We live in Saskatchewan – we know how unpredictable and harsh the weather can be. Are you set up to be able to navigate the impact a severe weather event can have? This blog looks at ways you can safeguard your financial well-being in the event that the weather makes a dent in your budget. After all, you may not be able to control the weather but you can impact how you can respond to it.
Wildfires, heatwaves, tornado warnings, blizzards – we hardly have dull moments with the weather these days! I learnt that adapting is easier when we have a plan in place. We are a family of planners. We have a plan for everything from groceries to summer vacations to having a retirement plan. But honestly, none of these plans have ever accounted for a severe weather event.
A recent letter from my home insurance company got me thinking. Our home is no longer covered for flood damage if the flooding is caused by a body of water. We must pay an extra premium if we need coverage.
After some time on the internet, I realized the hidden costs we face are due to global warming. Phew, this blew me over! Saskatchewan is a province of resilient people. No one keeps track and is ready for changing weather patterns more than us.
But are we ready to see extreme weather events in greater numbers? Are we ready to add a variety of costs to our day-to-day living?
Let’s scratch the surface on the costs that can add a dent to a monthly budget. Here are a few that have impacted my family:
- The increased cost of insurance coverage for home protection
- Increased heating and air conditioning costs
- Comprehensive insurance packages
Here are few changes to the way we handle money and that has helped me feel more confident:
Communicating with my family and prioritizing expenses
We sat together and compared monthly budgets from past years and identified weak spots. For example, we discovered there are cheaper internet plans available, the money saved there can go towards increased utility bills.
Setting aside some funds every paycheck
This seemed the toughest when I tried doing it myself. My emergency saving funds started accumulating only when I reached out to my financial advisor. I followed her advice and have now set up a pre-authorized debit from my chequing account to an emergency saving account every paycheck.
Getting buy-in about saving resources from the family is teamwork after all
We agreed on using natural light as much as possible. After all, Saskatchewan has 300 sunny days on an average per year! Getting creative about saving resources is also fun. My daughter came up with a plan of recycling water from the sump pump to water the plants during the heatwave this summer.
Completing annual maintenance of the water heater, furnace and HRV system is on my to-do list of annual home maintenance
Prioritizing annual maintenance and upkeep on these things can drastically impact the length of time they can go without being replaced. If you’ve ever had to shell out money to replace a water heater or furnace before, you can definitely relate to how quickly it eats into months of saving.
Shopping around and researching insurance at the time of renewal
We noticed we often got complacent and renewed our insurance from the same provider every year. There are so many options available that can suit all budgets. It all starts with researching and ensuring to read up on the documents until the end to know if you are covered for uncertainties.
Check out this MONEYTALK blog on quick tips to save on insurance.
We never know how bad or how quickly a weather event can set us back. Adapting has been an ongoing process and knowing that my family and I have taken baby steps toward handling our money in order to adapt to these changing times gives me peace of mind.
While I call Regina my home now, I moved to the Queen City from India three years ago. Canada welcomed me, my husband and daughter with a warm smile and open arms to build a new life here.
We call ourselves proud new Canadian Roadtrippers. I have interests in camping, kayaking, trail walks and everything outdoorsy that Saskatchewan has to offer! I also cook, dance like no one is watching and love decorating my new house with plants, plants and more plants.
From moving to a new country to buying a new house here in Regina, it has been an adventurous and fun ride so far. For me, it’s all about budgeting and managing our finances wisely, so that we continue this beautiful journey we are set out for without any roadblocks.