Life’s Costly Emergencies, And How To Deal With Them

While it’s good to have a sunny disposition in some ways, it can occasionally land you in a lot of trouble. This is especially true when it comes to managing our personal finances. When planning out our finances, a lot of people tend to focus on what’s expected or certain. One example is people putting off a set savings plan until they know what they’re saving for. This, of course, leaves out a hugely important part of personal finances: your emergency fund. Emergency expenses can be a pretty broad category, covering pretty much anything and everything you need to pay for, but didn’t see coming. A lot of people don’t consider them until they actually happen, which only makes the issue worse and worse. Here, we’ll look at some of the most common financial emergencies there are, and the best ways to handle them.

Job Loss

financial emergencies - job loss image

From Flickr

This is among the most obvious financial emergencies a person can encounter. It’s also an exceedingly hard one to deal with, as it usually cuts your main source of income off from one minute to the next. However, there are certain ways you can be prepared for this kind of disaster. The best-case scenario involves having an emergency fund to fall back on. Even if you qualify for state unemployment benefits, these can take a while to actually be approved, and rarely cover all of your lost income. Most financial advisors say you should aim for having three to six months’ worth of typical expenses tucked away in your emergency fund. While a lot of people make a knee-jerk decision to start milking a credit card when they become unemployed, this can be a risky move, and should be avoided if at all possible.

Major Vehicle Issues

When it comes to financial emergencies, unexpected vehicle trouble comes just below job loss in terms of its severity. For a lot of us, having a working vehicle is necessary for getting to and from work every day. Due to this, a sudden major vehicle issue can mean not only a hefty mechanic’s bill, but also an immediate loss of income. Again, the best way to prepare yourself for a disaster like this is having an emergency fund in place. Aside from that, sharing vehicles with your spouse or housemate can be a good way to mitigate the cost, despite its inconveniences. Relying on ridesharing companies like Uber can be an affordable way to get yourself from place to place while you’re waiting for repairs to be completed. While you should always, always have an emergency fund you can fall back on, there are many auto repair shops that run payment plans for people who can’t afford essential work. Shop around a little and take your time comparing if you’re going to need one of these plans. Just bear in mind that while they can be fairly affordable, mechanic’s payment plans are never going to be as cost-effective as paying for the work outright.

Marriage and Divorce

financial emergencies - getting married image

From Pexels

While a marriage should be a happy occasion, it can be the catalyst to a major financial emergency. This is especially true when you marry into debt. Yes, you should never let money get in the way of being with a person you love. However, if you or your fiancé have been a little irresponsible in the past, you need to get a plan together for an emergency on the horizon.

Before you decide on which band to hire for the wedding, pretty wedding bands and the menu you’re going to give your guests, take some time to think about your respective finances!

Come up with a plan of how you’re going to pay down any individual debt, and set yourself goals for both the short and long term. These can include things like paying down cards and nurturing your credit scores so that you can get pre-approved for a home. It’s also important to know how to handle the financial impact of a divorce. Very few people plan on divorce, but this kind of emergency is a hard and very real possibility for many couples. The best way to prepare against this is simply taking steps to maintain the relationship! If you simply can’t stay married to someone, then starting and building an emergency fund is the best way to give yourself something to fall back on.

Sickness and Injury

One of the sad facts of life is that a lot of employers don’t offer sick pay, and many more will terminate a contract due to an employee suffering an injury, even if that injury doesn’t have much of an impact on their ability to do the job. Even when your employer does offer sick pay, getting sick or injured can still represent a massive financial problem, depending on your insurance and the severity of the condition. If and when someone who’s a main breadwinner in your household gets ill or suffers an injury, there are a few different ways you can deal with it. One smart move is opening up a health savings account (HSA). These will allow you to divert some of your income into a savings account, which will give you a cushion of pre-tax money you can tap into if any health issues crop up. One of the major benefits of these is their ability to function as general savings vehicles. Any funds you don’t end up using can be drawn on later for retirement. In certain cases, when the injury has been caused by the negligence of another person or party, you may be able to mitigate the cost through litigation. You can learn more at Robins Cloud.

House and General Repairs

financial emergencies - set of tools image

From Pixabay

Technology and household appliances have come a long way in recent years. While this certainly has its upsides, this has also increased most people’s risk for a financial disaster. Washing machines can stop working, refrigerators break down, and smartphones and tablets can get damaged in all kinds of ways. Your personal property can go from being perfectly functional to requiring a lot of expensive work in the blink of an eye, and this is one more financial emergency everyone needs to be thinking about. Unfortunately, compared to the other emergencies we’ve listed in this post, the options for dealing with these repairs are somewhat limited. Once again, emergency funds are always a good safety net to have. Aside from that, extended service plans may prove to be a good investment with certain appliances and pieces of tech. Ask most financial planners though, and they’ll tell you an extended service plan is a pointless expense if you’ve got a decent emergency fund.

Natural Disasters

These financial emergencies are the definition of “freak occurrence”. While no one’s exactly likely to be impacted by a natural disaster, it may be something worth thinking about. If earthquakes, tornadoes or floods are particularly common in your area, you need to keep the possibility in mind when you’re buying homeowner’s insurance or building an emergency fund. Keeping up with the weather, and having a plan to get out with your most valuable possessions, also won’t hurt if you live somewhere that’s particularly prone to disasters. Aside from these practical measures, you can protect your finances through various forms of insurance.


After a death in your household, money obviously isn’t going to be the first thing on your mind. However, this personal tragedy has a financial side to it, which is important to think about for the sake of the people in your home who are still living. For starters, losing someone usually means having to cover funeral costs, which can easily get into the thousands. If it’s the main breadwinner who dies, the lost income also needs to be considered. Whatever the likelihood of a tragedy like this, life insurance is by far the easiest way to prevent any major financial trouble following someone’s death. Spend some time comparing different life insurance policies, and find one that suits your needs. Many policies will cover funeral expenses, and can be a helpful bridge for the family to adjust to a reduced level of income.

Unforeseen Moves

financial emergencies - house move image

From Flickr

Usually, we plan moving well in advance, and have a lot of time to get our personal finances in order before such a big change. At other times, however, it can be dropped on us much more suddenly. You or your spouse’s company may transfer you to another office, and may be unable or unwilling to cover the full amount of your moving expenses. You or your partner’s parents may run into medical issues which need tending to. Whatever the reason, moving services, temporary housing and the cost of furnishing a new home can all add up extremely quickly. If you think that one of these surprise moves is even a faint a possibility in the future, it’s essential to make sure you have a cushion for it.

There you have some of the most common financial emergencies which hang over people like you and me. When life throws you a curveball, make sure you’re prepared with an emergency fund and some kind of plan.

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