Do you have a plan should the worst happen? Whatever that may be for you – here are my tips for making sure you are prepared.
It’s not always easy to think about the future. Or what we do should the worst happen. But being prepared is essential, especially when it comes to finances. This post isn’t about life or income protection insurance either – I’ll save those exciting topics for another day. This is about a few genuine ideas to give a little bit of support should the shit hit the fan and the absolute worst happens, whatever that may be for you.
What is your worst scenario when it comes to income?
Many families in the UK have less than £100 in savings. Just how well would that serve them should the worst happen?
While it may not be pleasant to think about the worst happening, you may thank yourself later should the shit hit the fan and you loose your main source of income.
How would you cope?
Would you be able to pay your bills?
Feed and clothe your children?
Examples of loss of income:
- Redundancy or reduction of hours at work (for you or your partner)
- Long term injury or Illness
- Death of a partner
- Change to benefits
- Break down of a relationship that provided financial support
One of the best ways to prepare for a loss of income is to start building an emergency fund. This is only to be used in dire emergency, when all else fails and you literally have nothing else to fall back on. Even if it’s only a small amount, or just enough to get you through a week it’s better than nothing and much better than having to take out an emergency loan or credit card. If you struggle with money it may be worth asking a trusted friend or family member to look after it for you.
In an emergency we tend to use all the money we have left on bills, usually to keep a roof over our heads and our homes warm etc. Food is usually one the first things that goes or is heavily cut back. To counter this, it’s worth starting an emergency food box, in a safe place, away from the kitchen. Even if you can only afford to add one or two items a week it may well save a lot of stress at some point in the future.
An Emergency Food Box should include:
- Dried goods – Such as rice, pasta, flour and lentils.
- Tinned goods – especially fruit and veg like baked beans, tinned tomatoes and potatoes and tinned peaches.
- Loo Roll and Washing up liquid.
- UHT milk
- Tea, Coffee and Squash
It’s important at this point to also talk about ‘Best Before’ and ‘Use by” dates. All of the above should have ‘Best Before’ dates not Use By. This means even if you keep the box for a few years most of the good should still be fine to eat even if they have gone past the ‘Best Before’ it just means they may not be the optimum quality. You could also come with a system where items occasionally get rotated. Also make sure items have the longest date possible when buying.
When it comes to major financial issues such as those listed above it there is no point burying your head in the sand. Seeking advice as soon as possible means you should get the help you need as quickly as possible. In turn this should help to avoid a build up of debts and more problems further down the line.
I also use a local Financial Adviser – as well as setting up mortgages etc she helps people sort out their finances during difficult times such as those dealing with a long term illness. You can find out more about invest southwest and the options they offer here.
I know I said I wasn’t going to talk about insurance. And I’m honestly not trying to sell a particular product or brand but it is so worth thinking about. We have life insurance which costs about £30 a month for both of us. It means, should the absolute worst happen the mortgage is paid off leaving the renaming partner reasonably financially secure.
Do you have a plan should the worst happen?