We can all be caught out by unexpected bills. This article discusses how to cope with unexpected bills and how to prevent getting caught out in the future. Maybe the car needs a hefty repair; the washing machine gets stuck on a spin cycle, the dog needs to go to the vets; the boiler breaks down….. sigh…….
A UK study found that more than two out of five people would have to think hard about how to cover an unexpected bill of £300. Take the steps below to prepare for unexpected costs.
Open a savings account to cope with unexpected bills
The most obvious, but sometime the most difficult. Be disciplined – you don’t need to save the earth, but what you can spare will soon add up over time. The more you save the more it will inspire you to keep the fund growing. There’s lots of savers products available from most high street banks – pop in or go online and find out what offers and products they have for you.
Find out where you can make those savings by using the Money Advice calculator by the Money Advice Service. Here you will get free and impartial money advice from a service set up by the Government.
Cut back on everyday bills
There are TV programs like the BBC’s ‘Eat Well for Less’ that discuss the merits of saving on your weekly grocery shop. By opting for cheaper ‘own branded’ goods and by cooking more meals from scratch, a family can save a small fortune. Try to steer clear of shopping at the local convenience store, garage forecourts and corner shops. The prices here are generally much higher than in the supermarket. Frozen food is generally a great way to strip out costs too. There is generally no loss in the vitamin content on frozen foods as they are frozen on the day they are picked. They can be healthier for you than fresh products that have been sat on a shelf or in storage.
Sell clutter for extra cash
There’s lots of selling websites now making it even easier to get rid of that unwanted clutter around the home while also making a bit of extra cash too to boost your savings pot. Search under beds, at the back of wardrobes and under the stairs for anything that is deemed no longer good for you that would be of value to someone else. Old phones and discarded tech can also be a great source of cash.
Forego a planned purchase
Have you ever been saving for a big purchase and an unexpected expense comes up? You should forego the big purchase, for example, a TV, and use that money sensibly to pay off the bill. Getting your car back on the road, for example, will serve you better than a new TV.
We all hate unexpected bills. The secret to coping with them is by squirreling just a little away in a saving account to act like a safety net. If you are struggling to save money, try reducing your everyday bills until you have a sufficient nest egg for the future. Once you have your nest egg, protect it until that unexpected bill lands on your doorstep once more.