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5 Surprise Expenses You Need to Prepare For

Posted on May 6, 2019

When creating your budget, you plan for your normal costs. Rent, food, cell phone, Netflix subscription, and whatever other regular expenses you have to pay for. You might even be able to budget out some money to go into your savings every month.

But, your budget could get derailed in a single moment, especially if you aren’t prepared for it. Even a couple unexpected but necessary little costs could throw your entire month into chaos. Accidents happen, people (or animals) get sick, and things break. If you don’t actively save and prepare for these situations, you might find yourself in a tough situation, even ruining your budget or savings.

Taking Your Pet to your Vet


dalmatianMost people pay monthly for their personal health insurance and save up in case they have a medical emergency, but what about your pet? An emergency visit to the vet could cost pretty close to a trip to the ER for us, yet most people don’t have insurance to help pay for it. That could mean thousands of dollars you need to pay for the family pet.

It’s a smart choice the moment you pick up that puppy or adopt that cat you make a plan for when their health takes a turn for the worst. You could open up a savings account early on and start putting some money aside each month to cover veterinarian costs, or even purchase pet insurance that you can pay each month.

Especially if your pet is getting pretty old, health expenses could increase at an alarming rate. Even if your pets are young, you can never predict when your dog will eat a pound of chocolate or your gerbil will fall off a table, so have a plan in place right away for when your pets get sick.

Unplanned Travel


Traveling is expensive. Flights, getting a hotel room, eating out for every meal, and buying the toothbrush and cell phone charger you forgot at home can really add up quick. You can lower the costs of traveling by planning out your travel ahead of time. There are deals to find, reward points to use and savings to grow and then use.

This isn’t always the case though. Sometimes, you need to travel at the drop of a hat. You have a sick relative that needs your help, a job interview in a different state you need to be at, or heading home for the weekend to attend a last minute wedding. It’s a smart choice to have some savings set aside for unexpected travel, even if it’s just a few hundred dollars. A credit card can cover the initial purchasing, but you’ll still need to pay for it in full before the month’s end to avoid the risk high interest rates.

Repairs and Replacements


young woman working on a car covered in greaseCars break down, pipes leak, kids smash windows, and natural disasters hit. Things are going to break unexpectedly in your life and paying to get them fixed or replaced can wreck your budget. Some items, like fixing a broken car or replacing a home AC unit can cost thousands of dollars and if you aren’t ready for them, can decimate your savings and your long term budget.

To start preparing for these expenses, plan out and do regular maintenance on things you need to work for a long time. Take your car in for regular check-ups and oil changes, do regular maintenance on appliances at home, and keep electronics clean and free of dust. That also means including maintenance expenses as a part of your regular budget.

As for when you need to pay for repairs or replacements, having a general savings fund to help out with any and all costs is great. If you know you’ll need to replace something expensive soon, like a new car, create a seperate savings account and contribute to it regularly to prepare for the day you need to replace something big.

Unexpected Costs from Injuries


young man with cast around his arm giving a thumbs upMany people plan for the medical costs of getting injured or sick by paying for health insurance, but there are other expenses  that come with it. Depending on your situation, you might not be able to go to work and earn an income, meaning any expenses you have come out of your savings.

For example, let’s say you broke both of your legs. Your insurance pays for your doctor visits, but what if your broken legs prevent you from going to work? You still need to pay rent, buy food, and take care of bills. Plus, with broken legs, you might have a hard time getting around, requiring using an Uber for getting around or paying for food and grocery delivery.

Especially if your injury is serious and has a long recovery time, these costs can pile up quick. There are some ways around it, like purchasing supplemental insurance, but this is something to consider when planning out your savings and budgeting. How long could you afford to be out of work with an injury with some extra expenses? If you can’t go for too long, focus on building your savings and adjust your budget accordingly.

Theft and Lost Goods


Sadly, theft is a common part of our world and you could be a victim of it at any time. Somebody could steal your car, your phone, your wallet, or even most of the stuff in your home. Everybody thinks it won’t happen to them until it does, and it should be something to do some preparation for.

Things like renter’s insurance and personal property insurance are great ways to prepare, especially if you live in a more dangerous area. That way, if things get stolen from your home, you’ll have money to cover it.

Prepare by going through your possessions and identify what is essential for you to keep living. If you work from home, your computer and phone might be things you would need to replace as soon as possible if stolen or lost. Or have a plan in place if you use your personal car for work and it got stolen. Don’t just plan on reacting to losing something important, have a plan in place to replace it.

Saving for Unexpected Expenses


A key part of preparing for unexpected costs is having money set aside in case of emergencies. While it might be simple to just have a single savings account to hold all of your money, instead consider opening multiple accounts for different potential situations.

Creating a rainy day or emergency fund is a great way to prepare for random or surprise expenses. That way, you have money set aside that you only use in emergencies. This is a smart idea especially if your regularly dip into your savings for regular expenses.

If you want to save up for a specific reason, like to prepare for car repairs, you can open a Special Savings Account that comes with a higher APY than the regular Saving Account. If you just creating a rainy day fund, this is a great place to get it started.

Find the Right Savings Account for You!

 

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