How to Deal with Unexpected Bills

Life is a series of surprises, and often it’s these unexpected events that make life interesting. But there are times when those little events can drag you down, and the unexpected repair bill is the perfect example of one such occasion. However, no matter how much weight this nasty little surprise has put on your shoulders, there’s always light at the end of the tunnel. You see, dealing with that unexpected bill could be as simple as following one of our tips below.

Unexpected bills can be a huge financial headache
Unexpected bills can be a huge financial headache – Photo by Martin Kingsley / CC BY 2.0

 

Question the bill

Unless it’s for emergency repair work to your home or car, you should always be wary of an unexpected bill. If your power or phone bills are suddenly higher than what they should be, call the company and question the charges. It’s entirely possible that an administrative error has resulted in your higher charges.

 

Never max out your credit cards

Think twice about maxing out your credit card for purchases that you can’t afford to pay for once the bill comes in. Your credit card is there for convenience and not as a way to borrow money long-term. Keeping the balance as close to zero as possible means that if your car breaks down, you have the funds to get it back on the road immediately.

 

Consider a short-term loan

Also known as a bad credit loan, a short-term loan is a good option as it is often approved immediately and is available even to those with a poor credit history. This can be a better option than using your credit card as the terms of the loan encourage you to pay off your debt quickly. A credit card, on the other hand, will allow you to make minimum payments forever.

 

Talk to the billing company

If you really can’t afford to pay the bill on time, then call the company in question and be honest with them. A utility provider is highly unlikely to cut you off once you have informed them of your position. In fact, they may even offer an affordable payment plan so you can pay off your debt without losing any service.

 

Plan ahead

Okay, so if you’re dealing with an unexpected bill right now, this tip won’t be of much help. But if you want to avoid such scenarios in the future, then it might be a good idea to plan ahead. We all want to save more money, and it’s usually with something like a car or holiday in mind. But ideally you should take a portion of your savings and put it into an account set up specifically for emergencies.

It doesn’t matter if you put $50 or $500 into this account each time you get paid, what really matters is that you get into the habit of putting money in there. Decide on an amount to save for your rainy day fund and prioritize this over your regular savings account. And never touch it unless it’s an emergency!

 

Unexpected bills are an unfortunate and unavoidable fact of life, but they should never become a burden. Follow the tips above and in all likelihood; you’ll deal with your financial hiccup with a minimum of fuss. One final thing we will say, however, is that you should never keep it to yourself. Talk to your partner, your bank, or the billing company and you’ll no doubt find that they are only too eager to help take some of the weight off your shoulders.

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