How many of us are living within our means? Are we spending more than we have, buying more than we need, or wasting resources we may need later?
I have found that there are two recommended steps to financial freedom: Live within your means and get debt free.
But what if your means isn't considering the resources you have on hand during a disaster? I learned growing up that we should have "at least" 3 days rationing. Living in California the threat was always the impending earthquakes that would limit access to electricity, water, food, and help. The 1994, 6.7 magnitude Northridge Earthquake resulted in roads collapsing and help had to be organized and flown into many areas. The recommended 3-day resources some people had were not enough. Help was delayed not days, but for several weeks. Those who were unprepared suffered the most. The lessons we learned from that experience is that we might find ourselves homeless if our houses become damaged, we might find ourselves without water if the water becomes contaminated, and we might be on our own in terms of medical care. How prepared were you for the food limitations and toilet paper shortages of 2020? As the pandemic lingers and lockdowns are threatened to return, will our resources again be limited, or even non-existent?
In addition to preparing for the next "pandemic" or "crisis" it's important to consider your finances and the amount of debt looming over your head. Many people have been receiving financial assistance from the government and have not used those funds to pay down debt, but instead of wasted the money on frivolous entertainment. While everyone was on lockdown and staying safe at home three industries skyrocket: Online shopping, food deliver serves, and alcohol sales. I heard that one report showed alcohol consumption by young mothers went up over 300% during 2020. Money is a resource that has limitations and to rely on others to care for you during a crisis is unrealistic. The average household does not have enough savings in reserve to survive 30 days. People on government assistance literally spend everything they receive as soon as they receive it. Living paycheck to paycheck has become the norm, and unfortunately, when the money stops, many will suffer.
I found a website that focuses on survival during times of crisis: 4Patriots.com. They have recommendations for water survival, saving on your grocery bills, survival gardening, and 10 items you'll need in times of crisis. I recommend you check their website out and begin preparing now for the unseen future.
It's better to have and not need, than to need and not have.