unexpected household expense

How to Pay For an Unexpected Household Expense PLUS a Giveaway

This post has been written in collaboration with People’s Choice Credit Union

It was on a fairly cold winter’s morning in August when I went to put our ducted heat on to warm the house. I pressed the button and it wouldn’t turn on.

I remember groaning inside as we had spent quite a bit of money on our reverse cycle air conditioning unit over the past few years.

We shivered and put on layers of clothes until the AC serviceman came to visit. Thankfully they weren’t too busy as summer is usually their peak season for calls.

I knew it was going to be expensive to fix. Last time the bill was around $900 to replace the motherboard as a rat decided to fry itself while looking for a warm place to hide.

The news wasn’t good.

I was told our unit had run out of gas (which would cost approx. $1200 to replace) and there was a gas leak.

old air con unit

Our old Air Con unit

Depending on where the leak was on the inner copper coil, would depend on whether the unit could be fixed or not.

Our serviceman was the bearer of bad news again when he found the leak was further inside the unit which meant a new coil would have to be installed. The cost of getting the parts and labour, plus filling it back up with gas was going to be hefty. I had to seriously consider purchasing a whole new ducted air conditioning system to avoid throwing more money at our number one problem. I knew the estimated cost was around $15,000 to supply and install a new unit.

I told our serviceman to send through two quotes. One to fix our current unit and another to replace the system fully.

The quote to fix was $4,000 and the cost to replace was $12,000.

Jacob and I had to weigh up whether to spend more money to get a new system or just get the system fixed – not knowing whether it would belly up 12 months later.

We decided we would replace the system and I went about getting more quotes from other AC installers.

We were able to get the price down to $9000, which was still an unexpected household expense and was certainly a large amount of money we didn’t have lying around.

I knew air conditioning would be a necessity in summer. The hot sun beats down the back of our house and the girls’ rooms COOK in summer, even with block out sun blinds. I’m also used to sleeping in air conditioning during summer. It prevents me from getting migraines.

When faced with a large, unexpected expense, it can be a source of worry, working out how to pay for it.

For us, we had to consider our options. They were either applying for a personal loan OR seeing if we could redraw money from our mortgage.

Personal loans can sometimes be looked down on as another debt to pay off or a debt you can’t afford, which does hold some merit, but gosh they are convenient when you need a large sum of money to pay for a huge expense, like replacing a ducted air conditioning unit.

People’s Choice Credit Union is one of Australia’s leading credit unions, with competitive rates. They offer a genuine alternative to the major banks.

People’s Choice makes it easy for families to work out whether they can maintain the loan, through the use of an online calculator on their website. The personal loan calculator calculates repayments and the affordability of the loan for families.

People’s Choice offers a range of personal loans to suit your circumstances. Whether you are purchase a new car, need funding for a renovation (or in my case, replacing the ducted air conditioning).

Their loans have a competitive interest rate and have the choice of weekly, fortnightly or monthly repayments.

Personal loans make it easier to achieve your life goals quicker. They also give you the power to access necessary funds to pay for unexpected financial surprises.

And no one is immune from them in some shape or form.


People’s Choice Credit Union is member owned and they operate to serve their members who are also their customers. People’s Choice has collaborated with The Plumbette to give away a Prepaid VISA gift card to the value of $100 to help ease the financial burden that can often be felt this time of year.

In order to be in the running for the prize, you need to answer this question in 25 words or less:

What would you take out a personal loan for and why? The most interesting and creative answer will win the prize.

Terms and Conditions

This is a game of skill. Each valid entry to be judged on creativity and originality, not by chance.
There is 1 prize = $100 Prepaid Visa Gift Card
Entries open from 6am Brisbane time Tuesday 14th February 2017 to Tuesday 28th February 2017 6pm Brisbane Time.
Prizes are not transferable or changeable.
Prize sent out by third parties will not be replaced in the event they are stolen, lost or damaged in transit or virtually.
Entry is leaving an answer to the question.
A valid email address must be included in your entry. This email will be added to my newsletter, but will never be spammed or sent to third parties.
Entry into any giveaway or competition is deemed acceptance of these Terms and Conditions
Entrants must be Australian residents and aged 18 or over.
The winner will be notified by email and has 3 days to reply and claim the prize. The winner may be announced on Facebook. This giveaway is not endorsed by Facebook.

This post has been written in accordance with my disclosure policy.

  • Becky

    Imagine cool air refreshing your soul as you sit by a firepit. I need to do serious landscaping for my dream. It will happen!

  • I’m on borrowed time, but there is still so much I want to do. My hubby and I would get a loan for the road trip of a lifetime. I want to drive the great ocean road from Melbourne to Adelaide, I want to see Coober Pedy and how they survive underground without aircon, I want to see the sunset from the west coast, I want to visit the Kimberly region and cruise the gorges, I want to visit Tasmania and kangaroo island, I would love to visit Rottnest island too. I want to see the big red rock at a time when it’s raining and a waterfall. I want to find the whitest sand in Australia and stand with the sand between my toes one last time. Ideally if I could find a cruise that travels most of these places it could help with my mobility as opposed to sitting in a car where we have to stop every hour to rub my feet as they’re numb. If I could get a loan of a lifetime it would be for this.

