6 months worth of regular expenses saved, and you also need money to repair your car, then you can’t take money from your emergency account to pay for your car. The emergency fund trap is that you take your five target funds that you should be saving for (car repair, next car, house repair, tuition payment, gift fund, etc) and only and save enough for only one or… Read more »

Kelly
Kelly
10 years ago

I’m a big fan of targeted savings accounts for home maintenance and car repairs. The other benefit for me is that since you already have the money saved up they free you to really make the right long term decision. Making the “cheap” decision on home or car maintenance in the short term can easily end up costing you more in the long run.

Shara
Shara
10 years ago

I think what works for you depends on how you budget. If you are on a “pay yourself first” budget where you spend whatever is left after savings then this type of subaccount system might not be for you, or perhaps you would only set aside $ for larger expenses. But for those that budget every dollar it makes a lot of sense. If I want a new pair of boots it has to come from one of my budget categories. And if I have a huge pile of money for all of my savings how do I know how… Read more »

Foxie || CarsxGirl
Foxie || CarsxGirl
10 years ago

At first, I was going to come on here and say that while I like the idea of sub-accounts, 1. I’d have way too many and 2. I couldn’t afford them until I’m done with a sizable primary EF, which is taking me FOREVER. But…. I kinda sorta do this, just not the way it’s being used. I have an EF, travel fund, “fun” savings (my own personal savings for spending), and one account for each of my two cars. (Not my husband’s, that’s his cost lol.) Regular maintenance costs (basically oil changes) come out of each car’s account, as… Read more »

Holly
Holly
10 years ago

I have just one Money Market account, but in my personal budgeting I have it divided into three parts:1) Known irregular expenses (taxes, insurance, deductibles, etc.), 2) True emergency, not to be touched other wise, and 3) the “Fun Fund” (for big purchases or vacations). I have a “cap” for each one, so that my monthly deposits go into Category 1 until that reaches its cap, then is split between 2&3 until one or the other reaches its cap, then, if all three reach their caps, I raise all the caps a little bit. I know, it is really all… Read more »

Alexandra
Alexandra
10 years ago

I have an ING account which acts as my Emergency Fund, and my regular savings account is for everything else, including incidentals like small repairs, weekend trips away, gifts, etc. I spend whatever I need to for the month, and whatever is left over above what I need for the next month, I transfer to long-term savings. In months where there has been a lot of incidentals, I may transfer over only a small amount or nothing at all. It is pretty informal, but it has worked very well for me. I would hate to have to keep transfering money… Read more »

Infinion
Infinion
10 years ago

I agree with a few people here about keeping separate accounts. Yes, they build slowly, and sometimes hit zero when you use that money for its intended purpose. But it keeps me from doing ‘shady math’ (per #27), and that’s exactly why I keep them all separate. We budget by the week (ex. rent calculated weekly, paid monthly), we get paid by the week, and we save by the week. It all makes so much sense, because we all understand that there aren’t 48 weeks in a year. I have a large EF savings account that is at a completely… Read more »

Tyler Karaszewski
Tyler Karaszewski
10 years ago

I feel like excessive budgeting is the equivalent of auto enthusiasts putting vinyl graphics or big spoilers or “cold air intakes” on their cars. They don’t really *do* much, but they’re relatively easy and inexpensive and they make you feel like you’re participating. You’re now a “tuner” because you did something to your car, even though it’s not any faster than it was. Same with personal finance — you’re now participating because you put labels on everything. Whether you pull $600 from a larger emergency fund of from a separate car account makes very little practical difference. You’re probably better… Read more »

Amy F
Amy F
10 years ago

“We have around 10 “sub-account” or sinking funds that we fund on an annual basis. These range from car repairs to vacation to home decoration. We love the feeling of security these provide, and it’s great to not feel guilty buying a few new pictures for the house because you already budgeted for it and funded those expenses ahead of time. We don’t physically create sub-accounts to accomplish this. All of the money is in one account (well several, but you know what I mean) and we keep track of each category in an Excel sheet that’s linked to our… Read more »

Suzanne
Suzanne
10 years ago

Great discussion. I like Jeff’s point that there isn’t really 6 month’s of expenses in it if you’ll also be using your EF for other things. I currently have just two ING accounts: 1) EF an 2) New (Used) Car. You all have been making some good points – I want my EF to be for only major crises like a job loss or medical expenses.

So I think I’ll open up some more ING accounts. One for car repairs and one for home repairs. Maybe even more than that, I’ll have to think about it.

