Financial prepping. Being prepared financially isn’t talked about nearly enough in the prepping world. Yet it is one of the most important aspects of prepping! With the Coronavirus going around and so many Americans either working from home or being out of work entirely, I can’t think of a better time to discuss this.
How much money do you have in your savings account? Enough to handle a $1,000 emergency? Or pay your bills for three months? What if the bank was inaccessible? Do you have cash at home to get you through a week or two? My guess is probably not.
Having a year or more of food and copious amounts of guns and ammo to defend your food and other preps is great. Don’t discount any of that. However that is only a fraction of being prepared.
Job loss is a hot topic at the moment because so many people have lost their jobs. New unemployment clauses have been added and modified because of the Coronavirus, and that is great. So is the stimulus check we’re all supposed to be receiving. However, the virus does not stop the bills from rolling in. The thing I’ve noticed is that they are sent earlier now, to make sure people have a little more time to adjust for them. That’s it. The unemployment office hotline and websites are being overrun and they simply can’t keep up. But bills are still due.
Even being a prepper, I am reminded right now that I haven’t done enough to be ready for the financial aspects of an emergency. I have done some prepping in this area, but it has never been a major focus. Time to seriously change that! Keep reading for my thoughts on how to do this.
Don’t put all your eggs in one basket
One of my favorite phrases is, don’t put all your eggs in one basket. Which applies to money just as much as anything else. Having money in the savings account is amazing. I’m a huge fan of watching it grow. The larger that number is, the more secure I feel. But as I asked earlier, what happens when the bank is inaccessible?
This can happen through a variety of ways. First off, power outages. Banks need electricity to function and access accounts. Accounts can be flagged for fraud, and nothing goes in or out until it is straightened out. Or a creditor can petition the bank for your money and take it if bills aren’t paid. There are more ways than even I think of that money in banks can become inaccessible.
This would be where keeping money at home is important. Spreading the eggs to multiple baskets. Sometimes it can take a little bit to straighten problems out with a bank, and that’s just the nature of the beast. But having money at home ensures that the ability to buy gas and groceries is still there. When Nathan had his wallet stolen, we had to shut everything down until our new bank and credit cards arrived. Having money at home ensured we were fine and could still function normally until everything was changed over to the new cards. Not difficult, just annoying.
Keep debt to a minimum
Keeping debt to a minimum is imperative. I am not a fan of being in debt to anyone. If I can’t pay for it straight out, I don’t get it. Credit cards are great in the sense of building credit, but use them sparingly and pay it off each month. Use it to buy gas or something simple each week. Debt will come back to haunt all of us later on if we spend beyond our means.
Look at ways to save money. What can be cut out or even simply minimized? You don’t have to cut something totally out, but it can be slowed down.
Turn daily expenses into treats
A great example of this is coffee. Many people go through a drive-through coffee stand every single morning. That’s a minimum of $5 per day spent, not to mention the gas used to sit in the line, and time. Cutting it down to twice a week instead of 5 days a week is a massive savings, and not difficult to do. Make coffee at home instead and spend the time drinking it relaxing in your pajamas before starting the day.
Nathan and I just finished paying off a bank loan we had. There was only a small amount left and it was easy to take care of. Then I cut out a streaming service that was costing a ton of money. We paid for it because this service had live sports. With the plague as I call it going around, there are no live sports. Therefore this service is now pointless. Between these two small changes, I just saved myself almost $200 per month.
Focus on saving money
I encourage you to take a look at things you can do to reduce debt and monthly costs. Do you have a small debt you can take money out of your budget to pay off and get rid of? Subscription services that are useless? Or it could be simple things around the house like energy use. If you turn on the oven, try to make an entire meal in it to make better use of the electricity used to heat it up. Change lightbulbs to be more energy efficient. Maximizing trips out to save on gas is a big one too, and easy to do.
