None of us know what life is going to throw at us. Unexpected emergencies happen all of the time, and when they do, we are often caught unprepared. And while you can’t prepare for everything that might happen in your life, you can take some steps to prepare yourself for some common emergencies.
There are just some things that it seems like everyone is destined to experience at some point or another, and by getting your finances in place, you can be better prepared to take these on. Here are 4 of the most common emergencies that you might experience so that you can start planning ahead.
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A Problem With Your Car
Many of us rely on a car to get around. We take it to work, to run errands, and to pick up our kids. If something happens to your car, you’re now not only stuck without your primary source of transportation, but you also have to spend money to get the car fixed. Depending on what is wrong with your car, you could be looking at a costly expense. If you don’t have some savings built up, you’ll find it hard to afford the repairs, and you’ll be without your car for even longer.
Another possibility is that you are injured in a car accident. Now you need to get the car repaired while also worrying about money while you’re unable to work, along with possible medical expenses. Savings are essential for a scenario like this, and since you never know when it might happen, it’s important to start preparing early.
A Problem With Your Home
Even more important than your car is the place that you live. Homes are expensive enough as it is – your mortgage, heating bills, etc. – without adding on extra surprise costs. Unfortunately, these happen from time to time, and when they do, you likely won’t be able to put them off for long. Perhaps your furnace breaks down in the middle of Winter, or your ceiling starts to leak when it rains. You’ll need to get things like this taken care of, and again, these can be costly repairs. You don’t want to find yourself in a situation where your home is hard to live in because you can’t afford to get something fixed, so you’ll want to plan ahead now.
You Lose Your Job
Another emergency we often don’t see coming is the loss of our jobs. One day everything is fine, and the next there are massive layoffs at your job, and suddenly you’re without your primary source of income. It’s not always easy to find a new job, and so you may find yourself without any income for an extended period of time. While there are government programs that can assist you, you’re likely going to need to dip into your savings as well. None of us like to consider the possibility that we could suddenly lose our jobs, but it is possible, and so you need to prepare for it.
Finally, you want to be prepared in the case of a medical emergency. You or a family member could get sick, or be injured in an accident, at any time. Insurance will cover some costs, but sometimes not all of them. You also have to account for being out of work, and that you’ll need to live off of your savings. While no one wants to have a medical emergency, they are possible for all of us, so get your finances in order now before you need them.
If you have a pet, you also need to consider medical emergencies for them as well. Most people don’t opt for pet insurance, so when something happens to your pet, you’ll need to pay for everything yourself. Doctor visits and procedures, along with any medications, are expensive. Just like you need to prepare in case something happens to you or a family member, you also need to do the same for your pet.
Getting Your Savings In Order
Before any of these situations happen to you, it’s a good idea to start building up your savings. Take a little bit of your paycheck each week and put it into a separate account. Over time the amount will start to accumulate, and you’ll have funds in place should you need them. While you can also look at options like investing your money, it can sometimes be hard to retrieve the money quickly, and so you need to take this into consideration.
No matter how you choose to prepare for the future, it’s most important that you simply get started. Life has a way of throwing things at us, but if you start taking some necessary steps now, you can be better financially prepared should something bad happen.
Rachel is an Austin blogger, educator, mom, wife, young breast cancer survivor writing about health, saving money, and living a happy life in Austin, Texas.
Rachel has written for HuffPost and Hometalk and has been featured on KXAN, Studio 512, Fox 7 Austin, and CBS Austin.