By: Kirsten Petriches
Surprise Parties are awesome – Surprise bills are not!
As you continue to excel in this crazy-hard thing called “adulting,” I bet you’re starting to feel pretty good. Maybe you’ve landed yourself a fancy job with a nice salary that you negotiated for. I bet your budget is organized and adhered to and your savings are growing, albeit slow and steady. You are doing a great job of utilizing your extra money to increase your retirement and savings accounts and to pay down any debt. Adulting is starting to seem pretty manageable – dare we say, easy?
But then, it happens. Maybe it’s an unexpected trip to the emergency room or the dentist that isn’t fully covered by your insurance. Maybe it’s the cost of your new pet, your old pet, your sick pet, or some combination of the above. Maybe it’s time that everything in your house starts falling apart and you have to fork over $$$ for a new roof, furnace, or plumbing. Maybe you get robbed - not only are you an absolute emotional mess, but you have to replace anything that was stolen (that may not be covered by insurance). And usually when it rains, it pours.
What do all of the above have in common? They cost money, are typically unexpected, and they just plain suck!
As followers of The Adult Dish, we are the lucky ones! We will be prepared with proper savings and, if we aren’t, we will have help figuring out how to handle the expenses that come with those terrible, annoying, and expensive happenings.
First and foremost, don’t freak out. Breathe.
Figure out what exactly you have to pay and how much it is going to set you back. Assess whether all, or a portion, may be covered by insurance, warranties, a landlord, etc.
Now that you know exactly how much you owe, utilize these tips to get your unexpected bill paid.
The last but most important step is to take action now to make sure you are better prepared the next time this happens.
Some smaller “emergency purchases” like buying a new computer when your old one crashes aren’t really emergencies if you plan ahead. If you know your computer is 4 years old, and slowing down, start preparing right away for the new purchase! This goes for any larger purchase, like cars and televisions, too.
Take the time every so often to evaluate your life and consider what large purchases may be in the pipeline. As soon as you identify potential big purchases coming up, start saving! Even $20 here and there will go a long way when the time comes. Consider starting an unexpected expense account, separate from your real emergency fund. Having an extra savings account with $1,000- $5,000 can be a lifesaver for smaller, unexpected bills. With a little bit of extra planning, these small “emergencies” won’t take you by surprise and overwhelm you any more.