Family in kitchen

Be prepared for the unexpected

We all make plans, but sometimes the unexpected happens. Unplanned bills or life events can impact our financial and mental wellbeing, but building up financial resiliance can help. 

Having emergency savings and insurance to cover the unexpected can be reassuring. You might not be able to prepare for every eventuality but knowing you have a safety net can be one less thing to worry about.

Things to think about

Have a rainy day fund

It's a good idea to have enough money in savings to cover outgoings like your rent, bills and debts for three months, in case you're unable to work. 

This may seem like a lot to save, but even a small amount stashed away is good to have for an emergency so you don’t find yourself short of money for essentials. 

  • Get to grips with how much you want to save and the best way to save with MoneyHelper's savings calculator
  • Use our interactive budget planner to see what you can cut back on to boost the amount you tuck away into your savings

Have insurance

Insurance can be a good way to prepare for the unexpected. Whether that's being unable to work due to illness, injury or redundancy, travel insurance, pet insurance, home insurance or life insurance. Every product and provider is different, and designed to help in different ways.

It's a good idea to consider: 

  • What you need insurance for
  • If it's just for you, or for your family as well
  • If the product is right for you
  • What level of cover you need
  • How to get the best deal

With all of that in mind, you might benefit from speaking to a financial adviser. You can find one at Unbiased - you'll probably need to pay for their advice.

Borrowing money

If the unexpected has happened and you don’t have enough savings to cover the cost, you may need to borrow money.

There are lots of different options out there and some can end up being very expensive to pay back. From high interest credit cards and loans to credit unions or even your employer – it's worth weighing up which routes may suit your circumstances best.

If you're already in debt and considering borrowing more money, visit our Manage your debt page for support.


If you're at risk of redundancy or you're being made redundant, it can be a very stressful time. Our Redundancy support hub has lots of useful information to support you, whether you're ready to move on from your role and will receive a good financial package or the news is a shock and you're worried about the future.

You should also speak to your employer, who may offer free support. If you have a Union, you may be able to speak to them for help through the process.

Other unexpected life events

Finding care for a loved one

It can be stressful when you or someone important to you needs extra help. But you don’t have to cope alone – there are several services that can support you.

Divorce, dissolving a civil partnership and separation

Ending a relationship may not come out of the blue, but the cost can have a big impact on your finances. You’ll need to think about how to divide your money, your home and how you look after your family, as well as how to pay for the legal cost of separation.  

MoneyHelper has guides that can help you be prepared and if you are on a low income you may be able to get help with some of the costs.The Citizens Advice website also has some very useful information including specialist helplines for men or women who may be victims of domestic abuse.

Useful links