Finances & Money

How to Protect Your Family from Life’s Surprises

The economy might be going gangbusters now, but things can change quickly.  This uncertainty means that you need to need to find ways to protect your family from life’s little surprises.  With that in mind, here are some tips that you can take to heart to protect the ones you love the most.

Step 1: Make it Simple

Life has a way of getting complicated and this leads to uncertainty and risk all around.  But it doesn’t need to be this way. Instead, you should look for ways to simplify your life.  Maybe it is by getting rid of unnecessary bills and services – why do you think so many people have become cord cutters?

Beyond this, you might also want to look at your living conditions.  Maybe it is time to downsize, or if you have space you might want to think about renting out that spare room for some extra cash.

While we are on the topic of extra cash, you might also want to comb your closets for anything you don’t need anymore.  This could include old clothes, shoes, toys, or something else which you could sell. When it comes to selling the items, you could go old school and have a garage sale, or you use the internet to help you find a broader audience.

Step 2: Set up an Emergency Fund

As mentioned, the economy can change at any time and this means that you need to put structures in place to protect your family.  Just imagine you are driving along in Southern California and boom, you are in a car accident. Not only will you need a good Irvine auto accident attorney to expedite your case but you will also need to make sure your family has enough money on hand.

You’ll need to have an emergency fund in place.  While some might call this fund ‘savings’, the truth is that it goes much deeper than this.  Having an emergency fund will make sure your family has enough money to cover a couple of months out of work or medical bills.

How much money should you have in your emergency fund?  The answer depends on your current situation. If you have nothing set aside – like most Americans – then you need to start small, maybe $10 per week.  But from there you want to move towards having at least one month’s salary to cover expenses.

Once you get to one month, then you’ll want to shoot for three months and then ultimately, you will want to have six months or more needed to cover contingencies.

Step 3: Get Out of Debt

Think of debt like jail, in that you almost never get time off for good behavior.  Instead, you struggle to make the minimum payments just hoping that you will be able to pay off the entire amount someday.

But if you really want to protect your family from life’s surprises, then paying off your bills is the great place to start.  If you are looking for a place to start, then tackle your high-interest debts first as these are the one which is costing you and your family the most money.

From there, organize what is left and then put together a plan to get down to zero balances on everything.  At the same time, cancel or put away your credit cards as not having them with you means you will be less likely to use them.

It might seem impossible but you can get out of debt and do so will not only be beneficial for you but also your family.

Step 4: Be All That You Can Be

This is an advertisement for the Army – though many we should keep in mind the sacrifices military families make.  Instead, it is about investing in yourself. This might be by learning a new skill or take time to get yourself in shape.

An added perk to being all you can be is that it will help you to better look after your family when times get tough.  Sure, it might not be the physical strength that will be needed but the added mental power gained through learning a new skill or exercise will help you to overcome any challenge which comes your way.

As you can see protecting your family starts with simplifying your life, getting an emergency fund in place, getting out of debt, and finally investing in yourself.  Doing so will help you to overcome life’s little surprises.

About the author

Susan Paige

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