Money Motivation: Surprise Expenses You Won’t See Coming

Sharree - Staff WriterYou already know that savings are important, you’ve heard it a thousand times. You get it, sure, but that doesn’t mean you’ll really do what it takes to build a sustainable savings account. Need extra motivation to stash more of your income into your savings? Check out these surprise expenses that can catch you off guard and create a ton of finance related stress.


Moving Expenses – You love your place but your landlord raised the rent and you can’t afford the increase or you no longer get along with your roommates. You might have planned on staying in your current place, but now you need to move and it will cost you BIGTIME!


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Losing or quitting your job – Like moving, you planned to stick out a job you hate. However, maybe you reach your breaking point earlier than you planned, or your boss beat you to it. Either way, it usually takes a few months to get back on your feet.


Helping out family and friends – It’s hard to predict when a financial emergency will affect a friend or family member, but if you save well enough, you might be able to help them out in a time of need without hurting your own financial stability.



Tax preparation help – As you get older your taxes get more complicated. Between investments, multiple streams of income, donations to nonprofits, increased assets, or maybe even the horror of having your identity stolen! You may need to enlist more help in order to get straight with big brother, and to get it done right you’ll have to pay. 


Car breaks down/repairs – The light pops up on your dashboard, check engine, the battery is running low, or the worse, it won’t start. You know what happens next, another bill that’s likely hefty.


Friends from out-of-town – You’ve maintained your entertainment budget with reasonable means, but then you get a text from a friend who’s in town unexpectedly and selects you as host/tour guide. Between drinks, meals, and outings you’re likely to blow your entire weekend budget — and fast.


Trip to emergency room – This one is pretty straightforward, no matter how healthy you are a medical emergency can happen. You can hurt yourself playing a pickup basketball game or cut yourself making your favorite dish (ouch!). s#%t happens.


Sick pet – They keep us company and bring joy to our lives but, just like us, sometimes they get sick and taking care of them can get pricey. Not to mention the damage some pets will do to your furniture, shoes, etc.


Broken Laptop or phone – This is the WORST! because these are probably the most expensive items you own and can’t (or feel like you can’t) live without for more than a few hours.


Gifts – When the people around you reach important life milestones like weddings, babies, new homes, you’ll probably want to acknowledge their achievement with a gift. And even if you don’t WANT to, you’re not gonna argue with your mom about whether or not to bring a gift to your cousin’s graduation party. It’s just not worth it.


Not all of these surprise expense will happen at once of course, so don’t worry too much. There are strategies to prepare for unexpected expenses. You can create a miscellaneous line item in your budget. You can budget specifically for categorized unexpected expenses like medical or travel. Or you can save aggressively and have enough money to cover almost any expense that comes your way. Either way, do yourself a favor and use these examples (scare tactics?) to prepare for the unexpected!


See Related Post – When it Rains it Pours: The Importance of an Emergency Savings Account