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As you get older, you may start to feel like life is just one unexpected expense after another. The cost of living is rising, but for most of us, our salaries aren’t increasing at the same rate. If you want to future-proof your finances and make sure that unexpected expenses don’t wipe out your savings, there are a few steps you can take.
Keeping an emergency credit card for unexpected bills and expenses is a great idea if you are disciplined. For everything else, there are steps you can take to help prevent these expenses from wiping out your savings and causing a headache.
Every homeowner’s worst nightmare is a broken appliance. Imagine you have just stocked the fridge freezer with food and suddenly it stops working. Or you’re trying to get the family ready for the week ahead of when the washing machine breaks down.
You can lengthen the life of the appliance simply by taking a few extra precautions. Check the condenser coil on the back of your fridge and freezer for dust build-up. You should also ensure you defrost your freezer regularly if it doesn’t do this automatically. If you live in an area with hard water, this can take its toll on washing machines and dishwashers. Make sure you run an empty deep cleaning cycle with specialist products to prevent limescale buildup.
Unexpected problems with your car can wipe out your savings in an afternoon. There are a few ways you can manage the risk of unexpected car repairs. The first is to take your car in for regular service. This will cover basic things like an oil and filter change while also checking that all of the essential fluids are topped up. Regular services will help your car to pass the MOT and will also help to minimise the risk of small faults turning into big problems. You should also learn basic car maintenance so that you can identify small things like broken windscreen wipers before they cause more damage.
Car insurance, road tax and fuel
Owning a car is a huge expense, so if you are worried about the impact on your wallet, you could consider getting rid of your wheels. If you live in an area with good transport links, you could consider ditching the car and seeing how much you could save every month. You could cycle to work and use public transport to get around on the weekends. For the big weekly shop, you can arrange a delivery from your favourite supermarket.
Broken down boiler
There is nothing more inconvenient than a boiler breakdown. If it’s the middle of winter, the prospect of living without hot water or heating can be quite literally chilling. The simplest way to avoid the cost of expensive boiler breakdowns is with boiler cover. Find a company with boiler breakdown cover fixed for up to 3 years and you won’t see your monthly premiums rise just for making a claim.
The water bill
Most people pay their water bill twice a year, which can be an unexpected shock to the finances. One of the best ways to manage this is to put away a little every month so that you’ll be ready to pay the water bill when it finally lands on your doorstep. You should also find out if you can switch your payments to a monthly direct debit to help you spread the cost. If your water is metered, then you will also want to investigate small water-saving changes you can make to your home. Small steps like adding filters to your taps can dramatically reduce the amount of water you use.
If you rely on your phone, tablet or laptop for work, it can be very troubling if this gets damaged, lost or broken. Check with your home insurance provider to find out if you can add you’re essential gadgets to your home insurance policy. Some will even offer cover while you are out and about, so you won’t need to worry about your phone going for a swim while you’re on holiday. If you take out an expensive phone contract, make sure you go the extra mile and take out an insurance policy, too. You don’t want to be paying for a contract you can’t even use if it goes missing.
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