5 Unexpected Expenses That Could Hurt Your Family’s Budget


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If you are familiar with Murphy’s Law, you probably know the quote that “If something can go wrong, it will and usually, at the worst time.” Quite an accurate observation! Have you ever experienced a time in your life when bills began to pile up due to unexpected expenses? The worst of it all is when these expenses affect the family’s budget. Statistics reveal that only 45.4% of residents can afford an unexpected $1000 emergency expenditure. Although this is alarming, it is indicative of the stresses that come with such situations.

Here are some unforeseen expenses you should take note of and plan for.

  • Vehicle expenses

Imagine you had a reliable vehicle to drive everywhere for a couple of years, but then on one particular day, it all went haywire.

It failed to start, and when the experts came, they diagnosed a problem that requires a total replacement. That is bound to surprise you because you did not know there was a major fault in your car, and your vehicle warranty may not cover it because it may have expired. What do you do?

You cannot afford to go without a car, so your immediate solution is to purchase a new engine for it, which would go against the month’s budget. 

  • Medical expenses

Medical expenses are considered in many households as entirely unexpected, which is understandable.

Although illnesses are inevitable, they are not predictable. The nature of a disease, or even the fact that there would be an illness, is not one that families would necessarily budget for. What could seem like a regular headache could develop into something more fatal or more costly to your health.

Or perhaps, your ill health is as a result of medical negligence, and you are on a search for no win no fee lawyers to take up your case. 

  • Home repairs

Admittedly, home repairs and renovations are pretty expensive.

It could be that you have planned to do some upgrades to your home in the future, however, due to unforeseen events such as a hurricane or earthquake, you need to make those renovations as soon as possible- totally unexpected! A less drastic likelihood is the expenses incurred from the breakdown of relevant household appliances like the washing machine or heating system, or even an electrical problem.

Such costs would have to be incurred without delay to avoid more problems, cutting into the budget for the month.

  • Replacing stolen items

If you have never considered burglary as an unexpected expense, now is the time to view it as such.

Maybe, it was your car that got broken into, but they failed to drive it off. If you were unlucky and the burglars shattered the driver’s side window, that is something to replace. That notwithstanding, there are several unexpected overhead costs when theft is involved, which you cannot overlook.

Aside from feeling overwhelmed and violated in your personal space, it digs deep into your savings.

You may want to begin to take inventory of your most prized possessions, have them appraised, take pictures of them, and store them in a secure place. Even if that means away from home and preferably in a safe installation that offers adequate insurance, take that risk. You will be sparing yourself the agony of a total loss of such valuable items in your home.

  • Gifts for occasions

 It sounds terrible, but yes, buying gifts for people could turn out to be an unexpected expense.

Although the holidays are a time for giving and spending time with your loved ones, it is only the time to burn holes into your family’s budget.

Have you taken the time to wonder why several people end up broke immediately after the holiday season? Sometimes, with the growing size of families and all that comes with the holidays, many people forget to plan for the gifts, not forgetting the birthdays and other events in the year that require gifts as well.

Rather than take out a lump sum to buy someone a gift, why not be strategic about it? At the beginning of the new year, start considering birthdays, anniversaries, and baby showers.

Also, figure out how much you wish to commit per person. It will help you plan and save for these occasions.

Honestly, these are unexpected expenses no one plans for- because they are barely considered. This is why it is important to plan to cater for the unexpected events that could occur, by investing or stashing some money away in a “rainy day” account.

Life is full of unpredictability, but you must find means to keep your family financially secure come what may. 

Jeff Campbell

Jeff Campbell is a husband, father, martial artist, budget-master, Disney-addict, musician, and recovering foodie having spent over 2 decades as a leader for Whole Foods Market. Click to learn more about me

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