Being Financially Prepared For Life's Curve-balls*

*This is a collaborative post*

Although I'm much more careful with my money now, there was a time many years ago when you could say I hemorrhaged money. Of course it would have been much more sensible to have put a small amount of money to one side each month, thereby building an emergency or backup fund, but that's not how I thought back then. It never occurred to me that I'd ever need one. But need one I would. 

Life has a funny way of throwing us curve-balls when we least expect it. Things happen and all of a sudden you can be left up shit creek without a paddle, which is of course what happened to me. It turns out that an emergency fund is kind of crucial. Go figure... Hindsight and all that hey? 

Think about it for a minute, what's to say you won't get ill? Do you get sick pay? Because if you don't, all it would take is having a couple of weeks off work after being struck down by a nasty bug or worse and your wage would be hugely affected. What if your employer was making cutbacks and you lost your job? Or if your washing machine conked out and you needed new? Or what if your car was to break down and you needed to find hundreds of pounds to get it repaired but you didn't have that kind of cash? Yes these are all 'what ifs' but they could happen to you at any given time and so you need to either be prepared or to at least have options up your sleeve!

When my car broke down

Image Source Pexels

I'd been pottering around Morecambe with my sister, basking in the glorious warm sunshine when I got the dreaded phone call. 'Desmond' - my car - had been in the garage being looked at after it had been playing up again. Given that it was still a relatively new car and that I'd already taken it to get looked at several times, I was seriously not impressed. When I answered the phone, the first thing my mum had asked me was if I was sitting down and I knew instantly that it wasn't going to be good news. She'd spoken to the garage and apparently it was going to be a few pence shy of a grand to have it repaired. Naturally this was money I just didn't have. After the shock and the tears came the panic. Where was I to going to find that kind of money? I felt physically sick and so my sister, never mind that it was only about 3pm, took me straight to the pub for a muchly needed glass of wine to soothe my frayed nerves. 

Solutions for situations like this

Image Source Pixabay

If you were in this situation and you too didn't have an emergency fund then how would you manage? Some people would of course have credit cards for instances such as this but often people either don't have one or can't get approved for one due to bad credit. 
As I've found myself, bad credit can come back to bite you on the behind in the most dire and desperate of situations. So what can you do? Believe it or not there are solutions. You could do as I did and sell every possession you own trying to raise the necessary funds. (Unfortunately back then I wasn't aware of the alternatives!) You could get savvy and find ways to make extra money, or you could look into no credit check loan options. Cash Lady, a credit brokerage website, have plenty of useful information on both this and on short term lending. 

In the end

Image Source Pexels

My situation wasn't so bad in the end. It turned out (after I'd sold most of my stuff, and had raised about half of the money I needed,) that I'd actually been misinformed by the chap on the phone and that the repair work was actually under warranty - something I'd apparently paid extra for when I bought the car. Typical. I'd spent weeks fretting and trying to raise funds for no reason! Of course if this hadn't been the case I'd have certainly had to look into other options such as borrowing money or indeed managing without my car. 
As I often say, you should always do your own research before committing to anything, especially a loan. You need to make sure that you can afford the repayments and you certainly don't want to be leaping from the frying pan into the fire. 

Yes life may throw up roadblocks every now and then, but there's usually a solution if you're just prepared to look for it. 

*Header photo via Pexels 

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