Pay attention to the little things because they add up quickly! It amazes me how quickly they add up too. By paying attention to these things, it becomes much easier to save money and watch the bank accounts start growing. Then that unexpected bill or $1,000 emergency doesn’t feel like the end of the world. Financial prepping is a big asset.
Financial Prepping is your safety net
I’m lucky in the sense that Nathan and I both are still working. Me from home and him still going to and from his jobs as usual. However his hours are cut down a bit because of the shorter operating hours. That means my budget is smaller and these changes can make a huge difference in getting through the Coronavirus and the problems that come along with it. Having food preps is huge because empty store shelves aren’t the end of the world. But neither is him working shorter hours and not making as much money.
That is exactly why I prep, and I encourage you to as well. It all goes hand in hand. Everybody asks how much they need to save. Which differs from person to person. My rule of thumb is enough money at home to buy gas and food for two weeks, and enough in the bank to pay bills for three months. That would be the minimum goal to aim for. More is always better, of course. But start with that time frame and work your way to it by making small changes. Watch your bank accounts grow!
What are your goals to become more financially prepared? Tell me your thoughts about financial prepping it in the comments, and the steps you’re taking to achieve those goals! Click here for more prepping advice.
22 thoughts on “Financial Prepping”
Especially in times like this, being conscious of finances is a must!
Yeah, this one hits home for me. We are in the process of a refinance to get some bills in place and finances in order. Money is a tough one to prep for. I know you’re supposed to have something like three months’ worth of salary in the bank at all times yet most Americans average something like $4500 in the bank and couldn’t pay for a major repair if need be. I actually saved money with coffee by starting to use a reusable K-Cup with ground coffee as opposed to buying K-Cups for $12 a box.
One of the many perks, that I like, that many companies have. Is the automated, multiple direct deposit accounts feature (& of course, a 401K). I would always have a set amount be directly deposited to my checking account (for bills, grocery, mortgage, etc), and the rest would go into savings.
Financial prepping is so important. This is one of my areas of expertise, so I’m very excited you did an article on it. The more people think about these concepts, the better.
I belong to a movement called Financial Independence and we try to save up enough at an early age for work to be optional. Even though many of us (me included) want to keep working and enjoy our jobs, this concept gives us so much freedom to reduce hours, take breaks and never have to worry about financial emergencies.
Although I’m not financially independent yet, I’m well prepared to handle this crisis, even though a lot of my work has disappeared.
As a blogger who blogs on finances, I agree with you 100%. We have to have funds saved up for emergencies. Covid has brought us to our knees and there is a chance that normalcy will not return for a couple of month. It is so important to have our finances in order. Thanks once again for writing a detailed article on how to prep for something like Covid and other issues in life.
These are very good strategies for all times.
Yes, the first step is ALWAYS to be a debts-free or keep debts to a minimum.
Using credit cards the way you suggest (paying them off monthly) is beneficial not only in terms of building good credit, but it’s also safer than carrying cash in your pocket all the time or using a debit card. In most cases, banks don’t hold credit card owners responsible for the fraudulent activities on their account if the card was stolen or the card number was hacked. Also, credit cards often offer great benefits such as travel insurance, various shopping discounts, reward points and more.
Keeping some cash at home is also a very good idea; I prefer to keep no more than $150 at home.
The most important advice that you are giving here is the emergency fund. Unfortunately, people often don’t set the highest priority on having a minimum of 3 times the amount of their current monthly net earnings in their easily accessible bank account.
Coronavirus epidemy is the time when lots of people will have to deplete their emergency funds – thank god they had them!
The best time for savings is when nothing out-of-ordinary happens… but that’s also a calm time that deceives people making them think that the savings for the emergency could wait…
Thank you for the great post and very helpful reminders.
So many people have found themselves unemployed and realized that the rainy day they have been preparing for is here right now and it is not just a day but a whole ongoing storm. I myself love saving, but recent events have totally made me realize I do not have nearly enough stored and money is super tight, with bills still coming, but the focus now on essential services. So I agree that whatever you can cut down on, do so, especially if you’re unemployed. On the brighter side, it’s also a good time to really start networking and building your future on a positive note. Mindset trumps fear!
