It sounds paradoxical to plan for unexpected events. After all, if you don’t know something is going to happen, how can you make arrangements to deal with it? It’s a good question, to be fair. Though it’s impossible to predict the future, it is possible to budget for unexpected expenses popping up over the course of a year. No matter your age, income level, or living situation, you can almost guarantee unexpected costs to occur on a semi-regular basis. With all that in mind, here are four tips you can use to form a sensible budget that will allow you to handle any problem that comes your way:
Create a Rainy-Day Fund
It’s certainly not glamorous to squirrel your money away as a means of dealing with an emergency. Nevertheless, people who keep a rainy-day fund are almost always glad they did. Note, a rainy-day fund is not the same as a savings account. Since some savings accounts don’t allow easy access (penalties for early or multiple withdrawals, inability to withdraw from an ATM), it’s not wise to place your rainy-day fund in a savings account. Instead, make sure that you’re able to use emergency finances at a moment’s notice.
Perform Regular Maintenance & Checkups
No one would expect their car to break down suddenly in the middle of the road. Nor would someone expect their home to catch on fire. Yet, the reality is these costly problems are actually preventable in most instances. By performing regular maintenance on your most important investments –– like cars, houses, boats, etc. –– you can cut down on the possibility of a major, unforeseen expense.
Secure Quality Insurance
Medical bills are one of the biggest contributing factors to debt on a national level in the U.S. Indeed, it’s difficult to overstate the importance of acquiring quality auto, health, and disability insurance. Failing to do so could end up costing you tens of thousands of dollars in legal and/or medical fees. As such, it’s imperative to make sure that your insurance plan covers everything from same day appointments to workplace accidents.
Budgeting for one is difficult, but it is more straightforward than creating a budget for two or more individuals. Given that fact, it’s imperative to communicate with your partner or family members about your budgeting goals and expectations. Consider this one of the golden rules of financial success. By having frank conversations with those closest to you about your budgeting plans, you can identify potential issues before they arise and plan for them appropriately.