❝The most difficult problems we experience in life will be unexpected.❞ -Mark Manson
Bingo's head is hanging out the window as we drive to doggy daycare. Bingo is a high-energy dog, and therefore, once a week, we take her to daycare to practice socializing and burn some energy. She loves daycare. The last time we were here, she ran right to her favorite handler and forgot that I existed. The handlers have a nickname for her, Bingee, and they like to spoil her.
Today I found out that there is a worker shortage. They don't have enough employees to handle the number of dogs that are coming in. It doesn't help that many families got dogs during the pandemic only to find out they didn't know what to do with their dog when they had to go back to work.
So, today I learned that there are too many dogs and too few employees. Unfortunately, that means that we can't go to this daycare anymore. They effectively shut down.
As a result, my wife and I have to look for a new daycare facility. After doing some internet research, my wife found a place that will likely work for us. The location is good and the hours work with us. Sadly, this daycare costs 50% more than the other one unless we buy 30 days up front.
In other words, we have to spend over $600. This is $600 that we didn't expect to have to spend.
A financial cushion helps dampen the blow that unexpected expenses cause.
The future is unpredictable. Although we do have some confidence in what will happen, there will always be things that come out of nowhere. This is true of life in general, but it's especially true with our money.
When unexpected expenses arise, it can stress us out. You probably experienced this before. Perhaps your car needed to be repaired. Maybe a family member was in a jam, and you were the only one that could help them out. It could be that your pipes burst, and you had to get a plumber out quickly.
Regardless of why, if we have no room for error with our finances, these unexpected expenses will cause strain. They will stress our personal finance system.
It's worth noting that it's not always negative expenses. Sometimes an unexpected opportunity arises, or friends and family come to visit. Anything that is outside of your regular budget counts as an unexpected expense.
Of course, you have more flexibility to turn down the unexpected favorable expenses, whereas you often have no choice but to pay the unexpected negative expenses. Still, not being able to use your money to take advantage of an opportunity deprives us.