Welcome to DAY 26 of our 15 Minute Prepping Projects series. Today we’re going to create a monthly budget, stash some cash, and make a get-out-of-debt plan.
Every day for the month of September we will celebrate National Preparedness Month by undertaking a small task to help us get more prepared. Do as few or as many days as you want. Jump in at any time. Do them out of order, or more than one in a day. And feel free to share what you are doing!
Earlier this month we put together our list of bills and financial accounts to help our spouse/family should something happen to us. But today’s focus is a little different. I really want us to focus on financial preparedness a little bit. There are three separate tasks associated with this, so do what you have time for today because remember you can do ANYTHING for 15 minutes!
Stash Some Cash
We live in a day and time where you can almost get away with not using cash at all. However there are definitely still some situations where cash is required and it is a terrible feeling to be stuck without having it on hand or having a way to access some quickly. Stash small amounts of cash in different places (your home, your 72 hour kits, your car, your wallet, etc.). Try to have a larger amount of cash at home but in smaller bills. In an emergency where card machines are down you may have to pay with cash and there might not be change available. So small bills are best.
Create a Budget
The first step to financial preparedness and ensuring that you are spending LESS than you earn each month and being purposeful with the money that you do earn. If your income is high enough to meet your basic needs, make sure you are being smart with your excess cash and invest in the future, invest in preparedness supplies, and be generous with your donations. If your income is not enough to meet basic needs or reach your financial goals, it’s time to think about ways you can reduce your expenses and/or increase your income.
Having a budget can also help you find more money than you thought to be able to buy more food. When I was just starting out on my food storage journey my grocery budget was just $150 a month for our little family of 4. My husband at the time didn’t think we could afford to spend more on stockpiling food. I started doing serious couponing using sites like Deals to Meals to make my $150 go further at the store each month. But I also implemented an envelop budgeting system where I used cash for everything. I would take any extra money that was left in the envelopes at the end of the month and use it to buy long term food storage items at a time when I didn’t think I could afford ANY kind of food storage or prepping supplies. It was a miracle for me.
Make a Get Out of Debt Plan
I LOVE listening to Dave Ramsey and his book The Total Money Makeover inspired me so much as a young newlywed with a mountain of student loan debt to overcome from my husband’s flight school. Dave recommends listing your debts in a debt snowball and focus all of your efforts on attacking the debt with the smallest balance first, then taking whatever you were paying on that debt and putting it towards the next lowest balance. Over time as you start to pay things off it’s like magic watching the debts start to be paid off faster and faster. Dave Ramsey is also the one that introduced me to the idea of the envelope system so needless to say he was very instrumental in helping me with my financial preparedness all those years ago.
Hopefully you can use today to make some positive steps towards financial preparedness!
Share Your Results
I’d love to hear what your solutions are for budgeting, getting out of debt, saving for retirement, etc. Those are such huge topics and are not often discussed in the world of preparedness. Here are some ways you can share:
Instagram: Use #15minuteprep and tag @jodi_foodstoragemadeeasy on any post or story you do featuring your project. You can follow the hashtag to see everyone’s projects and if you tag me I will repost in my stories throughout the day (if your account is public).
Facebook: Comment on the PINNED posts in my Facebook Group (If you are not a member yet I will try to get you added within 24 hours so you can play along). The most recent day should show up at the top and you can scroll to the right to see past days. I will try to share some of these to Facebook stories as well (no names will be used, don’t worry!)
Text me: If you are not already signed up to get the daily challenges via text just text 15minuteprep to 717-788-3663. You can always reply to the daily text with your “report” so I can check in on you.