Despite constant budgeting, you might still find yourself in situations where you have unexpected expenses. Perhaps you’re able to manage regular bills and ongoing expenses until you encounter a sudden medical emergency or major home repairs. Coming up with the cash in an emergency can be frustrating, especially if you don’t have an emergency fund.
The good thing is you can prepare for them even if there’s no way to predict when they will strike. But unfortunately, many people do not plan for these emergency expenses. If you’re one of them, there are effective strategies to help you overcome such unplanned expenditures.
Read on to find out how you can deal with your emergency expenses wisely.
Understanding Emergency Expenses
Not all expenses that are not included in your monthly bills are counted as unexpected. That’s why it’s essential to understand which unexpected expenses are real and which ones are not. By doing this, you’ll be able to manage them better.
Expenses like an annual dental check-up, quarterly sewer bills, and insurance due every six months are not emergencies because they are foreseeable. You can know precisely when they are due and approximately how much they cost.
Even regular car and home maintenance aren’t entirely unexpected. You know they will come at some point in time. Perhaps you can’t predict when and how much they will cost, but you can come up with a rough calculation.
The real unexpected expenses are those you can’t predict like a natural calamity or a medical emergency. It’s possible that they can occur at any time, but you can never be sure they will happen to you or how much they’ll cost if they do.
Different Types of Emergency Expenses
There are four types of unexpected expenses that might take a toll on your budget, and knowing each one can be beneficial. Keep in mind that how you plan and deal with unexpected expenses also depends on the type of expenses.
One of the most significant unexpected expenses you may encounter involves medical emergencies. More often than not, it can be easy to overlook the impact of health on one’s financial lives. You might not usually think about it unless you or a loved one suddenly get sick.
Although you might have prepared for minor health-related costs, such as dental check-ups and medications, anyone can be surprised with serious long-term health problems. Getting hit by a car or being diagnosed with a severe illness isn’t something that someone anticipates.
When faced with a medical emergency, you can be bombarded with hospital fees, different tests, and medications that may directly affect your finances. If you get sick, other aspects of your life, such as work, would also be affected.
Major Household Repairs
If you’re a homeowner, you probably have an idea of how costly it is to acquire and maintain a home. From property taxes and homeowner’s insurance to maintenance costs, you could already be paying a lot. An emergency home repair can be an additional burden to your finances.
Even if you plan for regular household maintenance and minor repairs, you might still find yourself unprepared for the major ones. In fact, these major household repairs can be one of the hurdles in anyone’s finances.
Though sometimes there are household repairs that can wait until you save enough money for its cost, they often need an immediate fix. For instance, your house can have structural damage due to an earthquake or a storm.
Major Car Repairs
Ongoing maintenance for cars can also be expensive. Fortunately, in most cases, you can anticipate how much you will need to spend on your auto based on its age. For example, make sure you have an idea about the life expectancy of your car’s battery or engine. This way, you can prepare better for them.
However, you can’t predict when an accident will take place. The average cost of such a repair can be sky-high, and finding the money to pay for it can be challenging. You might have to pay for more than the repairs if the accident is your fault. Unless you have insurance to cover it, the costs would be too hard to handle.
Unplanned Travel and Contribution
Unplanned travel sounds like something that you can set aside. But there are sudden travel plans that you might need to make, such as attending an unexpected wedding or a funeral. No matter what the reason is, these unplanned travels can ruin your budget.
In connection with an unexpected wedding, you might have to spend additional costs to buy a gift. It’s not only inclusive of weddings but even on other occasions like a baby shower or a retirement party. There are also instances that require you to contribute to a special event in your workplace. This can be an actual problem, especially if you’re on a tight budget.
It’s worth noting too that these emergency expenses cannot be just put into your regular budget. You would need a different kind of plan or strategy to handle them.
How To Deal With Them Wisely?
Any expense that you did not expect can be overwhelming. But it would be best to stay in control if you’re in a situation where you have to deal with emergency expenses. Else, you might go for a decision that would only make things worse.
Here are ways to deal with your emergency expenses wisely:
If you don’t have an emergency fund, utilizing your savings is one of your options. Though taking money out from your savings isn’t agreeable, it can spare you from further emotional and financial stress.
Savings are a good financial cushion during an emergency. Just be careful not to rely so much on it that it might make you too careless about your spending. Note that savings aren’t intended for paying nonessentials or even regular expenses.
When you have unexpected expenses, it might help take a serious look at your budget plan. There might be some items in your budget that can be set aside to pay for your emergency expenses.
Perhaps, you can make adjustments to your everyday purchases. For instance, you opt only to buy the bare minimum necessities or cut back on spending money for any dine-in or takeout food. By reorganizing your priorities, you can free up extra cash to help you resolve a current financial need.
Sell Some Unused Items
You can also sell some unused items in your home that are still in good shape. It can be kitchen equipment, electronic gadgets, or other items you no longer need or use. By rummaging around and selling these unused items through the internet, you can raise funds to pay for some emergency expenses.
Borrow From Family
A family member won’t usually charge interest if you borrow money from them. If you want an easy and inexpensive option, you might consider borrowing from your family. They can be more flexible in terms of repayments, and you don’t have to worry too much about paying a fixed amount every month.
However, borrowing from your relatives can have negative effects, such as disagreements that may strain your relationship with them. One reason is a lack of clarity since there is no required legal documentation similar to a bank or lender. Failing to set up clear and defined terms for repayment could be a problem.
Acquire A Loan
Another possible way to pay for your emergency expenses is to acquire a loan. There are easy installment loans that can provide you with the additional funds that you need. However, it would be best if you have a thorough plan in doing so.
Not all types of loans will work well in your financial situation. It would be best to do your research before committing to any loan term or agreement. But since this is an emergency, you can consider a short-term loan to help you get by. Just make sure that you would have enough financial resources to repay the loan.
Plan For Your Emergency Expenses
The best way to deal with your emergency expenses is to be proactive. It means you wouldn’t have to wait for them to occur before you take any action. If any emergency expense keeps recurring in your finances, taking out a loan or borrowing from your family might not always be the appropriate solution.
It’s about time you took a hard look at your financial behavior, and once you figure the root of the problem, you can start creating a better financial plan. Whether you like it or not, appliances will break down, and cars will need repairs at any time.
The thing about these emergency expenses is they are not entirely unexpected. You know they will happen, but you only don’t know when. Thus, it’s way better to prepare for them by creating a fund for each emergency expense.
It doesn’t have to be an immense amount immediately, though. You can start from a small portion until you have more than enough financial cushion for such emergencies.
It’s normal to run into unexpected expenses once in a while. But if it keeps on recurring and already causing significant effects on your financial and even emotional health, it would be more helpful to take your emergency fund seriously.