How to Deal with Surprise Bills and Charges

The rainy day fund, a separate savings account that is supposed to be left ignored and untouched, is intended to give you a buffer until something terrible happens, after all, it is important to plan for the future. This can be anything from surprise medical bills, an unfortunate traffic accident, or a breakdown of utilities like ovens, washing machines, water heaters, and the like.

Money

There are times of the year that seem to bring about more disaster than usual. Be it cold weather or general wear and tear – usually just days after the warranty has expired – the rainy day fund is designed to help you out in a pinch. It saves you from having to dig into your other savings or even taking cash straight from your current account.

It can come as a bit of a shock to find an extra charge on your credit card bill out of nowhere, and if you’re not sufficiently prepared, it can lead to a season of tightening purse strings and hiding away from socialising – who can afford it anymore, anyway? Here are some tips for dealing with any surprise and sudden charges.

UTILITY BREAKDOWN

It’s going to happen to you at some point. The breakdown of utilities is almost a rite of passage for adulthood. From there you can either panic or be prepared for what to do should this issue occur in your household.

Let’s use boiler breakdown as an example. Before doing anything else, there is a checklist to go over. This will save getting a plumber out and incurring an immediate charge. If you can fix it yourself, why not just do it? Not only will you save some money, but you’ll also learn skills for future problems.

This is not exclusive to a broken boiler. Many utilities can be saved by first checking all possible problems. If you’re unable to fix it, call a handyman.

TRAFFIC PROBLEMS

Something to consider when driving no matter what time of year is that everyone else on the road doesn’t know what they’re doing. This is not true, but keeping this in mind should save any traffic accidents.

But life doesn’t work like that, does it? If you do get involved in a traffic accident, there can be problems aplenty. For most, insurance can sort any issues out nice and smoothly. For others, law firms, such as Powers McCartan, can offer advice and assistance in working out who was at fault, and how to go about claiming compensation.

SURPRISE HOTEL BILLS

Hotels can be expensive as it is. But what’s even worse is getting home and having further charges come in the mail. These costs can range from airport pick up to gym usage to parking fees, many of which are sometimes neglected to be mentioned on check-in.

This can come as a shock and can sometimes have unfortunate ramifications. You’ve just finished your holiday; you’ve (probably) overindulged budget-wise, whatever pennies you might have left won’t cover it. Anticipating extra charges can save you money and time. And if there are no charges? Well, that’s a sweet little treat to put away until next time.

While it can be easy to just throw any extra charges on your credit card, it is wiser to go into every situation with the expectation of paying more. That way, you’re never caught out and won’t be stuck worrying about any scrimping and saving to fulfill unmentioned obligations.

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