Unexpected Expenses Do Happen – Are You Prepared?

Today we have a contribution from my good friend Glen Stephenson of If you’re interested in contributing to Money Bulldog please contact us.

Unexpected expenses can happen at any time and can sometimes cost you a small fortune. That’s why I think that it’s important that you are financially prepared for these budget busters, and that you have enough money saved up to deal with them.

My family and I have personally had a number of unexpected things happen over the last few years that we hadn’t budgeted for. Fortunately we had the money available to cover the costs – thanks to some of the great saving money tips that we had put into practice, otherwise we might have had to rely on credit to be able to pay for everything.

The following are just a few of the more prominent expenses that my family has experienced recently that stick out in my mind.

Dog getting sick

The most recent expense we had was taking our dog to the vet when he started to vomit blood. This involved a night at the vet, lots of tests, special dog food and plenty of medication.

In total I think it set us back close to $500 in total over just a few days. Obviously this isn’t something people without pets will need to worry about, but if you do have a pet, make sure you budget accordingly for it.

Hospital trip for my sons breathing difficulties

Not long after my son was born he had some extreme breathing difficulties. We were so concerned that one night we ended up taking him to a local doctor, and then the hospital. It turned out that he had a cold and that he had a floppy oesophagus which was causing him difficulty with his breathing.

By the time we had seen the doctor, the specialists and even had an X-ray to confirm he hadn’t swallowed something he shouldn’t have, we were out of pocket almost $600.

Blocked breast milk ducts

It doesn’t have to be super serious event that can cost you money either. Something that took both my wife and I by surprise, was when her milk ducts got blocked while she was breastfeeding our son. It all happened quite suddenly (like within 24 hours) and she was in quite a lot of pain by the end.

After seeing a doctor he told us to invest in a breast pump. So we went to the shops and picked up the cheapest one we could find – a manual pump for about $20. Unfortunately it just didn’t do what my wife needed it to do and so we had to spend even more money on an electric pump.

We didn’t want to make the same mistake as last time, so we jumped online and started comparing many of the top breast pumps to ensure we got a good one. From there it was a simple matter of buying one and putting it to work to relieve my wife’s pain.

Overall this experience cost us close to $300 and it certainly wasn’t budgeted for. It also wasn’t one of the many things that we bought when we were planning for our bub. It was just one of those things that life throws at you, that happens to cost money.

Car randomly stalling while driving

One day while my wife and I were driving to work when her car decided to stall at a set of lights. Considering that the car is an automatic, this isn’t something that should have ever happened. But seeing as we were close to work, and because this was the first time that it had done this, we decided not to worry and just get it checked out at its next service.

Unfortunately that afternoon on the way home from work it happened again, but this time it stalled while we were going 100km (80 miles) down the highway. Let me just tell you that it was quite a scary experience.

The car ended up staying at the mechanics for almost a week while they tried to figure out what was going wrong. I can’t actually remember what the root cause was, but it did cost us around $400 to get fixed – yet another unexpected expense that we had to cover at the last minute.

The point that I am trying to make with each of these stories is that these things happen. Most of the time they are unplanned and can happen at any time. Unfortunately (In my experience) the unexpected expenses are the most likely to be the most costly expenses as well. That’s why I feel that it’s important to keep a healthy balance in your emergency fund – as this helps to ensure that you aren’t going to be too put out should something unexpected come your way.

Glen is the owner of How to Save Money, a personal finance website dedicated to helping people save money and find financial freedom. Glen recently paid off over $300,000 in mortgage debt within 7 years, and he wants to share his money saving tips with others to help them get on their way to financial freedom.

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