How prepared are you to handle a financial emergency – the kind that hits you like a solid left hook to the jaw or, more accurately, to your wallet? The wallet-busting shock of these events could be lessened if you had some idea of what to expect.
These are three of the MOST LIKELY unexpected financial family emergencies you could face.
This can happen for any number of reasons, including getting fired or your company going out of business, or just making cutbacks. Now you no longer have a paycheck to look forward to, but there are still expenses like your utility bills, rent or mortgage, day-to-day expenses, car payments and other types of loans to take care of.
At this point, you could fall back on your emergency fund – IF you have one AND if there’s sufficient money saved up in it. “Sufficient” is at the very least one month’s salary but if you have dependents, then an emergency fund with the equivalent of six month’s salary is the ideal. It allows you to keep up with your expenses while you seek another job.
With no emergency fund, your empty wallet means facing the added blow of falling behind on bill payments and having your credit rating take a major hit. Even when you do get a new job, it will take a while for you to bring that rating back up.
Major household repairs
Your home is meant to be your castle. It can, however, become a financial burden to maintain that castle when a major repair job springs up on you. Some common bank-breaking household repairs are having to fix a weakened foundation; replacing your heating system; mending a broken sewer pipe; and recovering from fire or smoke damage. There’s also the havoc that natural disasters such as flooding can create.
Unless you have pretty solid homeowners insurance, having to deal with major household repairs can be a financial challenge. That emergency fund we spoke of earlier, would come in pretty handy here, too. Another option to consider is a payday loan from a company like MoneyBoat. You could borrow the needed funds until your next payday. So many people come unstuck with these however, they should always be used with caution.
Medical emergencies that affect you, a family member or a pet can happen at any time –including when you have no cash on hand to deal with them. Even if you have health insurance or pet insurance, you may be hit with a major unexpected medical expense that your insurance doesn’t cover and for which you have to pay out-of-pocket.
Illnesses which require prolonged treatment, may mean you are unable to work and you can be hit financially if you don’t have the appropriate insurance.
Life’s unexpected financial surprises can hit you like a sucker punch. An emergency fund can really help to cushion the blow and keep you on your feet.