Adulthood has its share of ups and downs — some you expect, and some you don’t. While you may not know everything that will happen, you want to set yourself up for success and a stress-free financial life. You need to consider ways to protect yourself from unexpected events. Here are some expenses you should think about on your journey into adulthood.
6 Expenses in Adulthood You Might Not Be Planning For
1. Car Repairs
Unexpected car expenses might include a dead battery, faulty headlights or worn brake pads. Invest in preventive care to keep your car running smoothly. Plan for smaller car maintenance expenses, whether your car requires interim service or major service. Regular maintenance will ensure that your oil filter, wiper blades, brake fluid and air filters are working properly — it will also give you the chance to catch any problems before they occur.
You’re less likely to experience something extreme, like a broken clutch, if you follow the manufacturer-suggested maintenance schedule. However, you should still be prepared for any extra costs that may come up during maintenance service.
2. Medical Emergencies
In a Commonwealth Fund survey, 46% of respondents said they had skipped or delayed care because of costs. Half of the respondents said they would struggle to pay for an unexpected $1000 medical bill within 30 days.
Whatever your situation, it’s wise to prepare for the possibility of a medical bill or an extra payment over your health insurance. Sometimes, even a minor illness requires you to take unpaid time off, which might affect the rest of your month. If you have some money in your emergency fund, you will be able to cover the costs and make up for the lost income.
3. Weddings or Events
Typically, a wedding costs between $12K and $30K. By the time you say “I do,” this amount could be higher than you expected. However, you can still have your dream wedding without breaking the bank.
For example, you could plan an at-home wedding and ask a friend or family member to use their garden for the ceremony or reception. You can also get your wedding decor on a budget without sacrificing quality by asking events companies to add or take away elements that will suit your budget.
4. Pet Emergencies
Perhaps your cat injured his foot or your dog ate something she shouldn’t have. Pet emergency care may not be something you think to budget for ahead of time, despite the fact that treatment for animals can cost thousands of dollars.
Consider purchasing pet health insurance. Alternatively, you could create a separate emergency fund for your pets. You will be more prepared to handle this significant investment either way.
If you save up over a long period of time without using the money, you could treat your fur baby to a new backscratcher or an orthopedic bed.
5. Household Repairs
Put some money aside to cover home expenses outside your usual rent, bills and utilities. Appliances like your fridge, washer and dryer need to be replaced or repaired almost immediately after they break. Set aside an emergency fund to cover any repair costs. Whether you’re renting an apartment or looking to own your own home, this fund can also be used towards improving your living space or fixing damaged parts of the property.
6. Unexpected Travel
You might have your next girl’s trip or solo-cation planned out with budget-friendly accommodation and tickets, thanks to booking in advance. However, sometimes travel expenses like a funeral or family emergency require you to buy an unexpected ticket home. You might need to travel for work or a conference you just found out about.
If you have a travel fund, consider building a cushion into it for unexpected trips. You can use the extra money for times when you don’t have the time to find the least expensive ticket.
How Can You Prepare for These Unexpected Expenses?
If you are yet to establish an emergency fund, here are some tips that will help you:
- Set up automatic transfers: You may have the will to save, but when the money comes in, putting it in savings slips your mind. An automated transfer will give you peace of mind and lessen the chances of changing your mind and using the money for something else.
- Take it step by step: Three months of living expenses will take some time to accumulate. Decide on an amount you want to save each week or each month and commit to the process. If you get a raise or an extra income, you can add to the amount as time goes on.
- Reserve the money for emergencies only: Use the money for true and urgent unexpected events. If you see something you want to buy that seems small enough to tap into your emergency fund, let the thought sit in your mind for at least two weeks. You will realize that it’s not worth the risk or will find another way to make the purchase.
- Prepare to replenish: If you use the money, create a plan to replace the money once the dust has settled.
Build an Emergency Fund
Commit to making wise financial decisions and putting money aside for unforeseen bills that may need your attention. Ideally, the goal of an emergency fund is to have enough money to cover a few months of your living expenses. Even if you don’t end up using the money, It’s worth knowing you’re covered if anything happens.