We’ve all been there. Everything is going fine and — BOOM — your finances take an unexpected hit. Here are some tips to prevent financial ‘mayday’ moments:
Make sure you have the right insurance coverage
Getting told you need a root canal is bad enough. Finding out that your insurance won’t cover any of the costs can be even more painful. If you haven’t reviewed your policies in a while (dental, home, etc.), take the time to understand what they cover. Doing your research and asking questions can make all the difference. If you’d like to change or upgrade a plan, contact your agent.
Get your car fully serviced every 12 months or 12,000 miles1
Routine servicing can increase the safety, reliability and lifespan of your vehicle. It can also help you avoid paying for a tow truck, expensive parts and high labor costs. Another helpful tip is to follow the schedule of oil changes and tune-ups in your owner’s manual. If you don’t have one, you should be able to find your car’s owner manual online.
Keep up with home maintenance
Nobody likes to clean gutters. But if you let them get clogged, it could lead to a leaky roof and water damage. There are a variety of home maintenance tasks that can prevent big repair bills and even bigger headaches. Create a list of annual, semi-annual, monthly and weekly tasks and stick to it.
Build up an emergency fund
When a surprise cost pops up, wouldn’t it be nice to have the cash to cover it? That’s what an emergency fund can do. This cash reserve is separate from your normal checking and savings and reserved only for ‘mayday’ moments. To get one started, check out how to build an emergency fund.
Life happens — plan for it
Whether it’s tough luck or bad timing, some things can’t be avoided. However, with the right preparations, you can turn a potentially major problem into a small bump in the road.
1. Car Care Council. “General Service Schedule.” Carcare.org. http://www.carcare.org/car-care-service-schedules/general-service-schedule (accessed May 22, 2018).