A lot of people use their credit cards as their emergency fund. If they usually keep a 0 balance on it, do you recommend this?
Emergency situations often catch people off guard and leave them feeling devastated. From financial difficulties incurred from a layoff or an unforeseen medical expense to fires and natural disasters, one thing is certain. Without a rock solid back-up plan, the chances of your family weathering a storm are next to zero.
So, what do you do to prepare yourself for the unexpected? You open the doors of communication with your partner and you come up with a way to get out of any pickle you might find yourself in. This might sound easier said than done but it is of vital necessity.
Preparing for future scenarios, although scary, can help your family survive the harshest conditions yet. The following advice has been collected from books written on the topic of survival. The situations described throughout the article may or may not apply to you and your lifestyle. Nonetheless, it never hurts to be prepared. In fact, the safety and security of your family may one day be dependent on your ability to adapt to a stressful situation.
Financial Devastation and Dealing with Joblessness
It isn’t a secret that today’s economy is a far cry from what it used to be. Joblessness is a concern of every American pounding the pavement. Unemployment benefits, although useful, are often not enough to save your home from foreclosure or your vehicle from be repossessed. It is seldom enough to put food on the table and warm clothes on the backs of your children. With that being said, you should start now by putting your budget on a diet. Couple that with building an emergency fund that can get you through a few months can go a long way in keeping you afloat.
You do this one of two ways. You either increase the income coming into your home by taking on a part-time job or selling things around your home or you cut back on unnecessary expenses. The latter is the more likely scenario as finding work is difficult in even the most plentiful cities. Make it your mission to save as much of your paycheck as you possibly can. Get creative. Use coupons when you grocery shop and bank the savings. Get to know the free section of Craigslist and sign-up for notifications from Freecycle. Repeat the following mantra, “When in doubt, do without.” Before you know it, your newly found thrifty lifestyle will allow you to maximize your savings and prepare for the worst.
Natural Disasters and Other Forms of Devastation
I recently read two good books on survival that I would like to recommend. Cody Lundin’s When All Hell Breaks Loose and Kathy Harrison’s Just In Case: How To Be Self-Sufficient When the Unexpected Happens. Both books offer practical advice on how to secure food, water, and shelter during unforeseen events like natural disasters, pandemic breakouts, and power failures.
The underlying theme of each book is that families should be self-sufficient. Chapters concerning preservation are incredibly helpful. Step-by-step instructions on how to purify water, unfreeze pipes, locate shelter, and protect your most precious assets are worth looking into.
Disaster strikes when you least expect it. Prepare yourself for the worst by hoping for the best. A positive attitude coupled with knowledge and determination can help you get through the toughest of times.
Charissa Arsaoui is a freelance writer for ChickSpeak, Buzzine, DisFUNKshion Magazine, Student Stuff, and a guest contributor for Wisebread. She loves thrift related topics and can spot a bargain a mile away.
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Filed Under: Personal Finance
About the Author: Charissa Arsaoui is a freelance writer with a love for thrift. She contributes to many different personal finance blogs.