Friday, January 3, 2014

How to be Ready for the Unexpected When it Comes to Saving Money?

When it comes to saving money, most of us have some sort of budget that we will use in order to guide our spending and help ensure we put away as much as we need on a regular basis to fund our future plans. Often these budgets will consist of complex and in-depth spread sheets with detailed break-downs of precisely what we're going to spend money on and exactly how much we're going to save over a set period of time.

The problem though is that budgets are consistent and inflexible and they don't tend to have much room for error. When unexpected expenses crop up then that you didn't anticipate – and they will – your saving can end up going on hold and you can end up running out of cash.

Sometimes it will be because the boiler broke, sometimes it will be because your energy bill is obscenely high for unknown reasons, sometimes it will be because you get invited on some amazing night out/trip abroad that you just can't say no to. Whatever the reason though, you will find that budgeting and saving rarely goes unhindered and that there's almost always something that will surprisingly cost you money.

If you have the right attitude however, these costs can be managed and dealt with. Read on and we'll take a look at some of the best ways you can prepare for those unexpected expenses.

Save When Times Are Good – Don't Rely on the Future

You know when you buy yourself an extravagant gift one month because your finances are going strong and because you promise yourself that you're going to pay it back later? Well unfortunately that just doesn't work. You promise yourself to save more money next month, but then something unexpected comes up and you end up losing more cash – thus the panic starts. You can justify things all you like, but ultimately buying on a whim will always be a mistake as far as your savings are concerned. Don't rely on having more money later – save now. 

Of course you should be able to treat yourself to things from time to time, but when you do this it should be as a reward for having already saved a certain amount. Set yourself targets and buy yourself rewards when you reach them – that's a much healthier and safer way to occasionally get what you want.

Expect the Worst

It goes hand in hand with the above point, but more generally you should just make sure that you plan for the unexpected. Not specifically, but overall – by putting aside a little extra in savings so that you can dip into those when you need to, by making conservative estimates of how much you can save. It's better to expect the worst and be pleasantly surprised with extra cash than it is to hope for the best then be shocked because you have much less.

Have Contingency Plans

But it's not enough to just acknowledge that you'll sometimes be spending extra money – you also need to plan for that eventuality and know what you're going to do about it. That means having a contingency plan for those emergencies – perhaps that involves dipping into a savings fund, maybe it means asking your parents for a loan, or maybe it means doing a little extra work on the side to get by. Whatever you do though, make sure that you don't end up getting desperate and taking out expensive pay day loans.

What's also useful is to take out insurance which can help to prevent some of those dire situations. Insurance won't protect you against every outcome, but it can help to prevent situations where you're working out for a new phone or paying for new furnishings in your home and lots of repair work.

Live Cheaply

Life will generally be easier financially if you find ways to live within your means. Don't spend as much as you can while still saving – rather find ways to make do with less and treat yourself occasionally when you can. By requiring less money day-to-day you'll be less caught out by those one off expenses and better able to save under any conditions.

Author Bio:

Miley Brooke, the author of this post, works for Donnelly's, providers of life insurance in Australia. She likes to write and is keen to learn new languages. You can connect to her team on Google+ and have a look at their profile on LinkedIn.


  1. Living a simple life I guess is the most effective way to prepare for the future. With living less than what is earned, you will be able to save a lot and be ready for what might happen in the future.

  2. First, review your essential and discretionary monthly expenses and then compare them with your income. Review this information dispassionately and see whether it makes sense for you to cut costs, pay down debt, or save more. And, if you haven’t already done so, start building a liquid emergency fund of at least three to six months’ salary to cover expenses in a pinch.


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