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Dealing with Surprise Bills

According to a research, the average Australian still carries about $76 in their pocket and men over 50 carry $99 while women carry around $68.

No matter the age, most of us still carry cash for small transactions and emergencies but what about those unexpected bills that hit us at the most inconvenient time?

How does one handle that?

Two-thirds of Aussie households are getting hit in the wallet and while there is no easy or best answer on how to get an unexpected bill paid here are a few ideas you could use to get yourself out of that rut if needed.

Rearrange your Budget - you could forgo the $4 daily flat whites to help you pay for an unexpected bill and you could even reduce the number of times you eat take away. For some you could go extreme and revert to your college days of living off toast and vegemite for a week or two to save an extra buck or so.

Piggyback Your Emergency Fund - if you have an emergency fund but the surprise bill is a bit more than expected, you could add money from your savings account if you have one to help cover it. You could be out of pocket but at least you wouldn’t have a bill looming over your head.

Sell Something You No Longer Need - if you have something of value that you could part with, sell it online or to a collector for possible extra cash.

Work Out a Payment Plan or Lower Bill - if you can haggle a discount for your energy bill, do not be afraid to haggle for a lower bill or payment plan. This could help you ease the burden of paying a surprise bill at once.

Ask the Government for Help - ASIC’s MoneySmart.gov.au has a list of emotional support and practical advice if you need it

Life will always throw us a curveball and while we may not always connect the bat with the ball, we don’t always have to struck out.

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Anonymous
Anonymous from NSW commented:

Yes, those "surprise" bills are a pain. I hope that I am about to get more on top of them, due to a couple of personal curved balls thrown at me recently. The BIG ones these days seem to be for utilities. So, I have bought a caravan and intend to go "off grid". Solar power and fill the water tank when I need it. I will still have to buy petrol, LPG and phone/internet access. I should be able to keep those under tight control. Cash on hand? Perhaps $20 and all the rest on the card, paid STRICKLY at the end of the billing period - no interest! 

Dorothy
Dorothy from NSW commented:

Forgo daily coffee and takeaway,.....the majority of those on pension cannot afford such luxuries! 

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