We have been blessed with good health since having children, however, that doesn’t make us immune to everyday illnesses and other household expenses that crop up. Our driveway is crumbling, our car is rusting, and the fridge was leaking water. Which one will go first? Or will I get a surprise phone call about a playdate friend who just tested positive for strep or something?! Am I right!? So… Here’s my tips for preparing for life’s unexpected expenses.
Preparing for Life’s Unexpected Expenses
Plan for the unexpected! I know, I know, they are called “unexpected” for a reason. But while you may not know what or how much the unexpected event will cost you, rest assured, these events do happen! Dave Ramsey’s recommends a $1,000 “emergency fund” be set aside from the start, and that’s a wise idea so that when something unfortunate crops up, you already have money to start covering it.
Also, try building some margin into your budget $50-200 a month if you can. If you have a budgeting program on your computer, there are ways to “hide” those amounts, so they accrue behind-the-scenes month to month. Building in a small amount that add up monthly can create a good cushion for larger life events like loss of a job or unexpected pregnancy.
Know who you can count on. Whenever unexpected expenses arise, there are what I call “fallout” expenses. Like needing to hire a babysitter so you can take your kids to the doctor (or yourself), or paying for a hotel get the house repaired. Talk to friends and relatives; team up and let each other know that should an emergency arise, you are there for them (and vice versa) with free babysitting services or a place to crash for a night or two. Networking can help you avoid extra expense on top of the situation you’re already dealing with.
Stay organized. Whether you need to organize receipts, bills, records, or supplies. Having access to information and supplies quickly can help you avoid extra expenses. Not being able to find a receipt for reimbursement, or double-buying medicines and supplies can add up. Now is the time to organize regular bills and information. When a situation arises, quickly grab a new folder to keep track of that particular event.
Know your insurance plans. Many unexpected expenses come from not being full aware of your insurance plans. Whether home, car, or health care. Because a lot of unexpected expenses arise around medical issues, it’s really important to know your health care plan.
- Understand the difference between in-network versus out of network costs (which can be thousands of dollars different!).
- Also, be aware of whether you need referrals or not. Seeing a specialist with a referral can incur additional costs!
- Know when visiting an urgent care clinic is cheaper than a trip to your regular doctor’s office
You may not be able to avoid every cost surprise in life, but you can be preparing for life’s unexpected expenses right now, so you’ll be ready when they do pop up!
Learn more about avoiding unexpected expenses in health care
To be sure to avoid unexpected expenses, and take full advantage of your health care plan, take these fun quizzes from United Healthcare! And you’ll be entered to win prizes along the way!
- Learn about health care tools by building this puzzle! PRIZE: $400 Prepaid Gift Card
- Answer these quiz questions about avoiding cost surprises! – PRIZE: $400 Prepaid Gift Card
- Play this concentration game by matching the UnitedHealthcare tools to their definitions – PRIZE: $400 Prepaid Gift Card
WIN a $50 Target Gift Card Giveaway!
Here’s a great prize you can stash away for when you have an unexpected expense!
Here’s how to enter THIS giveaway:
1) Go to the United Healthcare website.
2) Enter the three contests (once daily for each!). Be sure to use my unique promo code: HAPPYSTRONGHOME ***This promo code must be entered to be eligible to win MY giveaway so don’t forget!*** You can enter once per day!
3) THEN: Come back here and fill out the Rafflecopter form to enter THIS giveaway!
a Rafflecopter giveaway
**Note: Winners may only win ONE UHC-sponsored blog giveaway per month (among all participating bloggers).
Sponsored by United Healthcare; I received compensation for sharing this message. All opinions are my own. I am not responsible for fulfilling giveaway prizes.