Tuesday, September 25, 2018

National Preparedness Month Day 25--Money

Money is so important to your preparedness that we covered it initially on day one when the topic was having an emergency fund.  Having money can be the difference between evacuating and being stranded, between eating and starving, and between having a roof over your head no matter the situation and homelessness.  Here are the money categories you need to work on in order to be prepared for anything:

  • Emergency fund.  Covered on day one of this series.
  • Frugal living.  Some people live like they are on "Housewives of whatever-city".  Spending every dime you earn and then some will bury you in a pit of debt and will impact your every decision from how much food you can stockpile to whether or not you can take your kid to the doctor.  Frugal living and living below your means is the way to both stay out of debt as well as allow you to put money aside for emergencies.
  • Debt free.  Pay off all of your debts--credit cards, car loans, school loans, home loan, other debts--as quickly as possible.  If you only have to pay utilities and not a mountain of bills each month you can survive much longer on your emergency fund after a disaster.
  • Investing.  There are several vehicles for investing your money.  Besides having a liquid emergency fund, also consider investing your money in a retirement fund (Roth, 401k, etc), in stocks/bonds/mutual funds, in real estate, in precious metals, etc.  See a financial planner for more information on this topic.
  • Saving.  Save as much money as you can.  Your emergency fund is just the beginning.  Even after you get your emergency funds together, you want to continue to save money each and every month so that you will be well positioned for whatever disaster may strike--from being flooded out of your home and community after a hurricane to dealing with a severe illness or injury to being unemployed.
  • Multiple sources of income.  If you have one source of income, like a regular job, and you end up laid off or fired, your financial situation will be toast.  If you have a half dozen different sources of income, you will be in a much less desperate situation if one source happens to go away.

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