Tuesday 12 December 2017

Unexpected bills - how to deal with them?

As a family who live on a very tight budget and do not have much ‘spare’ money to play with from their low income after all bills and necessities have been covered, dealing with unexpected bills can be difficult.

Take for example when a couple of months ago our old, hardworking machine went bang! To be fair I can’t really complain as it had worked tirelessly for over 10 years without any issues, tackling mountains of washing for our family of four including at points in its life cloth nappies - but being so old meant it was out of any warranties. But with so much washing done in our household on a weekly basis it going bang and deciding to call it quits on washing our clothes was a big problem. Yes I could hand wash bits and pieces but there would be no way I could keep on top of the washing pile doing it by hand. Living away from family meant we could not pop round to a loved ones house to borrow their machine. And with no laundrette close by we were stuck and the washing was piling up.

Thankfully my mum’s boyfriend came to the rescue and lent us the money to borrow a snazzy new washing machine with fancy cycles and eco-perfect technology. I think how much I love my new washing machine shows that I am getting old - being excited about household appliances instead of beauty bits and trendy gadgets…..the fact that I have a Shark vacuum cleaner on my Christmas wish list showcases this perfectly. Over the past couple of months we have been paying him back a little bit at a time, but the gesture of lending it to us is priceless. Without it we would have been stuck without a washing machine.

Whilst we were lucky this time to have his kind help it did get me thinking how would we have managed to cover this unexpected cost? Even though we try to have a rainy day emergency fund saving is difficult and as you never know when an unexpected bill is going to darken your day the chance of us having a chunk of money instantly is very unlikely.

Even though I hate asking, going to close friends and family to see if they can help with a short loan that we would pay back asap would be an option we would consider. The beauty of borrowing from family is that they are unlikely to demand interest.

If we could not borrow the money from family, we could look at online installment loans like Northcash. For us like many people this option would be a carefully considered one and only in necessary circumstances to cover vital unexpected costs.

To try and limit the panic and worry that unexpected costs cause and not have to rely on borrowing money from anyone or anywhere I am going to work hard on adding to our rainy day emergency fund so that we can cover unexpected bills ourselves. To add to the piggy bank I will be using the following ideas - selling unwanted toys, clothes and furniture on local selling sites, making use of cashback websites and making money on apps such as Roamler and Field Agent.

How do you deal with unexpected costs?

* Collaborative post *

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