All of PWR’s spending plans account for these 5 items. While every situation is unique, nobody likes to be blindsided with a large expense that was unplanned. Together with our clients, we develop a strategy to plan for expenses that will come up; it is just a matter of when.
(1) Appliance Repairs/Replacement – Our beloved appliances won’t last forever. With kids around, they may not even last their typical life expectancy. I have found socks stuffed in a crayon box, a travel tissue pack in my calculator case, and a mandarin orange in an Easter egg. Given that, it was no surprise when our daughter put coins in the slits of a standing humidifier as if it were a game of Connect Four, prompting a call to our repair person. Having a reserve for new appliances and repairs makes it easier to laugh about the situation rather than stress about the money.
2) Home Repairs/Replacement – If you own your house, don’t skimp on repairs and replacements that need to be done. Protect your investment. When appropriate, use quality materials that last longer. Saving consistently towards this investment makes financial sense. Having the cash when you need it for a roof repair or new windows makes the expense more palatable.
3) Auto Maintenance / Repairs – Since most people commute by car, this is an essential line item that we can’t ignore. Stay on top of your auto maintenance schedule and set aside funds for unexpected repairs. If you get into an accident, your insurance will cover you only after the deductible is met.
4) Medical Expenses – Know the deductible and out-of-pocket max for your insurance coverage. Make sure you are taking advantage of the FSA (flex spending account) or HSA (health savings account), if applicable. Take care of yourself and family by following a healthy lifestyle NOW to try and minimize costs in the future.
5) Pets – I have discussed the topic of pet insurance before since this is another budget buster. At our initial meeting, we discuss current and potential pets with our clients to ensure that we are planning for this cost appropriately. Just like kids, they can be expensive but worth every penny.