When you take into considerations all the things we spend money on, it can sometimes be difficult to balance our budgets. The more children you have, the more money you’ll be spending on their well-being and the more money you’ll be spending overall on necessary expenses. As a result, it helps to learn how to manage your money. This is usually done with a combination of understanding your income, where your money is going and how to budget for different types of expenses. For example, I have a family spreadsheet with all our incomings and expenditure for each month. I update it on payday to see exactly where we are and what’s left for the month as spending or saving money. It really helps to keep us on track and not overspend.
Luckily we often rely on a lot of free services that can help us cut the costs of living. In the United Kingdom, we receive free healthcare thanks to the NHS so we don’t have to pay £50 per appointment we make at the doctors. If you’re a tenant that rents out a property, then you’ll also get free repairs on most of the troubling things in your home. If your boiler is broken or a tap isn’t working correctly, then you simply phone your landlord for free repairs. If you or family members are certain ages, then you might even get free travel depending on what part of the country you’re in.
In other words, we rely on such ‘free’ services to get by. I’ll say ‘free’ as we do pay taxes and national insurance to contribute to these services, so in effect we are actually paying for them, though it may not seem like it!
There might come a point in the future where this ‘free’ stuff just isn’t good enough. Maybe your healthcare plan doesn’t cover certain dental treatments, or perhaps the quality of your healthcare isn’t as good as you’d like. In times like this, we may look for private alternatives that cost money—but are these really worth the extra cost?
Sometimes paying for a service we are used to getting for ‘free’, might be the better option:
Paid healthcare is always better
Thanks to the NHS, British citizens are able to access healthcare without having to pay anything in person. Almost all medical procedures are covered. Unfortunately, this service isn’t always great and it comes with some glaring disadvantage. You might get a decent service but if not, you’re usually stuck with a terrible doctor that doesn’t seem to know what they’re doing or have any people skills. Booking appointments can take a long time and often you have to wait weeks to be seen. With so many issues, people often ask themselves what other options they have for better health care.
The first thing that comes to their mind is private healthcare. Due to the fewer number of patients each private healthcare location has, it’s usually much easier to get a dedicated doctor whenever you need them. They’re more likely to accommodate home visits and they’ll even provide you with better information and help than your free service. Private healthcare companies, such as the aptly-named SameDayDoctor, can be used for emergency services or when you’re in dire need of professional healthcare. This is fantastic for anyone that lives a busy lifestyle and simply doesn’t have time to fit their work schedules around doctor appointments. Instead, private healthcare allows you to fit your appointments around your work, giving you far more control over your lifestyle.
Although it can cost a bit of money, it’s ultimately worth it. This is your life, after all, so it makes sense to get the best service you can. Although free healthcare can be good enough for most people, there’s ultimately a much better chance of you living a healthier lifestyle if your doctors are better and they can be fit around your lifestyle so it doesn’t interrupt your work or time with your children. There are even services that allow you to see a doctor over the internet for common illnesses. You can get an appointment and a subscription within minutes and you don’t even have to worry about queuing up at the doctor’s office or leaving the house.
Emergency home repairs
When you need a home repair, it’s usually going to cost you quite a bit of money unless it’s covered by some kind of warranty or if you’re currently renting a home. When you rent as a tenant, you’re usually entitled to free home repairs because it’s still the landlord’s responsibility to ensure that the home is fixed up and safe to live in. However, what you might not know is that these conditions depend on what the contract you signed says.
In some cases, you may have signed a contract that doesn’t enforce those rules. This might have come at the cost of lowered rent, or perhaps it’s just because your landlord doesn’t want to assume that responsibility. Either way, if you’ve never required your landlord to repair something, then you may want to review the contract and take a look to see what you’re entitled to.
However, this doesn’t solve the issue of emergency repairs. For instance, if a pipe suddenly bursts or if your carbon monoxide alarm goes off, then you’re going to need to spend money on fixing it. It doesn’t matter how urgent the situation is, you’ll eventually be charged for sending out a specialist to come and fix your issue. This is why people budget for emergency situations—because they understand that if something were to happen to their house that puts their well-being at risk, they’ll need to spend money on remedying the issue.
If you need something fixed, it’s best to pay the money for it. It may seem like a lot (especially if you’re hiring a professional with years of experience) but you get what you pay for—a quality service. Some of the contractors that landlords connect with are terrible and cheap. They usually don’t offer a very good service and they’re incredibly rude when they come and visit. Their cheap cost is just a testament to how much effort your landlord is willing to put in just so they can meet the criteria of fixing your home. They won’t care how late the contractors are, how many appointments they meet or how they treat you; if it’s a cheap option they’ll usually go for it.
Fortunately, not all landlords are like this. Many landlords do care about their tenants and provide them with quality repair services, but this is usually reflected in the cost of the rent to cover these potential costs.
To summarise, if you’re given the option between a paid and free option in life, don’t always go for the free option if your well-being is on the line. There’s nothing wrong with keeping some emergency savings aside for when you have an emergency, and in most cases, you get better service and better results for the cost.