Homes, cars, air conditioning units and plumbing all have one thing in common. They break down and need repairs when you least expect it and often when you can least afford it. To avoid being thrown into a tailspin when something goes wrong, you need to plan in advance.

    Saving for a rainy day

    You’ve probably heard a lot about the importance of putting aside emergency funds, but it can’t be stated enough. Although getting an emergency loan from a service like King of Kash may seem perfect if an unexpected expense pops up, it will be at a cost. Interest rates can be high and penalties for default can worsen your financial situation.

    Instead, pretend saving for rainy is a bill and put some money aside every month or week without fail. Have an accountability partner if you think you may slip up or splurge. Another option is to set up a savings account with your bank or credit union and have a certain amount transferred each month. If you never see the money, you can’t spend it and you get accustomed to not having access to it.

    You can also start small but putting loose change into a jar at the end of each day. Another option is to determine you won’t spend $1 bills and stash those away instead. When you have a little more to spare, top up the jar with a larger amount. You would be surprised how much you will accumulate by the end of the year or quarter.

    Cut spending

    I’m not going to tell you to cut back on your Starbucks iced mocha but…. Reducing unnecessary expenses is a key way to free up more cash. Making food and drinks at home is a good idea. Try to grow as much produce as you can. Even if you don’t have a large space you can use pots, vertical gardens or window boxes to grow small amounts of vegetables.

    Consider buying some items second hand. You can often find gently used furniture, clothing and home accessories in good condition and for a good price. You just have to get in the know as it related to community garage sales, flea markets and thrift shops.

    You should also get your family into the habit of buying reusable items wherever possible. Single-use paper and plastic products may seem convenient, but the cost adds up in the long term. Invest in reusable cleaning cloths, water bottles and bags. You’ll limit your spending and help the environment at the same time.

    Check your energy efficiency 

    You can save more than $100 a year on heating and cooling bills by using a programmable thermostat to air condition your home only when you  need it. Just switching to energy saving light bulbs can save about $50. Wouldn’t this money come in handy during an emergency? You need to be sure of your home’s energy efficiency since appliances which are not energy efficient can drive up your utility bills. So too can leaking pipes and inadequate insulation. Remember simple things like turning off the lights and unplugging appliances when you leave home.

    Unexpected repairs and the attached costs can be more than a little bothersome but with some advance planning, you and our family can reduce the level of inconvenience.