After New Year’s Day, many families vow to keep better track of their finances. Sticking to a budget can be difficult, however, when you have to pay for large expenses that crop up without warning. Setting aside a regular amount monthly to meet some of the following expenses will help families to stay on track.
Even if you take good care of your car, accidents and ordinary wear and tear can be costly. Make sure your mechanic keeps you informed of any foreseeable problems, such as the need to change your brake pads or get new struts and shocks installed.
That way, you will have a rough estimate of how much you will need to spend on your car in the coming year.
Look up your vehicle’s make and model online to get some information about common issues that you could act now to prevent or minimize—this could save you serious money down the road, as occasional vehicular check-ups are much less costly than damage repairs.
When your air conditioning unit gives out during a heat wave, you need to get it fixed right away. Not doing so could lead to dehydration and possibly heat stroke during some of the hotter days of summer.
Sam Lowell, an appliance repair expert, advises those with broken appliances to get an estimate on repairs before purchasing a new appliance, as oftentimes home owners will end up spending more than they needed to on replacement.
There are, of course, instances wherein the cost of the repair is greater than the cost of a replacement appliance, especially if the broken appliance is old and has been discontinued. Keeping funds in reserve, especially if your major appliances are old, is a wise move.
Improperly sealed or old windows can cause sudden damage after a severe storm. Homeowners may also discover that mold or water damage that has been occurring slowly over time has suddenly escalated, requiring immediate attention.
Caulking and sealing can be an inexpensive fix, but if the window needs to be replaced, it will be costly.
Sudden infestations of honey bees and termites, or raccoons and rats, can cause structural damage and spread disease. Depending on the pest, the infestation may be hazardous to the health of those residing in your home.
Hiring someone to expel the critters and repair any damage they have done to the property is another expense homeowners need to consider when they build an emergency savings fund.
Injury and illness
Depending on the terms of a family’s health insurance policy, a trip to the emergency room and treatment for an unexpected injury can cost thousands of dollars out of pocket. If you don’t have a medical savings account and are trying to stay on budget, now is a great time to get one started.
In order to make a family budget work, you need to have reserve savings for those medical, auto, and home repairs that are bound to spring up at some point during the year. Start small, with whatever regular money you can contribute each month, but make sure you get in the habit of building an emergency fund.
About the Author:
Emma is a writer currently residing in Boston. She often writes on family finance and education. She can be found on Google+ and Twitter. Informational credit for this article to Mr. Lowell, expert in refrigerator repair in Atlanta.
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