Today I want to share with you some common unexpected expenses, and why you need an emergency fund in order to deal with these. This is because more than likely we will not budget for these expenses, which leaves us left wondering where we will find the money to pay for them! No matter how financially prepared you think you are, life will always throw something unexpected your way!
Some common expenses you may experience include:
- Unexpected medical, dental, and vision expenses
- Your pet becomes ill
- Your laptop breaks
- Your car breaks down
- You need to purchase a new car
- You have a plumbing problem that needs to be fixed
- You have an electrical problem that needs to be fixed
- You need clothes for a new job that requires you to dress up every day
- You get sick and you don’t get paid sick leave at work
- Your mobile phone breaks
- You need to pay unexpected expenses for your kids extracurricular activities
- Your washer/Dryer/Fridge/Dishwasher/Oven breaks
- You need to pay travel and accommodation expenses for a relative or friend’s wedding abroad
- You have a family emergency
- You need to buy gifts for a baby shower, wedding shower, housewarming, etc.
- You get a flat tyre
- You receive a fine e.g library fines, speeding ticket
- You need to replace an electronic item eg. computers, phones, cameras
- Hospitality requirements eg. guests visiting, throwing a party, food
- You have to buy household supplies, eg. cleaning supplies
- You need to pay for gardening expenses, eg. soil, seeds, fencing
- You have to replace an item of furniture
- You lose your job and you can’t find another one with the same rate of pay
- You (or your partner) unexpectedly get pregnant
- You find yourself with a debilitating illness
- Your hours are cut at work
- A friend or relative in crisis moves in with you for a while
- You’re evicted from your home
- You receive an unexpected bill
- Your bank account becomes overdrawn
There are a number of ways you can prepare for unexpected expenses. One is to save more money. Set aside a small amount in your monthly budget for your emergency fund, and you’ll have no added stress when any of them pop up.
To create an emergency fund, open up a savings account make a commitment to put money in every month. You could even set up a standing order so your bank does it automatically, so you don’t even see the money enter your account before it leaves. This is called ‘paying yourself first’.
An emergency fund is cash you have saved that you can dip into in an emergency. An emergency fund should be enough to pay all your most important bills for several months. Three months worth of your income is a good minimum to aim for, although the exact amount you need depends on your circumstances. So if you spend £1000 a month on your mortgage payment or rent, food bills, travel and other things you can’t live without you should aim to save £3000 for your emergency fund.
If you can’t afford to save a lot of money from your income, you can start small – anything is better than nothing! For example, saving just £3 a day adds up to £1,095 a year. You can do this by taking coffee in a flask to work to stop you from buying one on the way in, or sacrificing your £3 meal deal and making your own lunch from home.
I hope this post has given you some ideas on unexpected costs that may pop up and why you should have an emergency fund to deal with them!