Just Because It’s Not In the Budget Doesn’t Mean It’s an Emergency

emergency situation

A friend of mine has been freaking out the last couple of weeks because her oldest child is graduating from high school this year. While she’s thrilled about this, she’s worried about the money.

“I’ve got to get him a gift and throw him a party. I don’t have the money right now, so I’ve got to raid our savings account,” she said. She failed to plan for this expense that she’s known about for years.

I’ve got another acquaintance who worries every time the oil has to be changed in her car.

“I just don’t have the money to cover it right now,” she wails and then breaks out the credit card. It’s not that she doesn̵


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7 Responses to Just Because It’s Not In the Budget Doesn’t Mean It’s an Emergency

  1. wanda says:

    This is something that it took me awhile to learn. Although I’m getting a lot better at it, I still find that I don’t budget for everything that I should. My solution was to create a “oops fund” for these times. It’s separate from my emergency fund, and anything I have to use it for, I also have to add to my budget. I don’t use it nearly as much as I did when I stated it and it was a great way to add all these things to my budget so they don’t come back to bite me as they have in the past.

  2. Heidi says:

    We can’t help but commit financial mistakes even if we are careful. You are right. It is necessary to plan for expenses so we do not have to empty our emergency budgets. However, it may be time consuming as you have to list down categories and details. There’s a lot to learn and it entails patience on our part.

  3. jim says:

    You’re absolutely right, but I can relate to that mom. Sometimes when you’re raising kids and working so hard you can “forget” that you’re going to need extra $ for something – like a h.s. graduation. Sometimes you’re just too damn tired to plan for everything. And when your kid makes it to one of those great lifetime achievements, it’s only natural to want to give him/her the “best”.

  4. gregory says:

    An important lesson that all need to learn. It’s forgetting these expenses that can break budgets.

  5. Minny says:

    I do the same Wanda. Impossible to budget for every little (or big) thing so we put away cash in a general account. Works for us.

  6. Gailete says:

    I am always amazed at the folks that are completely unprepared for Christmas which falls on Dec. 25th every year. I’m not meaning just presents, but they seem to not have any Christmas decorations from year to year when you see them on the news bewailing about how they just don’t have any money to buy these things. Nor do they have food unless someone brings them a food basket (what would they have been eating if someone didn’t bring them the food?) What happened to last year’s decorations and ornaments? Many things can be made by hand, lots of books in libraries that tell you how and they don’t cost a lot. Cookbooks from the library can also tell you how to cook using basic ingredients so you can still have a nice meal. They also seem to think that even while living at the poverty line they should be spending money on presents at the same rate as upper middle class folks. I still remember hearing a couple over 20 years ago tell their sister how they had spent $800 on Christmas presents (I think the deal was one of those ‘the kids deserve it’ nonsense reasons). I nearly fell off my chair. I was making probably more than double what they did and yet I spent only about $100-200 ( and still do!) for Christmas as I have never seen any reason to waste money like some do, especially as Christmas has a different meaning to me than those that just see it as a time for presents, food and drinking.

    Christmas is very much not an emergency!

  7. Chinweike says:

    I always use myself as an example of how difficult it can be to plan for little things. I am an accountant and still struggle to include some basic items in my budget.
    Human beings will always be what we are. I have never included hair cost in my budget.
    Well written.

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