Search results for: 'financial planning'

  • Flooded house after heavy rain in the evening sunlight.

    “For Kathryn Fitzgerald and her young daughter, Megan, home was a modest three-bedroom house…on a tightly packed segment of Delaware Avenue two blocks from the Atlantic Ocean. That was the only home that Megan had ever known, until Hurricane Sandy hit and a rank mixture of floodwater and untreated sewage rose to chest-high in the lower level of the house.

    “Since then, they have lived in rental apartments and Megan, now 9, attended an unfamiliar school in another town for a while as her mother appealed for enough aid to rebuild the life they had…

    “More than a year after one of the country’s largest-ever disaster recovery efforts began, Ms. Fitzgerald is among the more than 30,000 residents of New York and New Jersey who remain displaced by the storm, mired in a bureaucratic and financial limbo.”

     

    Every year, big storms capture national attention with images of wild weather and large-scale destruction. But when the skies calm and the cameramen pack up and leave town, residents are left to the long, lonely process of returning to normal. Hurricane Sandy may be fading from popular consciousness; but for the victims, fourteen months into the recovery, the disaster is ongoing.

    Kathryn Fitzgerald is just one of a handful of displaced homeowners in the American Northeast interviewed recently by the New York Times—and her story is a representative and cautionary one. Victim after victim reports the difficulty of securing funds to rebuild, whether from government aid agencies or by other means.

    While we talk a lot about the immediate, life-sustaining preparations needed to weather extreme situations, sometimes the most important emergency preparation is financial. Read the full NYT article here to see what a tangled mess of red tape is holding up these people’s efforts to rebuild their lives. Then check out the links below to learn more about financial preparation for disasters. Finally, take another look at our blog post on flood preparedness to learn more about insurance options. Whether it's another storm like Hurricane Sandy, a sudden downpour that causes flooding like that in Colorado earlier this year, or another scenario altogether, you'll be so glad you've prepared in advance.

     

    New York Times article originally found via Instapundit.

    Posted In: Uncategorized Tagged With: insurance, hurricanes, flood, flood preparedness, financial preparedness

  • Food storage can help when money is tight.

    A disaster can come in many forms, some you might not even think of. Most people think that a disaster affects a large area and a large number of people. Generally speaking, it usually does, but some disasters can be very personal.

    A personal “financial crisis” is the first that comes to mind for me. I was raised with the idea that it is your responsibility to plan for an uncertain future because you never know when your circumstances might change. This change can happen very quickly and turn your world upside down unless you are prepared.

    My family experienced a financial crisis several years ago. My husband has been self employed for most of our marriage—and he has made a very good living doing so. That was until one of his customers went bankrupt and left a very large debt hanging over my husband’s company. Our careful financial planning just wasn’t going to cut it. We did have money put away in savings but we quickly realized that it wasn’t going to be nearly enough to see us through. The stress of that large debt began to take its toll on my family, not just financially but emotionally as well. My husband and I needed to quickly establish a feeling of stability for our kids. We had to take drastic measures to save our home and provide for our family. We began the process to close the business and we each began searching for a job.

    After a short period of time we both had found employment and we were so happy to be working again but we were now faced with a substantially smaller income. Getting by with a smaller income, especially since the bills didn’t get any smaller, proved to be quite challenging.

    We did have a financial plan but it only partially filled our needs—mainly because this “disaster” happened before we were able to reach our savings goal. I suppose most emergencies really do come along when you aren’t ready. So along with our financial plans we had put a lot of effort into building long-term food storage for our family. We actually had a complete one-year supply.

    We have always rotated and used our food storage. I wanted to make sure that my family was comfortable with the choices I had made for storage and that they were used to eating it. Just in case. Our kids were having enough trouble coping with our new financial situation and both of us working out of the house. Changing their diet on top of all that would have been too much stress. I don’t know about your kids but mine don’t like change—especially at the dinner table.

    This combination of financial and emergency preparedness created great security for our family. During that time my family had the consistency of maintaining their regular diet. We were able to nearly cut out our entire grocery bill for an extended period of time. I would still buy some fresh milk and occasionally fresh vegetables, but not needing to spend much (if any) money on food for an extended period of time made all the difference for our financial recovery. We used the money that we would have spent on groceries to pay other bills. This created just enough financial slack to help us save our home and provide stability for our family during those very difficult times.

    Slowly over time we did manage to pay down our bills and begin to recover financially. I truly believe that our emergency preparedness plans made it easier for our family to get through those hard times and allowed us to not only recover successfully but more comfortably as well. If you prepare well you can get through almost anything.

    --Dawn

    Posted In: Uncategorized

  • Mounting debt is perhaps one of the most trapping situations and greatest deterrents to getting ahead financially in today's world. If you, like many other people in America, find yourself weighed down with too many bills and feel like you are drowning in them, what can be done?

    One of the best ways to get out of debt is to stop using credit cards. Then pay them off as soon as possible. They are beneficial should you need to rent a car or encounter an extreme and rare emergency; otherwise avoid using them at all costs.

    Always pay your home mortgage bill before it lapses into 30 days past due. If you get behind 30 days or more on even one payment to your mortgage company, it triggers a black mark on your credit report that may jeopardize obtaining a loan on future home purchases.

    Other money-saving tips:

    • Shop grocery sales (buy one; get one free) and stock up on your favorite items.

    • Eat basic wholesome foods; avoid prepared boxed mixes.

    • Prepare menus in advance and shop from your list

    • Don't buy furniture, clothes, etc. on credit. Shop at second-hand stores, flea markets, garage sales, and swap meets. You will be surprised at the great deals you can land for a fraction of the price you would spend on new items.

    • Attend "dollar movies" or rent videos, instead of paying full price for a theater ticket.

    • It is recommended to store what you eat and eat what you store. This is a great way to save money and rotate your food storage.

    With so many options, it is a great idea to brainstorm with your spouse or family members on additional ways to save money.

    Financial preparedness is an essential part of any preparedness plan. Once your finances are in order, other areas of preparedness will fall into place.

    Click here for more articles on education and planning.

    Posted In: Uncategorized