Paying for the Unexpected
Just over a week ago a family member took sick and is now on hospice. As a teacher and a writer, my husband and I are two of the only family members that can be with her day and night (we take turns). That means several trips to her home and back each week – gas we DID NOT budget. Plus there are food and miscellaneous expenses when we are there.
Two years ago it would have put us in financial distress. We would either have used money that was set aside for bills or else have run up a HUGE debt on our credit card. Fortunately we are not in that same place today.
1. We set aside a few dollars (about $20 or $30) from each paycheck to have for just such emergencies.
2. We are using the smallest car that we have and then borrowing a friend’s car (that gets better gas mileage) to trade out.
3. We are staying the night instead of driving over every day.
4. We are trying to pack some meals instead of having to purchase fast food or deli meals while we are staying.
5. We are working with friends and neighbors to watch our children instead of hiring some one to do the job (and we make ourselves available if they need a favor in return).
The stress of losing a loved one is heavy enough. Having the additional burden of finances can make it unbearable. Just setting aside a few dollars from each paycheck will give you an emergency fund that can be used to make a stressful time a little easier to manage.