I didn’t actually wait for this post from you Erica, very interesting approach. and yes right now we have a lot to prep in terms of finances and the times are very disturbling
I cannot stress enough how important it is to work on our finance. Prepping and Saving is very import for the future.
Spot on advice Erica, and extremely relevant in the current scenario which has served as a wake-up call for many, to take prepping seriously. It has also helped identify unnecessary luxuries like eating out/ coffee which can be cut down. I’ve been home for over a month now and haven’t had the option of take-out food/ online & other shopping and lots of other things which I had taken for granted that they were part of my life, but I’m doing just fine without them. I hope to continue the good habits I have formed now and they will definitely help with my financial security.
I totally understand the amazing feeling of paying off debts and making it easier to save! We just sold our house and downsized to a high-rise rental condo until we get finances in check. We were able to pay off nearly $100k in outstanding debt, freeing up a few thousand a month! It’s so nice to finally not be strapped and have that extra money to sock away! Now with the quarantine, it’s nuts how much we are saving not being out doing things. I actually don’t really mind it either!
My husband, and I have started building up our savings. We realized that we needed to be prepared for any emergencies. I agree we don’t like have any debt, we are currently working on our savings, and paying down any existing debt. Thank you for sharing this post.
My goal is to keep cash on hand to cover our needs for 2 weeks. Also alternative forms of currency for real disasters/shtf. Gold or silver should keep value in crisis but may not be practical for people to keep on hand. Food, medicine, cigarettes, liquer, toilet paper, sunscreen. Many items may be more useful or valuable in a real crisis but it is hard to know or certain. A well rounded approach is the best we can do. Great article!
My goals for being more financially prepared is having cash on hand in dirhams (local currency) and USD if I need it! That would mean putting aside some of this cash everytime I get paid…
Fantastic post, and I agree I don’t think most would be ready for many cases involving cash and finances if something were to happen. I have us set up for a month, otherwise I am working on saving more!
I think people look at having 3 months worth of income set aside as impossible. Start small and squirrel it away. You may not miss $20 cash a week, but it will add up to $1040 by the end of the year. It may take you a while to get to the 3 months worth, but something is better than nothing.
This is fab and there are some really good tips here for sure. I agree that the crucial key is keeping debt down to a minimum for sure x
All great advice. I’ve been taking much closer look at my monthly expenses during what I also call the plague times and have identified some items that I simply don’t need or use. Off they go, saving me about $100 a month month. In addition to having a stash of cash at home, I’m also planning to diversify my investments — i.e., instead of having all of them in one bank, putting some in another bank, as well. Although financial institutions seem pretty safe, you never know.
If there is one good thing that has come out of this whole COVID situation, it is that it has challenged many of us to step back and reconsider our financial well-being. I know that it really forced my husband and I to take a step back and reassess everything. Not only did we cut some expenses and increase our savings, we also fund ways to redirect some of our spending so that it brings more value into our lives.
For example, we were likely eating out much more than we needed to. With everything that happened, we allowed ourselves a treat each Friday night (although it had to be local restaurants only, no chain companies – we wanted to use that opportunity to support local business) and we were able to book more camping trips with some of the funds that we saved! We LOVE our time camping, it’s our ‘happy place’.
I can understand and moderately go for food and domestic supply but finance prepping is out of my league. I just hope my hubs is fine enough prepper is that fiend.
All the young adults should read this post as it’s so relevant in ensuring a smooth journey in life without the worries. Saving early,keeping debts less and not keeping all the eggs in one basket when it comes to ensuring secure savings for the future as such matters of importance.Sharing your experience and learning is really appreciable.
This is such a good reminder! My husband and I completed Dave Ramsey’s Financial Peace University before we got married and I’m so glad we did! Taking the time to prep and be intentional changes everything!