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I'm trying to describe (very succinctly) the financial impact of a given scenario. If it happens, it will cost money.

What is the right verb to describe this? My first thought is to cause financial costs, but it doesn't sound entirely right.

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    You're right. It might CAUSE financial distress/harm/damage but it will entail/involve/necessitate (high/serious) costs. – Ronald Sole Mar 20 at 11:03
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    Cause financial loss? – Bella Swan Mar 20 at 11:26
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    You could consider inflict – Tom Mar 20 at 11:29
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A very commonly-used word for that situation is incur:

incur transitive verb : to become liable or subject to : bring down upon oneself • incur expenses
definition from m-w.com

Note how the dictionary's own example uses "expenses". :-)

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How about simply increase financial costs?

  • Thanks for your answer. It is not too far from what I am looking for, but I feel it implies that there are some costs already, whereas in the case I am describing the costs would "appear" (i.e., there were no costs otherwise). – guest_user Mar 20 at 12:17
  • In everyday usage, that would still count as an increase. Incur as suggested in the alternative answer is probably not strong enough for this usage. – Mike Brockington Mar 21 at 14:26

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