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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.