Unexpectedly your car needs some repairs following its MOT, your boiler breaks down leaving you without hot water or your washing machine packs up and floods the kitchen. Unplanned and unwelcome events like this can catch you unaware. It happens and it’s easy to be caught out.

If you have an incident like this or you receive an unexpected or a surprisingly large bill, it’s easy to start to feel overwhelmed, but there are ways to minimise the impact. And Harrington Brooks are here to provide support.

We know it can be hard paying bills and budgeting at the best of the times, never mind if you get an unexpected one, so here are our top tips on how to cope with an unexpected bill:

1) Learn from previous experiences No one is ever fully prepared for when a boiler breaks or the car needs some repairs but if you’ve ever had to pay an unexpected bill that ended up being a struggle, then learning from that situation is a great starting point. Plan ahead and plan your budget carefully by putting in contingencies. The typical unexpected bills customers call us about are things like optical, dental or even pet costs – but monies for things like this can be built in to your budget.

2) Make the most of allowances If you currently have an IVA or a DMP with us you’ll know we work to spending guidelines when it comes to your income and outgoings. By looking at all your income and outgoings in detail and using the spending guidelines, together we can help create a budget that should stand up to most unexpected, unfortunate bills that may crop up. And for anything that’s heftier, we can have conversations with your creditors to agree a solution that works.

3) Get in touch The first thing you should do if you receive an unexpected bill is to get in touch with us and make us aware of your situation. By keeping us aware of your circumstances we can help to make sure any unexpected bill you’ve received is factored into your monthly income and outgoings.

4) Certain bills should always be a priority If you rely on your car or something like a van for your job, and in turn your income, then this should be considered a priority. We’ve already covered the topic of priority bills; such as council tax, utilities and rent in a previous blog, which you can read here so have a read and make sure you’re clued up on what is a priority bill and what isn’t.

5) A regular review can help in the long run Setting the time aside to go through a financial review, in regards to your income and outgoings; can make a huge difference when it comes to being prepared for unexpected circumstances. Regular reviews of your income and expenditure is something our dedicated Review Team advocates. It can help you plan ahead, retune your budget if required and make sure you are on the road to clearing the debts on your plan and helping you take control.

By keeping a few of these tips in mind, you’ll be able to budget a lot better and also look to cover yourself for any unexpected finances that might crop up in the future. Keep in mind that you can give us a call to speak to us about any of these tips alongside your existing plan.

Existing DMP customers should call 0330 102 0004 (Mon–Thurs: 8am–8pm, Fri: 8am-5.30pm)

Existing IVA customers should call 0330 102 0006 (Mon–Fri: 9am–5.30pm).

Or if you’d prefer, DMP customers can request a call back through My Online Account or at the www.HarringtonBrooks.co.uk website.