An unexpected expense is just that: you didn’t see it coming! And because of that, it can be very, very hard to account for the cash needed to cope with it within your monthly budget. But it’s not impossible, and you won’t have to break the bank to manage it either.
After all, as long as you’ve got savings stashed away, or you’re confident enough to negotiate, you’ve got a good chance to rebuild your finances within a few months. With that in mind, here are some tips for maintaining your household budget when you’ve got an emergency cost to deal with.
Determine What the Expense Really is
An unexpected expense is very specific; it’s something you didn’t think you’d have to deal with, for any reason, at this point in your lifetime. It’s not an irregular expense you have to pay every now and then, like maintenance jobs around your home, because you saw these coming and knew you had to budget for them.
In making sure you know what the expense is you prevent yourself from spending money you don’t have, especially when you don’t even need to. A lot of things you can actually save up for, as long as you don’t need the item or service right now!
Always Look into Payment Plans
If the expense is far too much to pay up front, look into what your payment plan options are. Ask about them immediately when you know you’ve got pay, and if a plan isn’t usually offered, ask if one can be set up for you. It’s always best to ask; the worst you can be told is no!
You can also research into the average cost you’ll pay for something to help fuel your negotiation here, if needed. For example, if you suddenly need to buy a new car due to an accident or theft of your old one, check out a site like edmunds to see what price points you’ll be dealing with. And not only that, but the more you know about the cost, the less likely you are to overspend.
Take Out Insurance
If you already have insurance, be sure to claim on it to help you cope with the unexpected expense in the here and now. You can worry about the premium later, and also look into changing providers to see if you can get a cheaper deal. But right now, you just need some breathing room in your budget.
However, if you don’t have insurance, look into taking some out regarding your new expenses. For example, if your home has been broken into, or it’s been flooded out, having home or contents insurance in place will make this kind of disaster a lot easier on you. A lot of people are living without these insurance types without knowing it, so look into your status as soon as you can.
Worried about your financial future? Think about putting together an emergency fund, just in case!