14 June 2018

Prepare for surprises in life’s biggest moments

It’s easy to get caught up in the excitement when you’re planning something like an overseas holiday, car purchase, home renovation or wedding – after all, these are some of the biggest moments in your life.

With moments this big, preparation is key. If you do the right research, you’ll minimise the damage of any surprises and potentially save yourself a lot of money.

Buying a car

The surprise: It turns out to be a dud

It doesn’t matter if it’s used or brand new, getting a car is a big deal. The last thing you want is a surprise repair that could cost you hundreds, so follow these steps before you purchase to minimise the risk of a surprise.

  1. Get a trusted mechanic to do an inspection of the vehicle before you buy it. This will give you a good idea of any damage history or ongoing issues.
  2. Put the car through some solid testing when you take it for a test drive. Use the handbrake on a steep hill to ensure it’s correctly adjusted, turn the radio off and listen for any strange noises, and if you’re not car-savvy bring an auto-expert friend along during the drive.
  3. If you are buying a used car, do a check to see if the car is stolen or has any other legal issues from its previous owner. You just need to get the car’s VIN (Vehicle Identification Number) and check it against this government database.

Renovating the house

The surprise: Red tape and costly repairs

When it’s time to spruce up your house it’s great to think ahead so you don’t get any surprise expenses.

  • Speak to your builder and local council to ensure you have all the permits you need to avoid fees.
  • When choosing a contractor, talk to a few different options and see if they have done projects similar to yours before. Visit a past renovation they have done to see if it aligns with what you want. Also check they have the right accreditations and professional indemnity insurance.
  • If you’re doing your own repairs or renovations, get a professional to do a thorough inspection before you start to see if there’s any structural damage you don’t know about.

Taking a trip

The surprise: Getting caught out without enough money overseas

Your bags are packed, your itinerary is all planned out and your passport is burning a hole in your pocket. You’re excited for your trip, so the last thing you want is any surprises.

  • Speak to your bank about travel payments and if you are able to use your regular card overseas. While you’re at it, tell them your travel dates so they know you’re overseas.
  • Visit the Smart Traveller website for hints and tips.
  • Think about how you’re going to get in touch with people. If you use your phone overseas you may be charged roaming fees, so explore options with your phone provider or look into getting a cheap phone with a new SIM card while you’re over there.

Boosting your skills

The surprise: Pricey resources and content you didn’t expect

Everyone who says you can’t teach an old dog new tricks is kidding themselves. A new course or qualification is a great way to get ahead in your career or find a new passion.

  • If you’re tossing up between a few different courses, research the teacher and read into some of the things they’ve written in the past to see if they interest you.
  • Textbooks can always be a bit of a dint in your savings. Try searching for the textbooks you need on Student VIP Textbooks to buy them secondhand.
  • If you’re studying while working, flag with your manager if you have class after or before work so they can help you manage your time.

Life definitely has its unexpected moments, but there are plenty of ways to prepare so you don’t get thrown off.

Last of all, if you’re paying for any big life moments with a personal loan, find a loan that has no surprises so you know what to expect.

About to pay for one of life’s big moments?
Find out all you need to know about ING’s personal loans.

 

The information is current as at publication. Any advice on this website does not take into account your objectives, financial situation or needs and you should consider whether it is appropriate for you. Deposit products, savings products, credit card, and home loan, and personal loan products are issued by ING, a business name of ING Bank (Australia) Limited ABN 24 000 893 292, AFSL and Australian Credit Licence 229823. All applications for credit are subject to ING’s credit approval criteria, and fees and charges apply. Redraw not available on Personal Loans. You should consider the relevant Product Disclosure Statement, Terms and Conditions, Fees and Limits Schedule, Financial Services Guide, Key Facts Sheet and Credit Guide available at ing.com.au when deciding whether to acquire, or to continue to hold, a product. Before interacting with us via our social media platforms, please take a minute to familiarise yourself with our Social Media User Terms https://www.ing.com.au/pdf/Social_Media_User_Terms.pdf.

The information is current as at publication. Any advice on this website does not take into account your objectives, financial situation or needs and you should consider whether it is appropriate for you. Deposit products, savings products, credit card and home loan products are issued by ING, a business name of ING Bank (Australia) Limited ABN 24 000 893 292, AFSL and Australian Credit Licence 229823. ING Living Super (which is part of the ING Superannuation Fund ABN 13 355 603 448) is issued by Diversa Trustees Limited ABN 49 006 421 638, AFSL 235153 RSE L0000635. The insurance cover offered by ING Living Super is provided by Metlife Insurance Limited ABN 75 004 274 882, AFSL 238096. ING Home and Contents Insurance is issued by Auto & General Insurance Company Limited (AGIC) ABN 42 111 586 353 AFSL Licence No 285571 as insurer. It is distributed by Auto & General Services Pty Ltd (AGS) ABN 61 003 617 909 AFSL 241411 and by ING as an Authorised Representative AR 1247634 of AGS. All applications for credit are subject to ING's credit approval criteria, and fees and charges apply. You should consider the relevant Product Disclosure Statement, Terms and Conditions, Fees and Limits Schedule, Financial Services Guide, Key Facts Sheet and Credit Guide available at ing.com.au when deciding whether to acquire, or to continue to hold, a product. Before interacting with us via our social media platforms, please take a minute to familiarise yourself with our Social Media User Terms https://www.ing.com.au/pdf/Social_Media_User_Terms.pdf.

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