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What to Do When You Are Hit with an Unexpected Bill

Unexpected Bills, what are you financial options?

Written by: MariaLex

When you are on a tight budget, and an unexpected bill arrives, it might be challenging to decide what action to take next. Unexpected expenses such as a medical bill, a house repair, relocation, or a car repair can put a substantial financial burden on you and your family. There are two things you should do when faced with these unexpected bills. First, figure out how to deal with the unexpected expense. Second, take steps to prepare yourself in case a similar situation happens in the future. Here is what to do when you are hit with an unexpected bill.

  1. Do Not Ignore the Problem

If you are broke and a surprise bill lands on your door, you might be tempted to ignore it and hope that everything will be fine. This can never be the answer. For instance, the lender or company you owe will keep on sending more reminders, and if they don’t get a response, they will continue demanding for the money until you sort them out. They might also add extra charges such as interest, which will lead you owing more than your original bill, meaning you will worsen the situation. As a last option, they may even end up taking you to court or instruct a debt collection agency to demand or collect the debt. That is why it is advisable to tackle the situation head-on.

  1. Assess Your Savings

If you don’t have emergency savings to cover the expense, try checking your other savings. If you have this kind of savings, this may be the best time to use those funds. However, if your funds are tied up in an investment or retirement account, there might be extra charges for withdrawing those funds.

  1. Rethink Your Budget

Do you have funds in your account that are dedicated to something else? If yes, the unexpected bill should become your first priority since it could have serious repercussions. For instance, your electricity or gas bill can be switched off as a result of not paying. This should be paid before something like a magazine subscription or gym membership. Additionally, if you have got a think money Current Account, an Account Manager can help you go through your account and look to free up some funds that are being held for bills. Also, spend some time checking how you spend your money and see if there are things you are overspending on. Maybe you might switch and save on your broadband deals, TV packages, gas, and electricity.

  1. Get A Personal Loan

The unexpected bill might not fall under a specific category, but you still need quick cash. Some people may opt to borrow an interest-free loan from family or friends, but not everybody has kin with money to spare. You can also borrow money from your bank or an emergency lending app, but keep in mind that it will cost you more in the long run if you do not pay off the balance in full before the deadline. Direct lenders such as provide loan options for individuals that have been hit with an unexpected bill.

  1. Negotiate

If you have failed to get money in all the above solutions, try speaking to your lender or the company sent you the bill, and explain to them that you are struggling financially. Try contacting them as soon as possible. They might be a lot more kind than you would think and are legitimately obliged to treat you fairly. Offer to provide them with a breakdown of your income and expenses, plus a copy of your budget. They may give you a grace period with a deadline on when to complete your payment, instead of demanding full payment, making it more affordable for you.

  1. Try to save

Although this won’t solve the current problem, it could prepare you if the situation ever happens again in the future. When your budget is tight, the idea of saving money may be the last thing on your mind, but if you can manage to save even a couple of pounds a week, it can help in case of an emergency bill. It is advisable to build up some savings that you can rely on when an unexpected bill arrives or in case of an emergency in the future. It might be as simple as having a savings pot on your bedroom where you can drop extra coins whenever you can.


By setting aside a few pounds every month, you can turn a surprise emergency expense into just another bill that you have already dealt with, not a new monster that comes to interrupt your life.