Proactive Vs. Reactive: Common Preventative Measures That Can Save You Money

proactive or reactive

“I’ll cross that bridge when I get to it…”

Chances are you’ve either heard that statement before or have said it yourself. While the idea is to prepare for the worst and hope for the best, it is a pretty safe assumption that very few of us actually do this. Instead, we often cross our fingers that everything works out, and simply panic when they don’t.

Well, let me tell you firsthand that there is nothing more peaceful than knowing that you’re prepared financially for whatever may come your way (well not whatever comes your way, but you get my point).

From waiting until the last minute to visit the dentist office right down to driving around uninsured, I’ve lived by the statement, “I’ll deal with it as the problem arises”, and let me tell you what I’ve found… waiting to deal with the issues when they’re in your face is not only very stressful, it’s very costly.

What would have been a trip to the dentist for a filling quickly turns into the expensive root canal… or what could have been a $500 deductible turned into a thousand dollar car repair…

Trust me when I say to you it is best to be proactive than it is to be reactive. Below, are a few areas in your life that you can use preventative measures to save you money:

 

  1. The Need for Insurance

Homeowner’s insurance, life insurance, car insurance, and renter’s insurance are among the top forms of financial protection that you should have. After all, your home/apartment, vehicle, and family are some of the most important things in your life (some of which are also the most expensive, i.e. car and home). What would happen today if you didn’t have these necessary insurances in place? Heaven forbid you should pass away, deal with a natural disaster that damages your home, or even get in a car accident. Will you be financially prepared to deal with the expense of it all?

Repairs on a home could run you thousands of dollars easily. A car accident could not only result in thousands of dollars in car repairs, but also medical expenses, property damage, and the expenses of the other party involved – not to mention a potential lawsuit. Should you pass away, your family is left to deal with funeral expenses, final bills and costs of your assets and the care of your children (if they are young).

Having insurance protects you from all of these unexpected circumstances that could really do damage to your finances. Sure it’s a bill each month, but when you consider the amount you’d have to pay without it, you might reconsider the need to have some form of coverage in place.

 

  1. The Need for Routine Maintenance

Your bathroom sink is draining slowly, but it still works so you just ignore it. Your car is in need of an engine flush, but you put it off for another day. Your tooth has been aching but you decide to self medicate with pain medicine and avoid the dentist. These are all common reactions to various circumstances throughout life. However, what was once a slow draining bathroom sink can quickly turn into a septic tank issue that costs you thousands to repair. That engine flush which was likely a few hundred dollars could easily turn into the need for a new engine altogether. That dental visit, which probably would have costs you nothing more than your medical co-pay, has now turned into an out of pocket expense for a tooth extraction.

Do you see the pattern here? Whether you’re referring to your car, your home, or your body, there are reasons for maintenance. Maintenance is necessary to check for minor problems and to avoid bigger problems. When you put off having things maintained you run the risk of dealing with a bigger issue later on. However, someone who keeps up with their car’s maintenance schedule will find that it operates several years longer than someone who doesn’t. A person who visits the dentist every six months as recommended can avoid the need for extractions or costly surgeries. Just as someone who makes sure their home systems are maintained can avoid the need for costly repairs and replacements.

 

  1. The Need to Protect

Your family, home, car, and personal belongings hold a significant place in your heart. While some are deemed invaluable (family), at the end of the day, you’ve invested either a lot of time or money into these things that you hold dear to you. So why sit around and wait for something to happen to them? Many people don’t take the necessary steps to protect those things that they care for and have worked hard for. Instead, they come home to find that those things have been damaged or stolen. Trying to recover your personal belongings after the fact is often very costly. Even more detrimental is trying to fill the void of things that are irreplaceable or meaningful to you (a loved one who has been injured or killed or a personal item that was given to you care about).

Investing in home security systems, safes, and high quality locks is one way in which you can protect what you care most about. While nothing is a guarantee, it is a great way to minimize the potential of something terrible going wrong (i.e. burglaries, home invasions, etc.) The right home security system will give you around the clock monitoring and protection. SecurityChoice.net, a site listing various home security systems for Miami residents, points out that installing a home security system can also save you money in other areas of your life. For example, homeowner insurance providers will often provide a discount to customers who have a qualifying home security system.

So there you have it…three ways in which taking preventative measures can save you a great deal of money. Often times we find ourselves struggling to pay down huge debt or in dire straits because we failed to plan. However, by taking an extra step and providing yourself with the above discussed cushions, you can rest assure that when the problems arise, that you’ll be better equipped to handle the challenge without falling apart.

 

Proactive image from lifehack.org retrieved from Pinterest

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