Sudden and large expenses can quickly derail an otherwise smooth financial plan. Here are four ways to keep your finances under control and help you plan for facing those unexpected bills.
1. Save for the unexpected
This is a key aspect of avoiding financial trouble, but it can be hard for many families to manage. Try to set aside even a small amount of money each week to put away in your emergency fund. Then, resist the urge to spend it on wants. This money is the seed funding for what will carry you through difficult times later on.
2. Buy the Right Insurance
Insurance products can cover damage from an auto or home accident and healthcare expenses for you, your family members and even your pets. Pick a plan whose deductible you can cover with savings or investments even if you don’t plan to use it. Remember, no one actually plans to get sick.
Pets get sick too, and a large animal vet bill can add up fast. Horse insurance can help with farm calls, routine vaccinations and care in case of a sudden illness.
3. Open a Line of Credit
You should try to avoid going into debt to cover those surprise bills. However, if you don’t have a savings plan established yet, a line of credit may be a better option than relying on high-interest credit cards. Talk to your local bank about establishing a home equity line that you can draw on only if needed; this way you won’t get hit with interest on money you didn’t really need to borrow.
4. Take on Extra Work
The gig economy offers relatively easy and flexible opportunities to earn some extra cash. Look into pet sitting, driving for a rideshare company or delivering takeout or groceries as a way to earn some quick cash to cover those bills.
There are plenty of ways that large bills can sneak up on your carefully crafted budget. Using these strategies can help you prepare for the unexpected.