What to Do When the Unexpected Happens

The other night I was watching a movie in the living room when I heard an odd sound. It was raining outside so I assumed it was something outside and ignored it.

After the movie was over I could still hear it but it sounded like it was from in the house. I looked around and found a drip coming in from the door jam. It was raining a ton so I put a big bucket underneath and went to bed.

The next morning I walked into my master bathroom and the floor was soaked. Uh Oh.

I mopped up what I could and tried to figure out where it was coming from. I was having issues with the toilet! Uck. Then I put two and two together. The dripping downstairs? That was RIGHT under the toilet. Double uck.

Things like this just happen and usually take us by surprise. Two months ago we replaced the transmission into our Honda Element.

Three Tips for Dealing with Unexpected

Expect the Unexpected. You don’t need to know what is going to happen (it would be nice if you could!) but you can reasonably expect within a year something like this might happen. Just realizing that I will probably have to dip into savings inevitably within a year makes it so I’m not as stressed when it does happen.

RELAX. As they say, “This too shall pass”?. Whether you stress out or not, time moves forward. 10 years from now you probably won’t remember it.

Plan the actions to fix it. Put together a quick plan on what to do. I write a to-do list to get things working again, and a list to figure out how much money it will cost. The transmission issue took quite a few phone calls and appointments to figure out.

Figure out how to pay for it. This may seem like common sense. Of course, I have to figure out how to pay for it! But I mean, really get creative and figure out how to pay for it.

It may mean not buying groceries that week and trying to make meals with only what you have in the cabinet. I personally like to make up a crazy challenge or game of trying to get the money.

Find the bright side. I’m an optimist. Whenever we have to fix something that breaks I like to think, “Yay, now that it’s fixed that is one more thing I don’t have to worry about fixing for a long time!â€? I know it’s a bit silly, but I seriously think it every time we fix something.

We ended up making a home owner’s claim for the water damage since the repairs were estimated by our insurance company at $7500. Our deductible is $1500. We figured out that if we acted like a general contractor and used the local surplus store for flooring we would only need to spend $2500 total.

We just received a check for $4000 (because they do not pay the entire amount unless you have receipts for everything). That means not only do we save our $1500 deductible but we also would have $1500 in cash left over.

Our big problem doesn’t seem so bad since I have brand new flooring and $1500 more than before.

 

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Hi I’m Jaime. Each and every week I bring you the top business advice from the people who know best.

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5 responses

  • I love your optimism Jaime! I too have the “look at the bright side” gene. It sure does make life more livable. Having a good emergency fund is such peace of mind with things like this.I’m glad it all worked out well for you, and you didn’t need to dip in to savings after all!

    • Thanks Chris! Living a great life really is about how you look at things. I remember when my laptop was stolen, and everyone thought I should be angry. Why bother being angry? It wouldn’t have helped! 🙂

  • Don’t you love when insurance works in your favor like that.

    You’re right about expecting the unexpected. Being mentally prepared really makes things less stressful. I also like your ideas about being creative to pay for it.

    • Thanks Lindy! It looks like you guys know about getting creative. I saw that you have $895 more to prove it 🙂 I like your blog!

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