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unexpected expenses | The Budget Diet

Budgeting for Unexpected Expenses

Do you know the difference between an emergency fund or rainy day savings and “Oh No” expenses?

Do you know what an “Oh No” expense is, and how to budget for “Oh No” expenses?

The Budget Diet girl defines “Oh No” expenses as those unexpected expenses that seem to surprise you every month…car repairs, plumber, emergency room visit, broken washing machine, etc.

“Oh No” expenses are not any fun to spend money on, but they have to be taken care of! You can’t drive around with a flat tire, you have to have the fallen tree removed from your walkway & that washing machine has to be fixed because the laundry is piling up!

These expenses should not come from your emergency fund or rainy day savings because they are not emergencies…they are just part of life, & they will come up every month! If you don’t budget for them, you’ll end up going into debt to take care of these expenses. An emergency fund or rainy day savings should be used for a true emergency like the loss of a job or a major medical bill.

So, how do you budget for “Oh No” expenses?

The Budget Diet girl suggests setting aside 30% of your monthly living expenses every single month, so you’ll be prepared for “Oh No” expenses. 30% sounds like a lot, but trust me, I’ve been using this method for 20+ years, and rarely does a month go by that I don’t have an “Oh No” expense. On the other hand, we thankfully have not had to use our emergency fund or rainy day savings in 20 years!

Take a look at our “Oh No” expenses just for the month of June…

  • new tires
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  • tree service to take care of a fallen tree
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  • water softener repair
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Let’s suppose that your family budgets $400 a week for food, fun, dry cleaner, haircuts, etc…this is your “weekly allowance.” In reality…you should have a “weekly allowance” of $300 and set aside $100 for “Oh No” expenses. The best case scenario…if you don’t have any “Oh No” expenses let the money carryover because I promise those expenses will come! Like I said…”Oh No” expenses are just part of life!

If you need more help in setting up a houshold budget, take a look at our Budget Guide.

The Budget Diet girl would love to know your budget tips for handling unexpected expenses!

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