  • Kylie Embury

    Our bathroom needed updating,
    when we moved in TWELVE years ago!
    The tiles have fallen off,
    and the shower barely goes!

    “It’s ugly and outdated”,
    you’ll hear me cry and moan,
    to renovate and modernise,
    I’d take out a personal loan!

    • Congratulations Kylie and thank you for emailing me your details. Your prize will be sent on it’s way soon. 🙂

      • Kylie Embury

        Thanks so much!

  • Jill

    Termites have visited our downstairs bathroom, so we now have three teenagers sharing our ensuite. Help!

  • For any future fertility treatment if we try for number 3. Our credit card is still maxed from our fertility bills 7 months ago.

  • My soccer mad son would enjoy a trip to Melbourne to watch Argentina play Brazil. My shopping ban would be sorely tested though.

  • My mum and dad’s air con blew up over the weekend. ‘A fat gecko’ decided to fry itself. They’re trying to sort out costs and insurance at the moment 🙁
    Anyway, my answer:
    An overseas
    trip with my family for my 40th birthday. Instead it seems like we’ll
    be doing a big fat nothing lol.

  • Di

    Vasectomy for hubby. The procedure not that much of a financial outlay, but for the lavish holiday he’d require….I mean ‘they’d’ require, somewhere warm and wonderful, so he can relax, with his ‘boys’ no doubt on a silky pillow as they heal, after the traumatic and torturous experience the poor little nut bags have been through!! And if he heals rapidly, then it could be like a luxurious second honeymoon as we give his ‘goods’ a run for their money. And when the bank manager asks me ‘why a loan for this’, I’d have to answer with, ‘it’s a gift that keeps on giving……..going to be the best investment of my life’ 😉

  • Karina Lee

    My husbands Transformer collection. It’s eating into our holiday fund!

  • oldfellow

    Debt Consolidation is the main reason. not that I cant pay its that I would like just to pay one organisation or company instead of having to spread my payments over a period of different times and different places, with work I find it hard to get to some of these places to make payments and having them consolidated and taken out saves me a lot of worry

  • Judith

    I’d take out a personal loan to give my daughter stage lessons… she could really do with the confidence of getting up on stage and performing – I think it would help her in all areas of life as she’s quite shy and reserved. But somewhere deep down I know she has a really bright spark in her that needs to be lit with passion!

  • A Dalek. A real one. There’s a few people I’d like to exterminate… or, at least, give a stern talking to.

    (Email address provided via newsletter subscription in my name)

  • I remember when our hot water service died the week after we bought Zee home from the hospital. Talk about crappy timing! We were really lucky that we’d been putting away all the money I was earning part-time before she was born for just such an emergency as we had to get the entire thing replaced that same day! Right now, I know the thing that would need replacing with no notice would be our car. She’s an old girl so I’m just hoping she can hang on another 12 months for us!

  • Bryan Rigby-Roberts

    I stupidly bought a brand new car as my first ever car just 12 months ago. As new drivers do, I’ve introduced various panels of the car to garage door frames, fences, pergola posts, stobie poles… No major bingles, but combined it’s about $5,000 worth of work that needs doing – a personal loan would be more than handy!

  • Wow! I never even thought about a personal loan?!! I’d totally get a pool! The missing feature to our farm backyard. SO.MUCH.FUN!! 🙂

  • Katie

    We have a scary bathroom. Mirror tiles galore .. need I say more? We’d eliminate the nightly fright by updating the bathroom!

  • yolandi

    I would get a loan to take hubby on his bucket list trip to the Antarctic to camp on the ice and see emperor penguins.

  • Vicki Scherer

    I’ve decided to be greedy…it’s all for me….to do all the things I never get…hair colour, new wardrobe, holiday alone…..

  • Claire H Simmons

    to pay for my medical bills as battling a pancreatic tumour is hard enough without worrying about the bills, more time to cuddle the kids

  • Rachael Abbot

    Kids are expensive right? For us just trying for a baby will cost over $10,000. A personal loan to start the process sooner sounds great!

  • Beksmum

    I’d take out a loan for an ensuite in my room – one small bathroom & toilet is not cutting it with two teenage daughters!

  • Kathy Bowdlert

    My family lives on a drought declared farm, no water for cattle or house, I’d get a personal loan for a bore.

  • Jennifer B.

    Utilities aren’t giving me too many thrills.
    I’d borrow for enough SOLAR PANELS to cover my roof and my endless electricity bills!

  • Nassep

    For me it would have to be a once in a lifetime experience – like going to Iceland to see the sky lights at night and staying in a ice hotel

  • Lauren

    I would love nothing more than to put a personal loan towards updating my tired kitchen to the inviting, central family hub it should be.