Week 12 of 52: Financial Preparedness

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With the assistance of Daisy Luther, editor of The Organic Prepper, we set out  to add even more information to the original web series, organize and transform it into a book that encompassed all forms of disasters – both big and small. With all of the additional information added, the title even changed toThe Prepper’s Blueprint to help readers understand that preparedness isn’t just about having a plan, it requires drawing out a blueprint to set a preparedness foundation you can build upon and rely on when the time comes.

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About the Prepper's Blueprint

The Prepper's BlueprintAcross the ages, in every survival story, a disaster of some sort plays a prominent role. Sometimes the part is played by the government, sometimes it is played by Mother Nature, and other times, the role is taken on by a random mishap. If we have learned one thing studying the history of disasters, it is this: those who are prepared have a better chance at survival than those who are not.

A crisis rarely stops with a triggering event. The aftermath can spiral, having the capacity to cripple our normal ways of life. Because of this, it's important to have a well-rounded approach to our preparedness efforts. Due to the overwhelming nature of preparedness, we have created the Prepper's Blueprint to help get you and your family ready for life's unexpected emergencies. To make a more comprehensive, easy-to-follow program, The Prepper's Blueprint has been simplified and divided up in a way to help you make sense of all the preparedness concepts and supply lists provided. We have divided the chapters into layers of preparedness.

  • 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 The Prepper's Blueprint is to help you find freedom through 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.

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    The following chapter is part of the free 52 Weeks to Preparedness web series

    Week 12 of 52: Financial Preparedness

    wk 12
    There was a time in the not too distant past where I was enslaved to debt. I supplemented my income with credit cards in order to maintain an overindulgent lifestyle, and when my daughter needed emergency medical care, my financial situation worsened because I didn’t have medical insurance. The medical bills were a nightmare, and paying them off seemed like a never ending uphill battle. For years we had to live below our means in order to sort out our financial mess. During this time frame, I repeatedly asked myself, “Why didn’t I set some money aside for harder times? Why didn’t I prepare for this?” It was these questions that led me on a journey of financial discovery. Instead of wallowing in self pity, I educated myself in finding practical ways to fight back and to simplify my lifestyle, which became a huge lesson in self control.

    Emergency agencies suggest a person have at a minimum 3 months pay saved up to fall back on. Although, this can be a difficult amount to save in our economy, it is possible if you simplify your lifestyle. Here are 7 Ways To Save a Buck :

    1. Counteract financial emergencies by preparing for them in advance. Even when times are financially prosperous, it is a good idea to have a financial contingency plan in place and some emergency funds set aside to fall back on; this money can act as a buffer when things do go financially awry.
    2. Focus on meeting your practical needs, i.e., food, water, shelter. As long as you have shelter and food to provide for your family, you are ok. The rest of the financial mess will eventually sort itself out.
    3. Stop spending frivolously. Cut the following from your budget: restaurants, manicures, and Starbucks (my sister just fainted). Set a goal to save as much money as you can.
    4. Take advantage of grocery store advertisements and coupons. You can save a substantial amount of money when you search for discounted goods; throw away brand loyalty.
    5. Buy products in bulk. Purchase a few extra short term food supply items (e.g., canned goods, formula, flour, sugar, etc.) each time you visit the store. Accumulating a few extra items will not break the budget, and when the money gets tight, you have the items on hand.
    6. Trim the budget and shift your focus to the bare necessities. If you have children and one of the parents isn’t working, don’t spend money on daycare. If you are concerned about a lay off, start conserving your money by cutting back on energy bills, cable bills, etc. Speak with family members and let them know that you may be losing your job. Sometimes friends and family have good advice and possibly some contacts.
    7. Have a garage sale to get rid of items that are no longer used. “One man’s trash is another man’s treasure.” You may be surprised at how much money you could get for your gently used items that are collecting dust in your garage.

    Finding ways to cut corners can be a proactive way to learn new skills. Rather than paying a company to landscape your yard or paint your home, do it yourself. The more skills you allow yourself to learn, the more self-sufficient you will become, which is the reason we are trying to become prepared. As an example, one of the ways I cut back and became more self-sufficient was to start baking my own bread and making my own condiments. If I hadn’t made the choice to be more frugal, then I never would have learned how to make fresh bread and can vegetables.

    Preps to Buy:

    Rather than purchasing emergency supplies this week, concentrate your attention on your family’s short-term and long-term financial goals and discover ways to trim your budget.

    Action Items:

    1. Create a financial contingency plan.
    2. Look at your budget and begin eliminating unnecessary debt.
    3. Try and save 5-10% of your paycheck to use as a back-up plan.

    Finding ways to cut corners can be a proactive way to learn new skills. Rather than paying a company to landscape your yard or paint your home, do it yourself. The more skills you allow yourself to learn, the more self-sufficient you will become, which is the reason we are trying to become prepared. As an example, one of the ways I cut back and became more self-sufficient was to start baking my own bread and making my own condiments. If I hadn’t made the choice to be more frugal, then I never would have learned how to make fresh bread and can vegetables.

    The Prepper's Blueprint

    Tess Pennington is the author of The Prepper’s Blueprint, a comprehensive guide that uses real-life scenarios to help you prepare for any disaster. Because a crisis rarely stops with a triggering event the aftermath can spiral, having the capacity to cripple our normal ways of life. The well-rounded, multi-layered approach outlined in the Blueprint helps you make sense of a wide array of preparedness concepts through easily digestible action items and supply lists.

    Tess is also the author of the highly rated Prepper’s Cookbook, which helps you to create a plan for stocking, organizing and maintaining a proper emergency food supply and includes over 300 recipes for nutritious, delicious, life-saving meals. 

    Visit her web site at ReadyNutrition.com for an extensive compilation of free information on preparedness, homesteading, and healthy living.

    This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

    Originally published July 22nd, 2011
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