Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Five Things

Here's five things, with lessons learned, that have come up recently:
  1. If you don't have an emergency fund, get one. ASAP. I've known a couple of situations recently where the people had what would be considered a crisis and they had absolutely nothing to fall back on. One got a loan from a family member and another went to a Payday Lender (always a bad idea). Just yesterday we had a minor plumbing situation that required an immediate fix by a plumber. It was nothing major but being able to simply retrieve the needed cash from the emergency fund and not having to scramble for a loan or not pay a bill because you have an unexpected expenses is a huge relief both financially and psychologically.
  2. There was a tragic shooting this morning of an armored car driver at a Walmart a ways south of here. Of course this was the lead story on all of the local news stations but it also got me to thinking. How many times have I crossed paths with armored car drivers who are picking up or delivering money? The answer...fairly often. At the bank, at the grocery store, at the big box store, you run across these people and we often don't pay much attention to them. Note to self and everyone else: people carrying lots of money are a target. Not every time, fortunately, but if you are in the vicinity of a stationary armored car with their staffers outside of the vehicle, remember that this is a security threat situation that requires a higher level of awareness on your part.
  3. Also in the news, the apparent crash of a jetliner which was on its way from Rio to Paris. Are you ready to die? Most of us aren't, of course, and fortunately flying is generally very safe, but the point is that death often happens quite unexpectedly. It is always a good idea to have your affairs in order. Life insurance is a good idea, having all of your papers organized so your next of kin aren't left with a mess of papers to sort through is a good idea too, having the afore mentioned emergency fund at the ready would also be a great comfort to those who are left behind and need to pay for your funeral expenses.
  4. Hummer was sold to a Chinese company. Companies are bought and sold internationally as a matter of course but, excuse the paranoia, it is a bad sign when we can't keep our own companies afloat financially, and one of the most powerful countries in the world--besides us and generally opposed to us--can.
  5. Other random news: a local teen was convicted today of second degree manslaughter. He was hunting when he shot and killed a lady who was hiking nearby because he shot at an outline of what he thought was a bear but couldn't clearly see because it was foggy. Never shoot at something you can't clearly identify. The body of a soldier was found today in a river a few weeks after he went rafting with friends--without a life jacket and/or knowledge of the river. Always wear a life jacket when participating in water sports. Multiple homes were ransacked while the occupants slept last night because they had left their windows open due to the warm weather. Always secure your windows and doors, especially before you go to bed. Leaving your windows and doors unsecured is like leaving an invitation for burglars.

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