Career Advice - A Community Blog

Erik Larson writes about the job market, resume improvement, and career advice

6 Ways To Handle Unexpected Expenses

Written by Erik Larson, Community Blogger | Aug 1, 2017 12:28 AM

No matter how well you plan, unexpected expenses happen. From vehicle breakdowns to sudden illnesses, your bank account might not be able to handle all the things life throws at you. Dealing with these issues is tiring and stressful. It isn't the end of the world, and there are strategies that work to help you overcome your unplanned expenditures.

Is it Actually Your Problem?

First, you need to find out if the expense is actually your problem. For home issues, speaking with your landlord is your first step. In many cases, your landlord is responsible for household issues. This isn't about passing the buck but ensuring you're not taking care of other people's problems for you.

Insurance is also a possible way to avoid or reduce emergency expenses. Even if you are unsure if your situation is covered, it is worthwhile to see if your insurance company handles some or all of the expense. A simple phone call can save you a lot of money, and a request for information isn't going to count as a claim.

Use an Emergency Fund

If you have an emergency fund, these are the situations that savings are for. Taking money out of savings isn't fun, and it does set back some of your money saving plans. However, those funds can save your sanity when the unexpected expense pops up. It is recommended that people save between three and nine months of living expenses in an emergency fund.

Skip a Planned Expenditure

Maybe you have been saving for an upcoming vacation or a down-payment on a new car. Many financial emergencies are more important than these plans for the future. By reorganizing your priorities, you can find the extra cash that you need to get through a hard time. You may need to postpone something fun and exciting, but at least your bills are all paid.

Use Short Term Debt

Sometimes there just isn't any way around it and debt is necessary to survive a rough patch. Many people have credit cards or lines of credit to deal with these situations. The steps necessary for these forms of debt require planning, and they aren't always available to everyone when you need money now.

Payday loans provide you the temporary cash flow to get you through a rough patch. Payday loans are faster and easier to get than a bank loan and also has lower requirements for approval. The money that you need is available with a payday loan right away, which avoids the waiting periods that many banks impose.

Sell Clutter and Unused Items

It is amazing how many things accumulate in your home. Taking the time and effort to sell your unwanted items is too much work to do regularly. You need to organize your items, take pictures, and find the right selling platform for your situation. It can seem like a daunting task when you don't have the motivation to do it. An unexpected expense is a great reason to work through your unused possessions, clean up your space, and find the cash that you need. The internet provides you with many avenues to sell your goods to people who use them.

Get Rid of a Poor Investment

Waiting for an investment to turn around isn't always the best strategy. An emergency expense is a good reason to drop poor performing investments. You might even manage to cash in on some tax-savings while you are at it.

Budgeting and saving are important, but it isn't always enough. Your money surprises can take their toll on your mental health. With the right plan and a few deep breaths, there are ways for you to overcome the financial pressures that sometimes come your way.

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