Sudden Expenses Every Family Should Be Prepared For

Unfortunately, we can’t always tell what life has waiting for us around the bend. Resilient as we are, we might be able to personally handle the stress and strain of what life throws at us, but we can’t afford to think that way when it comes to our finances. Especially not if we have a family that depends on us. Without getting too doom and gloom, we have to be prepared for the unexpected twists and what we can do to make sure they don’t take absolutely everything.

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Making the home happy again

If you own a home, then being responsible for every single repair and bit of work that needs to be done can be very financially challenging, indeed. For major problems life roof replacements, burst pipes, or fire and mold damage, the costs can get heavy, indeed. Saving up for home repair is important, as is learning what cheap repairs you might be able to apply yourself. However, the single best solution is to pour a little time and money into maintaining the home as it is. For instance, if you don’t want frozen pipes, then you better get them some insulation. Spend a little now to avoid spending a lot later on.

The squeaky wheel gets the grease

The exact same logic applies to the costs of keeping your car in good health, too. It’s worth bearing in mind that there is no avoiding having to spend on your car. It needs regular maintenance, as dictated by the maintenance log that comes with all car purchases. For that reason, make sure that part of your budget is allocated to maintenance and repair. Adjust how big that budget is depending on your average annual car costs. You can cut a lot of costs by being willing to do some of the simpler tasks yourself, such as changing your own brake pads or spark plugs. Get to know your car, get to know the signs that something is wrong and don’t ignore them. If you do, you’re only making it more likely that you have more expensive repairs waiting for you down the road. Of course, don’t neglect the real risk of a road accident, either. If you’re caught in a collision that’s not your fault, ensure you get the legal guidance you need so the other party takes the responsibility that they rightfully should be. One way to ensure the best possible odds for your success in court is to capture as much evidence from the scene to support your claims, including any witness testimony.

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A bun in the oven

As much of a joy as it might be, let’s all be aware that having a kid is very expensive. Especially if you don’t have paid maternity leave to get you through it. If you have the option to negotiate getting maternity cover when accepting a new job or promotion, then take that opportunity. It’s the kind of benefit that’s not thought of as often but can make all the difference when it comes to handling the real cost of pregnancy. Pregnancy can also involve costs like having to upsize or extend your living space, not to mention all the decorating and furniture to be bought. If you’re planning a pregnancy, make sure you’re saving for it as well.

The big medical bill

Sudden injury or illness can be not only a big personal shock but a big financial shock as well. If you have the option to, make sure you’re investing in health insurance of Medigap if you’re on Medicare. Beyond that, be willing to put your foot down when you really shouldn’t be paying for your treatment in the first place. If your employer refuses to pay workers’ comp after you’re injured at work, team up with a workers comp lawyer. You shouldn’t have to pay for the damage that others are responsible for, after all. Take a close look at every single medical bill you receive, too. Some data suggests that there are more bills that have errors on them than those that don’t, and many of those errors can result in you paying more. Whether it’s for duplicate treatment records or insurance contact detail errors meaning you don’t get your full coverage.

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Sudden diagnoses

This is something of a different point to the expenses of a sudden medical bill. It might not be the initial treatment that ends up being a significant drain on your resources. Rather, it may very well be the sky-high costs of many medications on the market that you need to treat a new diagnosis. There are some ways to save on the medicine you need, however. Think about going generic, for one. Generic medication is just as effective as branded, and often much cheaper. The only meaningful difference is that sometimes they don’t have the same flavorings in them to make them more palatable. Ask for discounts and vouchers, as well, or ask your doctor if over-the-counter pills could help just as much as the more expensive prescription kind.  

Unexpected debt

Sometimes, debt itself can seem to come out of the blue. You might not have realized you’ve fallen so behind with payments or you may have a creditor that you’re unaware of. For instance, if you’re not using a certain account, fees and charges can take you deep into an overdraft with little warning. Coming up with a quick debt reduction strategy is crucial. Start budgeting with a portion of your income specifically set aside for tackling debt. If you have multiple creditors, pay back those debts with the largest interest rates primarily, but make sure you contribute to all debts at least a little bit. If you’re having trouble, get in touch with the creditor and see if they can arrange a more manageable payment plan, too.

Better financial sense is going to help us avoid the majority of these big costs. However, there are some that need extra provisions put in place or quick reactions. Make sure you’re not leaving yourself and your family vulnerable to some of the worst financial shocks in life.

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