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Managing Unexpected Expenses

Have you ever gone through those phases when your two ends not only don't meet, they don't even speak to each other, like two kids in the park who are in a fight and won't make up. There you are saying, come on, now, enough of the sulking, let's make friends and live happily ever after and the two ends are saying, no way, not on your life.

Whenever you enter this phase it is marked by what is known as an unexpected expense. Unexpected expenses are those that sneak into the budget uninvited and without warning. Never mind the camel, it is your back they break. Just when you think you have your fragile, pathetic, this month's accounts' balanced like a house of cards on a rickety table, along comes this ill wind and goes whoosh. Unexpected expenses love to go whoosh, it is in their nature. These could be the landlord upping the rent, the car's air conditioner dramatically dropping its compressor and ruining the belt (naturally all through winter it purred smoothly but come mercury rising time and it stops) the school fees being raised, the airlines deciding this is the time to cream the well loved passenger whom they caress in the ads or simply a corporate cut in the money you were calculating you were to get this month. Suddenly it is less and the whoo... part of the whoosh can already be heard.

Around this time you will discover one of several of these occurrences. The maid's annual official payment has to be made which means the budget now looks like a car wreck on the highway and it is only the fifth of the month. The bank's loan officer has called you politely for the last time and alerted you to the possibility that the next call will not be polite at all. Meanwhile, all the credit card companies are making those "it is your date for instalment repayment" rings to your house and your kids say, he says he isn't home, look dad, tell your own fibs.

At this juncture just as you are going to suffer hollow eyes and lack of appetite unreasonable guests arrive on their way to London. Unreasonable guests are intrinsic to the unexpected package. Why they couldn't take a direct flight to London is beyond you but now they are at chez Vohras (that means home of, you ignorant slob, I might be poor but I am dedicated) and having a ball. So, next thing you know, to your utter horror, they want to meet your friends and you say, don't have any, expatland is no place for friends and your wife says, hahah, his sense of humour is crazy, of course we will have a little do. This little do balloons into a full fledged dinner for 30 vie and the whole east wing of your house of cards collapses in a dusty heap.

To save those who identify with these scenarios any further grief I shall not even mention the part where said relatives want to go shopping and ask you if you can put it on your card and they'll pay you back when you visit them in the home country.

The whole outhouse falls. This is just about the right time for the insurance company to call about your delayed premiums and the 33 shares you hold in the third drawer of your desk as defence against the rainy day syndrome are suddenly worthless because the MD skimmed the company and skipped and there is a lock out.

Okay, go on, rain, see if I care less.

It is said that life is a wheel and what does up must go down and vice versa and things have to get better. It is a nice thought and people like me clutch it for salvation. But when not even four cards make a thatched roof and the economic cyclone blows incessantly hope has the texture of a candle in the wind.

Article by Bikram Vohra Courtesy: Gulf Today

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