Unexpected expenses

by Erika Torres

The thing with budgets is that no matter how strict you are with spending, there always seems to be some unexpected expense that pops up.

I HATE unexpected expenses. For a girl who is all about managing and budgeting and color-coding–man, I sound anal–unexpected expenses are like a crying baby on an airplane. They are just something you must endure until you reach your final destination. You can complain and bitch about it, or as my blog friend, Shannon, likes to say: “You can put your big girl panties on and make the most of it.”

In July, our unexpected expense was Eric’s car insurance. In August, our unforeseen expense was my car registration (a hefty $302, thanks California!) and now, Eric’s car needs to be repaired at $400.

This does not come at a good time. We will be moving at the end of the month, and we’ll need to buy a new refrigerator because our new place is not equipped with one like our current apartment, we’ll also need to pay an extra week’s worth of rent (not to mention, keeping up with our credit card smackdown!)

Our savings account is also currently under the $2000 self-imposed minimum. And we still arn’t sure when (or even how much) the income from Eric’s new job will be coming.

I really hope this setback doesn’t impede our September goals. The hubby will be taking on extra shifts at his second job to supplement this month’s loss of income and this unexpected expense. So far, we’ve been doing okay.

I’m putting on my big girl panties and refuse to focus on this setback. We will be okay as long as we can curb our spending and work a little harder to make more money.

How do you handle unexpected expenses?

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IntrigueMe (Quarter For Her Thoughts) September 13, 2010 - 10:59 pm

I cry, that’s how I handle unexpected expenses.
No, not really. I break out the old trusty excel spreadsheet and I move things around until I can fit it in. I have a lot more wiggle room now than I used to, which has certainly helped my stress levels a lot. Looking back at the times when there was NO wiggle room, I realize now that in the end, I always found a way to get everything paid. No clue really as to how I did it though…. it just… worked.

Amy September 13, 2010 - 9:34 pm

I had a similar unexpected expense this past month. It wouldn’t have been so bad, but I was in the middle of moving and was paying for 2 places which meant- double rent and double electric. Yuck. Things would’ve been ok (and still are) but I had my license tabs due. $275 out the window on that one. I have a minimum that I keep on my checking account and it’s about half of what I usually keep it at now 🙁

So now I’m cutting back on eating out and spending on clothes I dont need.

Keenie Beanie September 13, 2010 - 7:23 pm

Love the new blog! You are so much further ahead than most people because you have that $2K in emergency savings. In this post, I noticed that two of your three unexpected expenses aren’t really unexpected – just irregular. I take my irregular expenses (comprised of car insurance, home insurance, and my annual internet service prepayment – don’t ask) and divide the annual cost by 12. I put that amount in a savings account automatically each month, so when the bill comes the money is already there to pay it.

Also, I budget a percentage of my pay to go into an emergency fund savings account each month to pay for things like car or home repairs, medical costs, etc… so that fund keeps on growing and I don’t have to feel like I’m “behind” and needing to make it up after having used it. It just keeps growing or shrinking each month, based on what surprises have hit us. If something really big took it out, I’d have to re-evaluate, but (fingers crossed) it’s working so far.

missmitten September 13, 2010 - 7:19 pm

There really is nothing you can do but handle them. We had about 2k in our savings account (we’re also paying for our own wedding) and then his car was busted in to (hello, $500 deductible) and on Saturday he got a $180 speeding ticket (imagine, someone speeding UP to get on the HIGHWAY). We are also doing a credit card thing eerily similar to yours, and he has a 2nd job as well. So, yeah, it bums me out that there is money that could’ve paid off the debt–but then I am thankful we had the money to cover the expenses to cover $700 without any hardship and get over it. More money will come in. The time piece absolutely drives me bonkers though 🙂

Shannon September 13, 2010 - 7:17 pm

I hate trying to stick to a budget. My truck is 6 years old and registration on it is still $500 a year. Big girl panties and keep truckin forward:)

Rebecca (Craving Simplicity) September 10, 2010 - 12:12 am

This is the hardest part of budgeting for me. I hate the unexpected! I like everything to be perfectly organized and prepared for….

Here’s the encouraging thing! This could have come at a time when you had NOTHING in savings, so even though it’s less than you want, you are still able to go thru the unexpected without adding more debt and that’s a huge accomplishment! It might feel like a set back, but it’s a lot easier to build savings back up than to pay off debt! 🙂 Good luck!!!


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