April
April
10 years ago

@Tyler–You know, even as I was writing this post, I knew you’d fall firmly in the “why bother” camp. 😉

Infinion
Infinion
10 years ago

@Tyler – 34

Yeah, I agree. Personally, I enjoy it, but I recognize there is very little practical reason to super-budget everything.

elisabeth
elisabeth
10 years ago

Hi. I think some confusion arises because April calls these “targeted emergency funds” but it’s not actually emergencies she’s talking about. When DH and I were thinking about whether he’s ready to retire, I looked at several years of expenses, and could easily see that we used our incoming funds in X amount for regular monthly expenses and Y amount was spent every year on irregular expenses — which weren’t emergencies, just irregular. Some of the categories on which that money is spent will change over time, but I suspect that the amount will stay fairly even — I think… Read more »

DENISE
DENISE
10 years ago

i know this seems stupid but when i had an emergency, i broke my ankle and was out of work for 3 months i did not use money that was liquid in my money market savings account i used instead money from my overdraft checking account and will have to pay interest on it. the reason i did this is because i HATE to have debts and i know i am more motivated to get rid of this than i would be to put the money back into a savings account

Des
Des
10 years ago

We do this a bit differently. We have one account and keep an excel sheet with each irregular expense broken out by estimated annual amount, estimated monthly amount, and “bi-weekly contribution” because we are paid bi-weekly. I sum up the bi-weekly column and have that amount taken from my paycheck and deposited into the account. I like this method because it allows me the flexibility to change things on the fly. I found that I spend more on vet and grooming expenses than I anticipated, so I increased that category. Budget looking tighter than usual? Lower the annual amount for… Read more »

Infinion
Infinion
10 years ago

@elizabeth Agreed, these aren’t emergency funds. Buying gifts happens, vacations happens, car repairs happen. No emergencies there, plan for them. We use those targeted funds to create a zero based budget. Every dollar has a place and a function. There isn’t anything extra, and if there is, it needs to go somewhere and do some work. We take out savings amounts each week, and have to live on whatever is left over. We then have very few expenses left (gas and food usually). Other bills and such get paid every month, but we’ve already planned for them, and that money… Read more »

Allison
Allison
10 years ago

Tyler @34 – Keeping a big cushion in your checking account for these sorts of irregular expenses is great IF you aren’t tempted to spend the balance on random wants. It’s exactly what I did when I was single and it worked great. However, hubby is the spender in the relationship, and he is likely to spend extra money at the end of the pay period (iTunes is a big one). But he wouldn’t use the money in the “car replacement fund” to buy a want on a whim. For him and probably many people on this board, sub-accounts are… Read more »

Infinion
Infinion
10 years ago

@ Des. Yeah, Since I budget by the week, it makes the budget really easy to manage over the short and long terms. If we decide to do something expensive for a vacation, then I adjust other savings targets. If gas gets expensive, I need to adjust my Gifts account or something like that. It’s actually a real eye opener when you micro-budget. Take a look at how much you spend each DAY on retirement, gasoline, Christmas gifts, etc, etc, etc. I even know how much that one or two weeks of vacation costs me each day of the year.… Read more »

Brent
Brent
10 years ago

I have a different system that works for me (because I don’t like spending anyways). I have my rewards checking which has a floor amount (everything below is emergency, and I get an email when I’m less than that). On top of that is everything else, this months expenses and more, the space between the floor and the current amount covers everything. The floor moves up along a schedule(every paycheck) so I have to keep ahead of it. I don’t recommend this strategy if money is a willpower issue, for me the fear of touching that floor is enough to… Read more »

James from Tech for the Masses
James from Tech for the Masses
10 years ago

@Tyler

Yes, some of us want to pimp out our online savings accounts with cool features such as: Automatic Transfers and Sub-Accounts. For Fine-tuning the performance of our budgets. =D

Susan
Susan
10 years ago

I like the comfort of having several sub accounts, although I’m trying to limit them as it was getting a bit ridiculous (and time-consuming) to manage them. So now I have only a couple of actual accounts and I use YNAB to earmark different amounts within the accounts to different spending categories (household, cat, holidays, car registration etc.). YNAB (www.ynab.com) is essentially a virtual envelope system so you can have all the sub accounts you need. It works for me, as long as I don’t let myself get too specific! Yes, I am my own worst enemy! 😉

partgypsy
partgypsy
10 years ago

Way too complicated for me. I simply try to have a cushion in regular checking to pay for these sorts of things, since they literally do seem to happen almost every month. Second having an emergency savings account which is pitifully small, but is only tapped as a last resort. I’m sure someone looking at our system would say it’s way lax, but the kind of budgeting that the author speaks of makes my head hurt.

Jeannine
Jeannine
10 years ago

I very recently revised my budget and got rid of most of my existing subaccounts. I realized that, for me, having one lump account of ‘irregular expenses’ and then my emergency fund, is what works best for me, psychologically. However, I think it was important for me to clearly define what constituted an irregular expense, and would allow me to access those funds. (For me it’s things like eyecare, car maintenance, my AAA membership, car taxes, etc.) I know I could get more granular with my accounts (and have in the past), but for me at this point in my… Read more »

Cashing
Cashing
10 years ago

I’ve gone back and forth between one large emergency fund and then smaller accounts to help out. Because I’ve fluctuated between the two I believe I haven’t been as proficient as I would have liked. Has anybody fluctuated like I have? Does anyone have any suggestions for me?

shares