How to Plan for Unplanned Expenses

I know. This is too easy. It’s like an under-handed pitch to a major league hitter, it is out of here! But, can you make an indulgence for those who really would like the question answered?

Too many people are living paycheck-to-paycheck these days. It is very difficult to make ends meet – especially with fuel and food prices on the rise. Even so, there are ways to handle the unexpected expenses life’s little ‘joys’. A car repair, a small medical expense, a house repair, you name it.

Follow these simple steps and you will be ready.

Emergency Cash. Keep around $1,000.00 in cash on hand for small emergencies. This can get you through a lot of the ‘around the house’ items that can kill a budget or a paycheck. How can you get that kind of money? Sell something or a lot of ‘somethings’ around your house. Most people have things they no longer want or need.

Don’t get stuck in the mindset that credit cards are for emergencies. You’ll rack up lots of high-interest debt, which will likely need to be balance transferred to a lower rate or be consolidated

Here’s an idea for you: How about selling some of your DVDs or VHS movies? If you have a lot of these, I guarantee that you do not sit around and watch them. They are probably like mine and are gathering dust on the shelf. But, oh, they do look nice sitting there (yeah, right). Go through them and put the ones in a box that you will never watch again. Sell them one price for all. If you have some good titles in that box, depending on how many you have, you might be able to get around $50.00 for the box. Maybe more if you sell them individually. Here where I live, used DVDs sell in the $7.00 to $8.00 range each.

Find other items like this that can be sold and add it to your Emergency Cash fund. It will begin to grow before you know it.

Have a garage sale. Include some baked items and watch as the money comes rolling in.

Start Saving. Throw $10.00 into a savings account with each paycheck. Every little bit helps.

Get Insurance. You need life and disability insurance. Most employers provide these for you, but they are relatively inexpensive if not.

Do not forget property and casualty insurance. Rental insurance if you rent, and home owners if you are buying. Car insurance is mandatory in most US states now.

Health Watch. Manage your health. Not just through your health care insurance at work, but make it a priority to eat right and take care of yourself.

Identity Watch. Take care of your identity. Be careful of where you shop online. It is a good idea to have a separate bank account with a debit card for shopping online. Only keep a very small amount of money in that account to use for these transactions. Once you place money in there for purchases, make your purchase right away. Then, once you are finished make sure that you do not have over $20.00 in the account.

Make sure you have not only virus software on your computer, but preferably a complete Internet Security suite which will help provide some basic protection against hackers and information thieves.

There is a debate raging right now as to whether or not the pay services for protecting your identity are worth it or are a rip-off. There are valid arguments on both sides. So, proceed carefully if you feel the need to use any one of these services.

If you use these suggestions, you can be prepared for at least the most likely day-to-day unexpected expenses. Make a plan and do it today.