Christmas is the most wonderful time of the year unless you’re on a budget. Then it can quickly devolve into a stressful, penny-counting event. If you want to make life a bit easier, knowing your potential pitfalls ahead of time can help you tremendously. Knowing is the first stage of being prepared with a plan. With this in mind, here are five expenses that can seriously blow your budget (and advice on how to deal with them):
Some of the most challenging budget killers are medical expenses. These bills can be scary as they’re rarely small and easy to settle. They’re never something you choose, and they generally pop up out of nowhere, leaving you little choice as to whether you want to accept them or not. Thankfully, there are ways to reduce your medical expenses and save on dentist bills. It just takes a bit of research into the insurance policies and alternative cover options available in your state.
Just as your savings account reaches an impressive amount, your car comes to a grinding halt and demands attention. The cost of parts, the mechanic’s hourly rate, and the time it takes to get everything done all add up to make car repairs an expensive exercise.
You can get vehicle warranty plans that cover you for these instances, but they’re generally only available to vehicles below a certain mileage. The next best option is to put a little bit of money each month into a savings account earmarked for vehicle repairs.
If your taxes aren’t automatically deducted from your salary each month, or if you’re a sole trader or employed as an independent contractor, the onus is on you to pay your taxes. It’s important to set this money aside in a separate business account each month to ensure you don’t touch it. That way, when the next tax season hits, you’ll be prepared. According to top-rated accountants, tax time is one of the biggest financial challenges for people who have to manage it for themselves.
Homeowner’s insurance will cover home repairs that are required due to accidental damage. This means they will only cover damage that was not preventable. If your floor caves in out of nowhere due to a termite issue you were unaware of, homeowner’s insurance will not cover it because it could have been prevented by having regular pest control treatments. How can you cope with a sudden repair job that’s not covered by your insurance? Your best option may be to look for a low-interest money loan from a community lender.
Sudden Death In The Family
Funeral plans are generally affordable, but few people feel comfortable signing up to be reminded of their death each month when the bill arrives. For this reason, it’s not unusual for family members to find themselves grieving while also battling to find the finances to cover the costs associated with the funeral ceremony. Depending on where you live, the family can sign a release form enabling the local government to assist with the costs and ensure that the body is buried or cremated with dignity.
How To Stay Prepared
Having a nest egg for emergencies can help to ease the pressure when you have unexpected expenses. The best way to ensure you have enough money to put some away each month is to keep your expenses lower than your income. If you can’t reduce your outgoings, find ways to increase your income.