It’s an emergency!
That small phrase can make a heart start pounding like Thumper being twitter-pated on Bambi.
But if Murphy’s Law is any indication, anything that can go wrong, will go wrong.
The good news, saving money on emergencies is possible with some of these easy steps.
Saving Money On Emergencies
Plan Ahead. Call it an emergency fund or a savings account, but it is a bank account that has at least $1,000 in it that is OFF LIMITS unless it is a true emergency. This small step allows to plan ahead for the emergency, so that it feels like a blip in the system, not a catastrophe.
Spend Money to Save Money. Yes, sometimes you have to spend money to save money. This means you need to have insurance that can cover emergencies. Home, health, renters, or car insurance are all insurances you need to consider. Make sure you, your family, and all of your possessions are insured to the best of your ability so that emergencies can be handle effectively. When you don’t plan ahead with insurance, you have to deal with the emergency, but also all of the elements surrounding it and your day to day obligations. Insurance can go a long way toward meeting these needs immediately so you can move forward.
Ask for Help. Your loved ones (this includes friends, family, neighbors) are more than willing to step in when it comes to helping during an emergency. You may be thinking, “I couldn’t ask my family or friends for money!” Remember, it doesn’t even have to be financial help. Maybe you need a temporary babysitter to offset the costs of daycare. Maybe you just need someone to do your laundry or clean your house. Don’t be too proud to ask. The people who care about you want to help, they might not be sure what is the best way to assist.
Travel and Lodging. If you are dealing with an emergency that requires travel and lodging, look to the internet. Many travel companies, hotels, and motels offer last minute discounts. Their goal is to stay booked, so sometimes an empty seat or room can be purchased for a relatively low prices just so they can stay full. This is a great way to save money on emergency travel and lodging costs. Also, be sure and call the hotel or airline directly, many times there is an emergency rate that is not open to the public.
Determine if it is an emergency. While in the moment, a situation can look like a real emergency (HELLO, the television just went out and my team is in the FINAL FOUR!), when in hind-sight it was only an inconvenience. Try to stay calm when situations arise and make smart educated choices, not emotional ones. Having a level head when situations arise means you will make educated decisions that can make sure you are saving money on emergencies.
Saving money on emergencies is very difficult to do if you don’t plan ahead, keep a level head and ask for help. And unfortunately, it is a lesson that many people learn the hard way and can impact their financial lives for decades after the emergency is over.
How about you? What advice can you give for saving money on emergencies?