Financial emergencies; we all have them. Whether it's an overspend on the weekly grocery shopping, the car failing it's MOT or an appliance giving up the ghost, the chances are most of us will know what it is like to feel financially stretched at some time or another.
In times gone by, many people would have had a small cushion to fall back on. These days things are very different. With prices on everything from food to fuel on the rise and wages stagnating, the purse strings are somewhat tighter leaving many with little to no financial fall back. The result is that even a minor overspend one month can leave a family struggling the following month.
Regular readers will know that my family has recently been on a holiday. However, as I received my regular income whilst we were away, we completely forgot to budget in any money for our usual living costs. When we did get home, it quickly dawned on us that we hadn't left much money for the following week until the next benefit payment was due. So we didn't budget so well after all!
Most of us have credit cards for emergencies and I am no exception. Yes, I should have thought ahead to the week or two beyond our holiday and budgeted better but I didn't. I reserve mine for genuine emergencies and most of the time I am able to pay it off each month because of that. That said, when I was young, free and single (with a splash of being irresponsible thrown in) and got my first credit card, an emergency was seeing the last pair of gorgeous winter boots in my size that I just had to have or a night out the week before pay-day after a bad week at work.
These days an emergency is a lot more than a wardrobe update or a bottle of wine on a Friday night and I am (slowly) getting better at financial management. Having been without a credit card for many years until a few months ago, it's nice to know I now have that little cushion, for emergency use only.