How To Survive
A Financial Emergency
Do you have a "normalcy bias"? Of course you do! We all do.
We want everything to stay the same. We want to go on working our jobs, raising our families, watching the our favorite football team win, and taking a vacation now and then.
But believing that things will never change is a form of delusion that is totally irrational; however, psychologists say it is necessary for our survival. Our brains won't actually let us believe that a disaster can happen — not to us!
That's when our rational minds need to take over!
Our Rational Minds Tell Us To Prepare
Since we all read and watch TV, we know what is going on around us. But do we believe it and take action? Or do we let that "normalcy bias" rule us and refuse to believe what's right in front of us.
Pay Attention to the Warnings
- What warnings are you noticing in your life right now?
- What's going on in the world around you? Financial issues with your city, state, or country that will affect you and your family?
- Is your job secure? Is the company you work for secure? Any signs of a layoff down the road?
My husband always says, "Let's pay attention to what's going on around us and see how we can keep it from coming through our door?"
We don't get warnings for all crises like earthquakes, floods, or home fires. But we would be foolish to ignore warnings that do come our way, like tornadoes, hurricanes, or the financial conditions outside our door.
Never believe it "can't happen to me."
Never is the world so stable that life is blissful all the time. There are little problems that affect us and there are big problems that may affect us - at any moment - without warning.
So how do we prepare for a financial crisis?
Begin with a total spending freeze for a couple of days.
The first thing to do is to reassess your budget.
Take a look at where you spend your money.
- Are there luxuries you can forgo?
- What are the most immediate money needs?
One of the biggest mistakes people make when faced with a sudden financial setback or shocking
expense is to go on spending as though they still have the same budget.
Perhaps they go and buy something to try and make themselves feel
better. Maybe they just continue spending like they always did, with
hundreds of dollars going out for kids’ activities, a vacation that had
been planned before the emergency, dinners out, and shopping trips.
Create a "necessities only" budget.
Everyone has their own ideas about what is a necessity. Personally, I work at home and need the internet. It would cost me more to go to a Starbucks for free internet and coffee than it does to pay for an internet connection and make my own coffee.
But more than that, these are the items I feel are on our family's necessity list:
- Food (and the ability to cook it)
- Medicine and medical supplies
- Basic hygiene supplies
- Shelter (including sanitation, lights, heat)
- Defense Items
Absolutely everything above those basic necessities is a luxury.
You may have your own version of necessities and luxuries depending on your circumstances. By this definition, what are your luxuries?
Slash spending on luxuries.
Reduce your monthly payments by cutting frivolous expenses. Look at
every single monthly payment that comes out of your bank account and
slash relentlessly. Consider cutting the following:
- Cell phones
- Home phones
- Gym memberships
- Restaurant meals
- Unnecessary driving
- Entertainment such as movies, extra shopping, kids sports, or ball games.
It may not be a lot of fun, but it’s absolutely necessary until your crisis is under control.
Find ways to make extra money.
- Are there items around the house you could sell?
- Do you have experience of some kind that others would pay for?
- Can you create a home-based business?
- Start an online business?
- Provide a service? Cooking? Sewing? Odd jobs? Carpentry? Fix-it man?
Maybe learning a new skill would benefit your budget with a new way to make money. I swear, there is a Youtube video for everything you ever wanted to learn.
Use only things you have on hand.
Instead of running to the grocery store when you really need something, or even skipping your weekly shopping trip, rely on whatever groceries you already have on hand. This may take a bit of creativity. (This is what you've been prepping for, isn't it?)
What can you substitute for something you're out of? It's easier to substitute foods in a recipe when you cook inexpensive meals from scratch and use your stockpiled ingredients.
Instead of replacing something that is broken, try repairing it. (As I mentioned, there's a Youtube video to learn anything.)
If Life is Good Now - Prepare Now!
Are you and your family prepared to be self-reliant? Will you be able to let go of your normalcy bias? The best way to prepare for the future is to acquire knowledge and skills that will best equip you to handle the unexpected.
Learn as much as you can and stock up as quickly as you can afford. The Prepper's Blueprint is my go-to prepper book for everything. I hope it helps you prepare.
The Prepper's Blueprint is a step-by-step easy-to-follow plan to help us get prepared as quickly as possible. It includes common sense concepts and plenty of supply lists. It's divided the chapters into what the author calls "layers of preparedness". Each layer will help you progress from "beginner" to "longer term" to "the end of the world as we know it".
Layer 1: Chapters 1-14, prepares you for those everyday disasters that have shorter-term effects: power outages, storms, injuries, and evacuations
Layer 2: Chapters 15-31 help you to get ready for disasters that turn out to be much longer-lasting: economic collapse, long term power outages, and pandemics, to name a few.
Layer 3: Chapters 32-56 prepares you for the long haul and a complete change of lifestyle, the end of the world as we know it: providing food and water once supplies run out, security, retreat properties, and long-term plans.
The goal of this very readable book is to help you along the path to self-reliance, and ultimately, to get you and your family to a point where you can not only survive, but thrive, in a world that may be permanently altered.
The Prepper's Water Survival Guide is a must read book. If you think you know everything there is to know about storing water . . . well, reading this book may change your mind. I have plenty of water stored but I learned a few things from this book.
It's a step-by-step plan with straightforward information you can easily follow. You’ll quickly learn how to:
- Store fresh water
- Collect rainwater
- Purify water from lakes and rivers
- Dig a well for groundwater
In addition to harvesting water, you’ll gain the tools to keep large stores untainted for long periods of time, test the water you collect for dangerous toxins, and treat water-related illnesses that are commonly contracted during a disaster.
Stock up now - don't fall for your normalcy bias. When a crisis happens, you will have peace of mind knowing you are ready.
What do you think?
I’d love to hear what you have to say in the comments.