Top 5 expenses you should be planning for

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Expenses You Don't Plan For, but Should

You may think you're budgeting for all of your needs, but a new study shows that more Americans are getting blindsided by unforeseen expenses, ones that could have been easily prepared for. According to experts, it's important that you save at lease 3-6 months in living expenses, more if you have children. Unfortunately, the average American only have $1,000 in savings no where near the 3-6 month goal.

To help you get a better understanding of how much money you should have stashed away for what surprise expenses, here are the top 5 expenses you should be planning for.

1. Car Trouble
While drivers expect to shell out money for gas and routine oil changes, repair costs often surprise them. Experts say $250 to $2,500 is a good amount to have saved each year for expenses related to unexpected car issues; if your car is older or prone to problems, you may want to save even more.

2. Health Care
We also get sick, unexpectedly. Even those who have health insurance are often surprised by how much they must pay out of pocket beyond just co-pays. While it's impossible to predict future health care costs, it is important to have enough money in savings to fully meet your deductible (so if your deductible is $5,000 a year, you should have at least $5,000 in savings to meet that) — and more than that (maybe even thousands more) is a good idea, as there are some items that insurance simply doesn't cover.

3. House-related costs
1,000 - $5000 is a good amount to put into your home's emergency savings fund for unforeseen expenses, though this, of course, could be more if you have an older home that's in need of work. You'll want to have at least enough money saved so that you can replace a major appliance, as well as at least one other likely major repair.

4. Education
While it's true that tuition is usually the priciest thing parents pay for when it comes to education, it's often the little things (like computers, supplies and extracurriculars) that surprise parents with their cost each year. While you likely know what tuition and room and board will be, you may also get hit with expenses like on-campus parking, sorority or fraternity fees and other extracurriculars. This could add up to thousands of dollars each year.

5. Insurance
Anytime there is a claim on any of your insurance policies, there's a chance rates can go up. The good news here is that you can shop around for a lower rate or ask about raising your deductible to lower that monthly cost — though make sure you can afford the deductible — to get that cost back down.

Click through the pictures below for 6 ways to save.

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Top 5 expenses you should be planning for

SKIP THE GYM

Gym or yoga studio memberships can become insanely costly. Giving up the expense, though, doesn’t mean you have to give up your workout routine. Check out FitnessBlender.com for workouts that you can do at home via YouTube.

(Photo: Getty)

GO ALL NATURAL

Many people spend a ton of money on personal care. Although getting manicures, pedicures, massages and haircuts can be a relaxing way to feel pampered, these things are sucking up money that could be spent on travel. Besides, when you are backpacking through South America or sleeping in European hostels, you won’t have access to all of your usual comforts. Why not stop now?

(Photo: Getty)

COOK AT HOME

How about embracing cooking as a new hobby? You will simultaneously be eating healthier, saving money on take-out and maybe even exercising your creative side. Following food blogs is a great, inexpensive way to find recipes and inspiration. One of my favorites, BrokeAssGourmet.com, factors cost into the equation too.

(Photo: Getty)
FOREGO SUBSCRIPTIONS

Services like Netflix, Amazon Prime, HBO and others end up tacking extra costs onto your monthly bills. Even Kindle, while it may be convenient for when you are traveling, can make buying books and apps all too easy. Consider using your local library to check out books as well as DVDs. Most offer an extensive collection that will help you save over the course of the year.

(Photo: Getty)

PICK UP AN EXTRA SHIFT

If it seems impossible for you to give up some things, or if you’re still in need of extra cash, look for a job where you can make some money without a huge commitment. Babysitting and nanny services connect caretakers with clients and aren’t just for people looking for full-timework. Catering companies are another great option since they always need servers and usually schedule staff on a week-to-week basis.

(Photo: Getty)

BUDGET WITH MINT

No, this Mint won’t print more money for you to spend on a trip to Bali, but it will help you keep track of your spending. The app allows you to create a budget and set specific savings goals, making it easier to hold yourself accountable for saving that extra cash.

(Photo: Getty)

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