Monday, June 8, 2020

4 Emergencies to Budget for with Your Family

An emergency can happen to any family at any time. Some family emergencies can be expensive to manage, and you can prevent a lot of stress and financial trouble if you are able to budget ahead and establish an emergency fund. 

Here are four types of emergencies to budget for with your family.

Loss of Job

Loss of a job is a big financial emergency. The COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in more than 22 million Americans losing their jobs as of April 2020. Unemployment takes a while to kick in, and not everyone qualifies for this compensation. Consider having six months' worth of living expenses saved in case of a job loss.

Car Breakdown or Accident

Most people need a car to get to work. If your car breaks down, not only could you find yourself out of a job, but you also have to come up with the money to arrange for an unexpected car repair. According to Legacy Auto, a provider of car repair services in Boulder, CO, it is a good idea to have a maintenance and repairs fund for your car. 

As cars get older, they are more likely to need pricey repairs, such as new brakes. If you are in a car accident, you could also be subject to a deductible before your coverage kicks in. Consider budgeting so that you have at least the amount of your deductible available for a car emergency.

Medical Emergency

Medical emergencies are one of the most common reasons why people go into debt. Many people have high-deductible insurance plans that only kick in when they reach a large out-of-pocket threshold, such as $10,000 or even more. Even if you do not have a high-deductible plan, a medical emergency can still be catastrophic to your finances. 

If possible, the budget for your out-of-pocket maximum expenses. You could have this money in a tax-free FSA or HSA. Some of these plans allow you to roll over the funds you do not use in a given calendar year.

Major Household Repairs

Major household repairs can take a big bite out of your bank account. If your furnace or heat pump suddenly fails, you could be looking at a $3,000 to $6,000 replacement cost. A sewer line failure or burst water pipe could cost thousands of dollars to repair. 

A sudden crack in your home's foundation might necessitate extensive repair work costing tens of thousands of dollars. Masonry and electrical repairs are also essential and expensive. If your home needs a new roof, you could be looking at a $5,000 or more expensive. 

A failure of your refrigerator or oven could also be pricey to handle. Several websites list the average lifespan of different parts of your home and home appliances, and you can use that information to plan when they will need to be replaced. 

Some emergencies might be partly covered by your homeowner's insurance, such as a hailstorm that damages your roof. However, you will need to have the cash on hand for the deductible. Insurance companies also factor depreciation when compensating you for covered losses.

Other Minor Emergencies to Consider

Above are four major emergencies that you should budget for as a family. However, a series of minor emergencies could also have a considerable impact on your budget, explains U.S. News and World Report

If you had to take an emergency trip out-of-town for a funeral, travel, and lodging could be pricey. A sudden move can also be expensive. Perhaps your landlord decided to sell the house you're renting, or maybe your job decided to relocate you to another city. Maybe you have to take in a niece or nephew, grandchild, or parent. 

The cost of living increases can also impact your finances, especially if your health insurance or car insurance premiums, rent, or utility costs go up without a corresponding increase in your paycheck. You also need to have a budget and plan in place for these situations.

These are not the only emergencies that could impact your household, but they are common. It is wise to expect the unexpected and have a plan in place for anything that might happen. Planning and budgeting give you some peace of mind that you can weather an emergency without having to go into a lot of debt.

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