Life isn’t full of surprises, it’s jam-packed with surprises. Some are great, like finding out you landed your dream job, or finding a forgotten $20 bill in your pocket, or even the lovely surprise that you’re not done having kids after all.

Some surprises are not so great. Things like medical expenses, loss of income, or finding out about the termites in the wall. The ones that give you that sinking feeling you get when you start your car and think, “Uh oh, I’ve never heard that sound before.”

Both the best and worst surprises in life can come as unexpected costs you weren’t able to plan for. There’s nothing we can do to stop these surprises from coming in the door, but we can work to find ways to cope with them once they do.

First, do your best to identify costs

Because a surprise is a surprise, identifying costs isn’t always easy and straightforward. However, it’s important to try and estimate the overall cost as best you can – it will save you a lot of anxiety if you know what you’re up against, even if it’s expensive.

 

Second, try to get a feel for what you know, and what you don't

Once you have a rough idea of what expenses will be, see how that lines up to where you are now. You can start by asking yourself questions like:

  • What is my current financial situation? Do I have any savings for something like this?
  • Is this something that has to be paid for immediately, or can I start saving for it now and pay later?
  • Will any kind of insurance, like medical, life, homeowners, or auto play a role?
  • Will this surprise continue to impact my finances over the course of my future, or is it a one-time expense?

 

Third, determine the best plan forward

With unexpected expenses being just that, unexpected, it can be tough finding the resources you need to meet the costs. If the expense isn’t immediate, create a budget and start saving what you can now so you’ll be more prepared for it later.

But sometimes we find ourselves without the resources or savings on hand to tackle the unexpected hiccups. Fortunately, there are a number of options to borrow the resources you need to handle life’s pricey surprises.

 

If you need to borrow, borrow wisely

It’s crucial to understand that not all borrowing is created equal. Different types of loans and lines of credit have different interest rates and overall costs. When you need to borrow, it’s important to evaluate all of your options and choose the course that will set you up for success and save you money over the long run.

 

 

Lower interest, lower cost borrowing options:

More expensive, higher interest borrowing options:

  • Pay day loans
  • Cash advances
  • Credit cards (when not paid back right away)
  • Borrowing from retirement accounts

Whether you’re facing a happy surprise or a total curveball, there are resources available for you to take on the next step of life.

 

As you explore your options, remember you’re never alone on your financial journey. We’re always standing by ready to help with the financial guidance you need. Request an appointment