Saving for a Rainy Day: Unusual Expenses that Add Up Quickly
By Jackie Waters, Guest Contributor from Hyper-Tidy.com
When you’re living independently as an adult, it’s easy to budget for everyday costs–grocery shopping, mortgage or rent, gas for your car, etc. However, most people end up spending a significant portion of their income on emergency situations that are not expected. The big fault here is not having a disaster, but not planning for one. In your monthly or yearly contribution to your extra savings account, it’s important to think about the price of even the most unusual expenses as a result of unexpected circumstances. Unfortunately, it’s not a matter of if these situations will happen–but when. During tough times, you want to be prepared, so here are some areas in your life for which you should be saving.
If you are living under a roof with your name on the property, you are responsible for fixing all the problems that arise. This ranges from a leaky faucet, to a damaged appliance, and to even more serious issues that attribute to the home’s structure. Some of the home repair afterthoughts include:
- Bug infestation, such as fleas or bedbugs
- Water damage
- Foundation problems (such as a crack or shift)
- Sewer line problems on the outskirts of your property
Often times, water damage and mold can be preventable simply by being aware and immediately fixing leaks throughout the house. Any type of bugs, especially fleas or bedbugs, can attach to you or your belongings as you travel. It’s important to check for bugs any new place you stay, even for a short duration of time. Foundation or sewer problems, on the other hand, are issues that happen over time and can only be fixed by calling professionals for repair.
Depending on where you live in North America, you can take a hit from the environment in a variety of ways. These disasters can be droughts, hurricanes, fires, earthquakes, tornadoes, floods, volcanoes, hail storms, and severe weather that encompasses rain, wind, thunder, and lightening. In 2016 alone, major climate disasters in the United States accumulated to a one-billion-dollar cost per disaster.
- House fires can cost up to $45,000 for homes without fire sprinklers and $2,166 for homes with sprinklers, according to the U.S. Fire Administration.
- Flooding for 2,000 square foot homes with 6 inches of water damage can cost up to $39,150 based on National Flood Insurance Program estimates. Find out the estimated cost for your home here.
- Earthquakes cost the average homeowner $3,914 in property damage and repairs.
It’s important to note that while purchasing homeowner insurance can reduce most costs of natural disasters, the coverage varies state by state. Typically, water damage from floods are not covered by insurance companies.
Death of a loved one, or severe illness, can happen unexpectedly and change the lives of everyone else in an instant. Particularly, American funerals are becoming more and more expensive; the average can range from $8,000 to $10,000 per person.
Major sickness, such as cancer, can require intense pharmaceutical drugs and hospital visits that end up costing an individual thousands of dollars each year. Drugs and other medicinal therapies alone can range from $10,000-$30,000 per month for some people. Insurance companies usually cover 70-80% of medical bills, but that still leaves the average cancer patient with $24,000 to $36,000 in annual debt.
Sudden job loss or cut in pay
No one likes to plan for the day they lose their job, but unfortunately, it can still happen. For those who live on their own independently or whose income provides for an entire family unit, the loss of pay can be quite significant. In these circumstances, having an emergency fund with 3 to 6 months’ worth of expenses can help with daily living until you get back on your feet.
About Jackie Waters
Jackie Waters is a mother of four boys, and lives on a farm in Oregon. She is passionate about providing a healthy and happy home for her family, and aims to provide advice for others on how to do the same with her site Hyper-Tidy.com.