POSTED BY October 4, 2012 COMMENTS (35)ON
Have you ever heard someone say something like – “I had planned to buy a car from last 2 yrs and I was saving for it regularly with discipline, but I think I will have to delay my decision because some thing urgent and unexpected cropped up in between! . It happens all the time.”
Here are some more examples of “unexpected expenses”
95% people don’t plan anything. They just go with the flow. And for the rest 5%, who do any kind of planning; even their planning fails at some point of time because of a very simple and over looked factor in financial life, which is “unexpected expenses” . If you write down all your monthly expenses on a paper, do the total, and keep exactly that much money in your pocket… You can be very sure that you will have a really tight month! And that must be happening already !
It’s because when we make any assumption, our conscious mind can only think about the bigger picture and we never deal with smaller details and mostly never count the uncertainties of life . We never consider that you might have to shell out Rs 2,000 on something which suddenly comes up (it can be anything). Suddenly there can be some trip, some eating out, some medical expense, some expenses related to the kids school etc. By now you must have realized that these unpredictable expenses are very predictable 🙂
I mean, you can always expect the unexpected. See each month, without fail, some thing or the other always crops up out of nowhere, your planning never fits the target , you are always short of what you were thinking earlier! , Sound familiar? Life is so unpredictable, that it’s a great idea to factor that “unexpectedness” into your planning. When you do your monthly budgeting, have a “Unexpected Event” category too, and allocate some money for that anyways, because it will happen 🙂
If these unexpected events happen a lot in your life, you will agree that the money you need to shell out is not the big issue, rather the real issue is the psychological nonacceptance and your irritation every-time it happens. You have not mentally prepared yourself for those expenses and every time they happen, its like a pinch on your face! You didn’t think about it and now it’s in your life, staring you in the face. To overcome this issue, you need to create that unexpected expenses buffer. Once you’ve done that, you are mentally ready to expect something unexpected and when you need to spend money for it, you know it will come from your “unexpected event” account.
If nothing happens, you can always use up that buffer for your other expenses, its like a bonus for you. On the similar lines, Ramit Sethi of iwillteachyoutoberich.com talks about the Stupid Mistakes Account, which is for the same concept of planning for unexpected expenses.
The same thing applies to your investments also . If you are planning for a goal which is going to come after 6 yrs, better plan for just 5 yrs and keep 1 yrs as buffer. If you are assuming a 12% return , better plan assuming 11% only , and keep 1% as buffer , if your SIP amount needed for a goal is Rs 5,000 , better invest Rs 6,000 instead of Rs 5,000 . This way , the chances of the final outcome fitting into your expectations is much higher!
What do you think about it?