Bouncing back from an Unexpected Bill.

Expect the Unexpected

Nobody likes unexpected bills. They can completely throw you off balance. When the bill is substantial, they do a lot more than upsetting your plan. They can dramatically affect your financial stability. One day you’re getting ready for your Christmas shopping, and the next your unexpected bill is making you even question whether you can or should celebrate Christmas this year.

Don’t panic. When your financial stability is at risk, there are always solutions for you to get back control. One word of warning, though: Taking back control might take some time, depending on the amount you’ve had to pay. But it’s not an impossible thing.  

Why was it unexpected?

Firstly, it seems essential to understand that unexpected bills are a lot more common than you might think. In fact, two-thirds of the population are affected by unanticipated bills of over £3,000. Why does this happen? The most common reason for an unexpected invoice is that you forgot to plan for it. However, more often than not, they are the result of an unforeseeable event. When your boiler suddenly stops working, for instance, the costs of repair are something you couldn’t have forecast. Similarly, if your car is involved in an accident, it’s fair to say, that you had no way of planning for it.   

What’s the help available?

Not all unanticipated invoices need to be expensive. Some might turn out to be a lot cheaper than you thought, and can, therefore, be quickly sorted out. Others, however, will require additional support. When you don’t have the funds to cover your bills, you need to look out for borrowing options. For short-term payments, you can only look into a limited range of alternatives, from guarantor loans where a relative or friend acts as a guarantor for you, to payday loans that are based on your credit history. You can alternatively also borrow directly from friends and relatives to raise money rapidly.

Repaying your loan or debt

Once the bill is paid, the next priority for you is to repay your debt or your loan as effectively and safely as possible. In other words, now’s the time to start a thrifty lifestyle and save on your main outgoings. You don’t always need to be frugal in your choices, all it takes to make it work is to be savvy when you shop. For instance, you could slash up to £1,500 off your yearly grocery bill just by choosing the cheapest alternative – aka the value product.

A lesson for the future

Finally, going forward, you need to embrace the potential of an emergency fund. By this point, if you’re in the process of repaying your short-term loan, you’re probably used to a mindful lifestyle. Don’t give up your good habits once the loan is repaid. Create a saving routine, directly linked to a saving account so that you can face most eventualities. As a rule of the thumb, if you’re in your early 30s, you should keep a minimum of 6 months savings based on your monthly expenses.

Nobody can dodge a financial hit. But you can learn valuable lessons about finance management, saving strategies and debt repayment in the process. 


Besides, it’s never too late to start an emergency fund and protect your family, if you haven’t already.


Dr Alex Koh
Founder and CEO of
Family Finance Made Simple

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