No matter how detailed you make your budget, unforeseen costs will undoubtedly arise. Case in point: I know how much I can spend on groceries, utilities and entertainment per year. But I didn’t factor in the costs of accidentally parking across someone’s driveway or misjudging my ability to make a yellow light. These mistakes totaled a whopping $1,100. And with a tight budget, these shocking – and aggravating – expenses can put you in the hole very quickly.
It’s easy to forget about costs like these, especially if you’ve never encountered them. But knowing about their potential to pop up might give you pause when acting a little reckless or spending excess cash. Here are a few others:
• Parking tickets. If you neglect to turn your wheels on a San Francisco incline, you’re out $80. If you forget to move your car for street cleaning, you’re out another $80.
• Auto accidents. Depending on what kind of car you drive, minor replacements can cost anywhere from a hundred dollars to thousands.
• Broken refrigerator. Remember the episode of Friends when Joey’s refrigerator broke and he ate all the food so it wouldn’t go bad? You might be left with a very bad stomach ache, lose $50 worth of groceries or have to purchase a replacement fridge ranging from $400 into the thousands.
While there’s no way to predict the future, you can be prepared. Set aside savings. These days, online banking makes it really easy – you can set up an automatic transfer from your checking account into your savings so you don’t even have to think about it. Look at it this way – if you put $50 in your savings each months, you will have saved $600 by the end of the year. If you put $100 into your savings, you’ll have saved $1,200, If $250, then $3,000! Okay, you get the point. A little goes a long way.
Do some research. Find out how much it costs to replace a car window. What about breaking your arm? Or a trip to the vet for your injured dog? If you know how much these cost, you might drive safer, exercise extra caution and keep an eye on your dog.by sophie