CHICAGO (CBS) — It’s tough being on a financial diet, but when the unexpected happens – as the Wright family just discovered – the pain in your wallet isn’t so bad, if you’ve been good.

CBS 2’s Dorothy Tucker explains how sacrifices now could pay off big later.

The simple act of washing dishes is bad news for the Wrights. Somewhere in their kitchen, there’s a busted pipe and water is leaking.

“There’s water underneath the dishwasher,” Marcus Wright said. There are also puddles of water on the floor, and under the tiles of their kitchen.

Marcus said the leaking pipe is behind the wall in back of the sink, “and I know this, because when you go in the basement … it’s dry now, but you see a puddle of water.”

Water drips from a wood beam in the basement ceiling, just below the kitchen.

“I can tell … if the water’s on the beam like it is, the insulation is wet,” Marcus said. “That drywall has to be soaked.”

Marcus figures the insulation, the drywall, the tile upstairs, and maybe some cabinets will have to be replaced, in order to find the leak, and fix it. Home insurance will cover most of the cost, but he has to pay the deductible.

“My deductible is $1,000,” he said.

Having been on a financial diet, the unexpected $1,000 expense is frustrating for the Wrights.

“It makes it bad, but it’s not as bad as it could be,” Marcus said.

What’s helped is that the Wrights have banked more than $2,000 by saving money on everything from groceries and clothing, to electricity and insurance.

“I’m not going to go and have to grab the credit card, and charge on the credit card, and put myself more in the red,” Marcus said. “I’m just going to be able to just go and take the money that we’ve stocked away, and just say ‘here’s the deductible,’ and still remain in the black.”

Marcus actually saves money by using cash to cover the deductible. If he had to put $1,000 on his credit card and took six months to pay it off, with interest, he’d end up spending another $50. Now, he keeps that money in his pocket.

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