With 2018 around the river bend, how are you gearing up for the year ahead? According to Statistic Brain, 41 percent of Americans use the time at the beginning of the year to make resolutions. Yes, the most common ones typically have to do with losing weight and following a healthier diet. But that topic is closely followed by life improvement goals and making better financial decisions. Want to improve in both areas? Develop a plan for life’s sudden emergencies. Doing so will safeguard your finances, while also helping you quickly recover from setbacks.
Here are 5 common emergencies you might face in 2018 that forward-thinking people will want to develop a plan for.
1. Car accidents.
Drivers will average one car accident every 17.9 years. Distracted driving, drowsy driving, and driving in bad weather can happen to anyone at any time. While it is good to practice safe driving habits, you should also know how to cope should you be involved in a car accident. Handling a car accident correctly can help minimize both your own bodily harm and potential financial damage to your wallet. Have the number of a car accident attorney that comes recommended by friends. And make sure you keep a monthly budget for car repairs.
2. Freak weather storms.
Due to climate change, extreme weather patterns have become the norm. But even while we get used to hearing about harsh hurricanes on the news, many of us are not prepared for one should it hit our own town. Ask yourself what kind of plan is in place should your area be the target of extreme weather. How would you fare without electricity for a couple days? What about if the gas were cut off? Or if the water source became contaminated through broken pipes? Ready.gov provides lists of what you need to survive most any type of disaster, including storms and flooding. Water, a couple days’ worth of food, flashlights or lanterns top all the lists. Find a list that makes sense for your area and your concerns and start checking off the items.
3. Getting laid off.
Most of us do not like to think of possibly losing our jobs. Which could be why we are often woefully unprepared for it to happen. Instead of allowing the possibility to become a nagging worry. Have a strategy for coping. Figure out how much your monthly expenses are and begin to save 3 to 6 months’ worth of expenses. This will give you breathing space and time immediately after losing your job to reflect on what you want in your next job.
Keep your resume updated and connections open for future networking opportunities. These things might not seem so important now, while your paycheck seems steady, but they will be important to have done if ever you lose your job.
4. Battling sickness and injury.
Sickness and injury can sideline you from showing up at work. If you work in a freelance or independent contractor capacity or run your own business, then showing up at work is what guarantees your paycheck.
Ever thought about what you would do if sickness kept you from clocking in? If you own a business, do your staff know enough to keep the business going without you? If you are an independent contractor, do you have associates who can help carry your load so that you don’t lose clients while you take sick days?
Not only that but also, do you have a financial buffer for those days of lost work, which often mean a cut in income? Having a clear plan of action can help you particularly when sickness will conspire to make thinking difficult.
5. Dealing with divorce.
Controversy surrounds the issue of preparing for separation. But being prepared is always the better option, even if it means thinking through emotionally charged topics. Make sure you source a trusted attorney to handle the proceedings and give you wise legal counsel. If you have children, then their wellbeing should be at the top of your priority list. And no matter if you have children or not, figuring out the impact the divorce will have on your finances is one of the first hurdles to clear. Look at your living expenses and find out how much you will need to cover without counting on your partner’s income. You may need to downsize or cut back while you refigure your spending habits so that it accommodates a minus one.