“Chains of habit are too light to be felt until they are too heavy to be broken.” -Warren Buffett

Making a plan for life's unexpected twists and turns: Emergency Savings

2020 has taught me (and I suspect many others) is that we need to be prepared for the unexpected twists and turns life may throw at us!

This year has had many twists... Let's start with Covid-19. Who would've imagined?! There are others including wildfires, floods, and a mass shooting.  It has been heavy and sad.  It is all too much sometimes.  And yet in the midst of it, I'm grateful.  Grateful for my family, our home, our safety, our leaders, our country, our healthcare.  Grateful that these situations aren't our norm.  Grateful my kids feel save and have declared this the "best pandemic ever".  Grateful we aren't financially ruined by this.
One thing this year and other's like it have taught me is that we need to be prepared for emergencies.  Not in the "build a bunker" kind of way, but by having funds available so that a minor (or major) emergency doesn't push us over the edge. 
My btitmoji has been pandemic updated...
Business on the top, yoga pants on the bottom

By having skills, we can cope with minor repairs to extend the life of things in our home.  Skills like cooking and baking mean we can extend the life of our food (canning, freezing or otherwise) and by ensuring a level of sustainability in our actions (regrowing veggies from scraps, having a small garden, freezing or otherwise reusing leftovers). 

By having an emergency fund, we can cope with temporary decreases in income.  We can adjust our budget to stretch even further, we can reduce ongoing expenses and direct those funds to savings, or our mortgage.  By accelerating our mortgage pay off, we can skip or reduce payments without needing to dip into formal deferral options that may negatively impact us moving forward.

All these actions and more ensure we are not ruined or majorly impacted by life taking a small (or even large) sideline.  Times like this are hard, for everyone, in different ways.  But we are able to cope because when times weren't so hard, we made the choice to save, to learn skills, to figure things out.  There is freedom in that choice, and now because of it we aren't on the brink of personal financial disaster and the pressures we feel are far less than they would have been otherwise.

I encourage you to consider if there are a few simple changes you can make to get yourself financially on track, so you too can enjoy the freedom and peace of mind that brings.

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