Mar 10, 2020 10:45 AM EDT
How To Handle Unplanned Expenses
We are not strangers to unexpected expenses. Most of us must have had a similar experience of being caught with multiple billing statements for expenses we were not prepared for.
Unexpected expenses are those expenses you did not see coming. For instance, your car just broke down, necessitating a visit to the car shop, or perhaps, an unplanned medical appointment, or an unwanted parking ticket. It could also be that your favorite store is suddenly on sale. These are expenses we could not foresee to incur.
The good thing about these types of expenses, though, is that they can be remedied. There is a way to handle these unanticipated spendings.
Do not panic
Before you panic about the situation you are currently in, assess it first. Is this an expense you can avoid for the time being? Or, is this an expense that needs immediate attention? If you find that the cost can be put off for the meantime, set it aside. You need not use your emergency fund for things that are not 'urgent.' Focus only on expenditures that are pressing at the moment.
Perhaps, you do not need a new phone right now, so set aside that urge to replace your old phone. You need to be smart about the things you will be instantaneously spending money on. Breathe in and let your mind get the better of the situation. Think, and do not panic.
Estimate necessary unexpected expense
If you have determined that this is an expense you should spend on, estimate how much money you will need immediately, and how much money you currently lack. Make educated estimates of the amount you will need. By doing so, you will be reducing the 'unexpectedness' of the situation and thereby converting it into planned spending, albeit rather shortly.
If possible, have the expense be spread over several months, or be made payable for a specified period. As such, you will be given time to look for ways to prepare for such spending. You can anticipate it and look for sources of income to sustain such expenditure.
Plan A: Set an Emergency Fund
The best way to counter unplanned expenses is to set up an Emergency Fund. An emergency fund is a readily available fund used for unexpected expenses such as the loss of a job, a debilitating illness, or a significant repair to your home or car. Its purpose is to improve one's financial security by creating a safety net where one can use cash to meet emergency expenses.
During the days you still have money to spare, set aside a few bucks to place in your emergency fund. Include this in your saving goals. Allocate a portion you will use for irregular spendings. With the right amount of emergency fund, you will never be surprised by unexpected expenses that may come your way.
Plan B: Quick cash
If you were not able to set aside an emergency fund or perhaps your emergency fund is not enough, do not worry. There is still a way to counter these unplanned expenses. Make a way to generate quick cash.
You can be liquid enough to spend on urgent expenditures by making cash available the quickest way possible. You can do this by obtaining a loan or letting go of a few stuff that are still of value.
Some loans take a long time to process. Nonetheless, some loans are easy and fast to apply. Perhaps, you can get a ninja loan from Credit Ninja, or other financing institutions that offer immediate financial support.
On the other hand, you can also auction off or put on sale valuable items that may no longer be useful to you. Your junk could be another person's treasure, and remarkably, it could mean 'money' to you, too.
Indeed, there are always expenses that come unannounced. They are inevitable and unplanned. Most often, these expenses catch off-guard, thus, derailing us from our money goals. The best thing to counter these types of expenses is to prepare for it and look for quick ways to be able to pay for it without breaking the bank. For as long as you keep calm and stay smart about how you will be handling this type of situation, unplanned expenses should not hurt you or your pockets.
About the Author
Tiffany Wagner is a writer and artist. She contributes articles to magazines and local newspapers. Aside from that, Scarlett is also a business graduate from a well-reputed university. In her university days, she majored in finance and commerce. She dreams of putting up her own advertising company in the future. Nevertheless, at present, she finds interest in sharing with others her views on business, the economy, and politics through her online blog and published articles.
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