Wouldn’t it be great to always feel prepared for every expense? The truth of the matter is, no matter how well you plan, no matter how effective your budget is, life is full of unexpected expenses. Here is the scoop on some of the most common ones and how you can better prepare for them.
#1 – Car Repairs
Car breakdowns can also turn into big repair bills. Avoiding problems before they start can help you save money in the long run. Preventive maintenance doesn’t have to be expensive. Here are some easy car care tips to make keeping your ride up and running a little less stressful.
Sometimes car repairs are needed because of an accident. Even with a good car insurance policy, a big deductible can lead to a big headache. If you are in a car accident, know your rights. Make sure to call police, report the accident and get the other driver’s contact and insurance information. Remember to take down their license plate number, too. If they are the responsible party, repair expenses should be paid by their insurance – not yours.
#2 – Medical Expenses
Preventive healthcare is just one way to avoid unexpected medical expenses. Healthy lifestyle choices are another. Get annual checkups and report any changes in overall health to your doctor. Annual bloodwork can detect potential health risks before they become big problems.
Of course, you can prevent health risks by making smart choices in your daily life. Keeping your sugar and alcohol intake in check and kicking the smoking habit can both pay off big in avoiding future medical problems.
#3 – Broken Appliances
Major home appliances can mean major expenses when they break down. Appliances are not designed to live forever. But if your fridge is suddenly on the fritz, you want to have it up and running again as soon as possible. Don’t make the mistake of replacing your appliance before learning the cost of repair.
Many appliance problems can be avoided with proper care and maintenance. Family Handyman says simple tips like cleaning refrigerator coils and your dryer’s lint filter can help ensure the long life of your appliances and help you avoid costly repairs.
If you are concerned about unexpected appliance repairs, you may have considered purchasing a home warranty. Home warranties are usually associated with buying or selling a house, but are not limited to new homeowners. These are service contracts, not insurance policies. Experts advise to read all the fine print before deciding a home warranty is right for you. Money Talk News offers some helpful tips when considering a home warranty company.
#4 – Job Loss
Although this doesn’t fall into the “expense” category, losing your job can be an unexpected event – and it can make any of the above examples even harder to deal with. Maybe you’ve been there. In a job for a while, working hard and doing well. Then the company “restructures” and you find yourself in a face-to-face conversation with the HR rep telling you, “We’re really sorry to have to do this, but…” Job loss can be completely unanticipated, or maybe you’ve seen it coming but have been so busy focusing on your work, you haven’t had time to look for another opportunity.
ClearCompany, a business centered on Talent Management software, says having a job-specific resume at the ready is one secret to avoiding long periods of unemployment. Let potential employers know you may be interested in new opportunities. Post your resume online with networking and employment websites. And if you do find yourself suddenly unemployed, don’t wait to contact employment agencies. If you always keep your resume updated and ready, you will be ready to start the search for your next job as soon as this one ends.
‘But I wasn’t prepared for this. Now what?’
Setting aside a small portion of your income every month as an emergency fund is a great way to be prepared for the unexpected, but when you are struggling to make ends meet, saving money is often not the easiest thing to do. US News and World Report offers suggestions for managing the impact of unexpected expenses after they’ve hit.
If you find yourself facing unexpected expenses, the first thing to remember is that you are not alone. This is something everyone experiences at one time or another. So take a deep breath, and don’t give in to stress. With the right plan in place, even the biggest expenses can be managed over time.
KATE BRAUER-BELL AUTHOR BIO
Kate is a freelance writer who is passionate about helping others succeed in life. When she is not blogging for Dollars & Sense, she can be found managing her own busy life with her husband, three kids, and three dogs.