If You Haven't Planned for These Expenses, You Should ...

You may take necessary precautions with your money, but there are probably expenses you haven't planned for. Unexpected expenses can occur at the worst times. And if you have to spend money unexpectedly, it can throw your budget off track. But with preparation, you can get through financial problems with ease. Here are seven expenses you haven't planned for, but should.

1. Car Trouble

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Car trouble is one of the expenses you haven't planned for, but should. I'm not talking about regular maintenance such as oil changes. Even if your car is running smoothly today, problems with your brakes, tires or engine can happen without much warning, resulting in a costly automotive repair. If you don't want to rely on credit, start planning for these expenses early so you'll have the money when you need it.

2. Medical Expenses

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Many health insurance plans have an annual deductible, which is the amount you pay out-of-pocket before insurance kicks in. And sometimes, this deductible can be thousands of dollars. To help plan for medical expenses, start setting money aside for these expenses during the year. Also, if you have a high deductible health insurance plan, talk to your bank or financial planner about starting a health savings account.

3. Last-minute Trip

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You might save up and plan for a vacation, but do you have cash available for a last-minute trip, such as a family emergency? Since emergencies don't happen often, saving as little as $20 or $25 a month might provide enough cash when you need to take a last-minute road trip or book a flight.

4. Sick Time

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If you're fortunate enough to get paid sick time at work, you probably don't have to plan for this expense. But if you're an hourly employee, it pays to have a little cash set aside in case you have to take several days off from work. You might get the flu and be unable to work for a few days, or you might deal with other ailments that prevent working.

5. New Computer

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As someone who works on the computer every day, I know the importance of keeping my personal device in good working condition. Computers aren't always reliable. The hard drive may crash, or the computer may stop working due to age. If you depend heavily on your computer, make sure you have a backup plan just in case you have to replace it on short notice.

6. Home Insurance Deductible

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Homeowner's insurance can ease the financial burden of a major home issue, such as a burst pipe, fire or theft. But even if you have insurance to fix a problem or replace belongings, you also have a deductible -- perhaps $500-$1,000. This is what you're required to pay out-of-pocket. You never know when you'll need to file a homeowner's insurance claim, so gradually save up over the years to meet this expense.

7. Gifts

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Whether you're buying anniversary gifts, graduation gifts or wedding gifts, if you're invited to several events throughout the year, the amount you spend on gifts can add up. Create a gift kitty for yourself and deposit a few bucks each pay period. When it's time to go shopping for someone, you'll have the cash available.

It isn't enough to deal with your recurring monthly expenses, you have to prepare for emergencies. These can catch you off-guard and completely shake up your budget. But with preparation, you can deal with unexpected expenses without ruining your finances. What other expenses should we plan for?

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