7 Common Emergency Costs and How to Budget for Them

Preparing for unexpected costs is easier said than done, but when it comes to our finances it always pays to think ahead. Budgeting for bills that appear out of the blue is the best way to make sure any emergency pay-outs don’t end up putting your finances in peril.

To help out, we’ve taken a look at seven of the most common emergency costs to hit consumers in the pocket. This handy guide can help make sure that when boiler repair costs, car trouble and unexpected bills do rear their heads, your bank account will be well prepared.

Emergency Home Repairs

They’re the scenarios none of us want to imagine — a burst pipe, a broken washing machine or a leaking roof. These emergency repairs do pop up from time to time though, which is why it’s a good idea to bear unexpected outgoings in mind when you manage your money.

  • A roof replacement costs approximately £5,500 according to Roof Advisor
  • The average cost of replacing a euro cylinder lock on a uPVC door is £85, states the Master Locksmiths Association
  • Rewiring a detached house will mean paying out between £3,000 and £5,000 according to mybuilder.com

Boiler Repairs

It’s really important that we’re all warm and comfortable in our homes, so the idea of having boiler trouble can be a scary thought. After all, no-one wants to be huddled up on a cold night with their central heating system completely out of action.

The best way to make sure that any problems with your boiler don’t leave you too much out of pocket is to make sure your warranty is registered. In addition, you can help your boiler stay healthy for longer by making sure it’s serviced every year

  • The average cost of a new boiler depends on a lot of factors, as demonstrated by Which. As a pricey purchase, it makes sense to take care of the one you have.

Car Trouble

Whether it’s getting to work or visiting family members, there are a whole host of reasons many of us still rely on our cars to get us around. However, there are so many things that can go wrong with a car, from a flat tyre to a failed MOT test, so it’s wise to keep some cash aside for emergency repairs.

  • With vehicle designs becoming ever more complex, the average cost of an accident repair cost rose 40% between 2013 and 2019 according to motortrader.com
  • Lack of servicing can result in expensive repairs, including £430 for a new radiator and £2,575 to replace a cylinder head gasket, according to the Money Advice Service

Unexpected Bills

It could be a utility bill that comes in higher than you expected, an increase in mortgage rates or a letter to say your vehicle tax is due. Sometimes unexpected costs come at the most inconvenient times, so how can we make sure we can manage our finances when these things happen?

  • The average Brit spends £328 on unexpected bills each year, according to research undertaken by Lowell
  • The rate for vehicle tax on cars that were registered on or after 1 March 2001 depends on CO2 emissions and fuel type. You can calculate your vehicle tax rates at gov.uk

Replacing Devices

It’s happened to all of us — you manage to break the screen of your smartphone, drop your laptop or find your tablet has suddenly stopped working. Getting any of these devices repaired, or possibly having to replace them, doesn’t come cheap. 

  • According to Which, getting the screen repaired on an out-of-warranty smartphone can cost in excess of £300 depending on the model.

Health Problems

If we suddenly fall sick and need to take time off work, there’s the chance it could mean suddenly having to rely on statutory sick pay (SSP) for an unknown period of time. By making sure we have some spare money available just in case, we can be more prepared for an outcome like this.

  • In the UK, SSP provides £92.85 per week and can be paid for up to 28 weeks — you can read more about SSP on the UK Gov website
  • If this amount is less than your usual earnings, you may be able to claim benefits such as Universal Credit, as outlined by the Money Advice Service

Sick Pets

If a beloved pet falls ill there can be huge costs involved, from vet bills to paying out for medication. No matter whether it’s a furry four-legged companion or something more unusual like a lizard, we all want the best for our pets because we’re so attached to them.

  • If your pet falls sick it could cost between £100 and £130 for blood tests, up to £300 for X-rays and £1,500 for surgery, according to MoneySuperMarket
  • In addition, a general practice consultation with a vet will usually come with a fee of around £60

Budgeting & Emergency Funds

When planning to get on top of your budgeting, one of the most important first steps is looking at your monthly incomings and outgoings. If you’re spending more than you’re earning, or there are any large costs that you hadn’t expected to see, it could be time to make some changes.

Some of the most straightforward ways of saving money are shopping around online for better deals on everything from your utility bills to insurance and broadband deals. Don’t just look at one price comparison website though, as they will not all have the same deals or options. The more research you do, the more money you could save.

There are also many easy ways to save money in the home, from making food in batches to spending less time in the shower. One cash-saving tip that might surprise you is that turning your thermostat down by just one degree can save you around £80 a year. 

Additionally, Which has compiled a list of 50 ways to start saving, from transferring debt to ensuring your boiler is efficient. All of these changes can really add up, as saving just £1 per day could cover the average £328 in unexpected bills, as mentioned above.

If you have any other tips, why not get in touch with us on Twitter, LinkedIn or Facebook to share them.

Bookmark our Ideal Heating blog  for more boiler-related advice, expert tips and to stay up-to-date with the latest posts.