Friday, September 1, 2017

Prepping Challenges 51 Thru 60--Money

Having enough money in reserve to see you through a disaster can mean the difference between living in comfort while your home is rebuilt or living in a mold-infested, partially broken down home.  Between being able to prep the basics like food and water ahead of time and waiting for when (or even if) food handouts will be given in your neighborhood.  Being on sound financial footing as soon as possible is one of the best ways to be prepared for a disaster.

#51--You have $1000 cash on hand.  Carry some with you and keep some hidden in your home.  This will cover most minor emergencies.

#52--You have an emergency fund that will cover six to twelve month’s worth of bills and living expenses.  Obviously the lower your expenses and the fewer debts you have, the smaller this fund will need to be.  Not only will this carry you through most disaster scenarios but this will also carry you through getting laid off from work or coming down with an illness or injury that prevents you from working for months.

#53--You are insured.  Most people these days cannot self insure as a simple liability claim could set you back millions.  You need to have homeowner/renters insurance as well as health insurance, car insurance, life insurance if you are financially responsible for others, and long term care insurance.

#54--You have multiple sources of income.  Having money fall into your bank account regularly from various sources is a great way to keep all of your eggs out of one desperately important basket.  If you have one job and one source of income and that job dissolves/moves overseas/closes due to a disaster, you will be in a world of hurt financially.

#55--You are debt free including the house, the car, credit cards, student loans, etc.  When you are debt free you are truly FREE.  You have many more options when it comes to the work that you do, the place that you live, and the way that you live.  Can you imagine only having utilities to pay each month?

#56--You have a variety of money and money-equivalents.  Cash, regular income, investments, a retirement account, home equity, some gold and silver, barterable items…the more sources of cash you have stashed, again, the better off you will be when facing a financial crisis.

#57--You have good credit and access to credit and loans if needed.  It’s always a good idea to have a few credit cards (from different financial institutions) on hand to use if needed during a crisis as well as access larger sums of money in the form of secured or unsecured loans if needed. 

#58--You utilize online banking for bill paying, receiving income, and investments.  This way you don’t need a brick and mortar location to have your paycheck deposited, to get cash, or to pay your bills.  Money can easily be transferred online, bills can be paid, income can be direct deposited, investments can be made and changed…basically everything you would otherwise have to do in person has been automated for your convenience.

#59--You have non-cash sources of emergency assistance if needed.  This can range from thousands of air miles to quickly get a plane ride for free if needed to people who “owe you” and would be happy to help out/pay you back when you need it to a collection of gift cards and gas cards that can be used at any time (be sure to use them before they expire)…you get the idea.

#60--Your financial records are up-to-date, digitally backed up, and easy to grab and go if needed (ie: all in one organized location).  If you have to piece your life back together after a disaster that wipes your town off the map, the first place to start is with your insurance information and your asset information.  Hopefully your income will keep rolling in, you can easily pay your few bills remotely, and everything else can be done online from no matter where you have bugged out to. 

More information on financial preparedness here, here, and here.

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