Emergency Preparedness

How to Prepare for the Unexpected

Yep, it’s another post about the emergency fund and budgeting for everything, this time from a very personal perspective. It’s also about the importance of preparing for the unexpected. You Never Know When Something Will Go Wrong It’s called an “emergency fund” for a reason. Most of the time, these emergencies are relatively minor stuff, like your transmission going out. It’s expensive, but you can handle it. Then…
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The Documents You Need In Case of Emergency

The Bills.com Financial IQ test reminded me that I’m not adequately prepared for death or a disaster. I used to be, but my financial affairs have changed over the last few years. I’m also completely lacking some important documents. For the next two weeks, I will be detailing all the documents you need to be prepared for your death or illness, a house fire, or a natural disaster. The Documents…
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Best and Worst Places to Stash Money

There have been a couple of recent high profile losses of large amounts of stolen money. Most of us aren’t in the habit of hiding a million dollars in the mattress, but you probably have a few dollars stashed somewhere in your house. So where are the best and worst places to hide money? Best Places to Stash Money The Bank Unless you’re Al Capone, a bank is the best…
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Lessons from Celebrities: Why You Need a Will

As I said last year when Heath Ledger died, my first thoughts always go to the children of the deceased. I worry that stars with young children haven’t prepared for the possibility. In Heath’s case, he hadn’t updated his will to include his daughter. Now we have the even more challenging situation of Michael Jackson’s death. According to court filings, Michael Jackson died without a will. No matter how famous…
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The Documents You Need: Computer Backup

A computer backup isn’t a document, per se, but it’s still something you should include in your emergency preparations. Once you get in the habit of backing up, it’s a quick and easy way to make sure that your data is safe in case your house burns down or your computer blows up. Set a Computer Backup Schedule No matter which method you use for your computer backup,…
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Are You Ready for a Disaster?

If we learn anything from the Haiti disaster, it’s that they can happen anywhere, anytime. According to NPR, most Haitians didn’t realize they lived in an earthquake zone. Given the poverty of the country, there probably isn’t anything the people could have done to prevent the destruction even if they had known. We can’t always prevent destruction in our own country, but we can do something to prepare…
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How Much of an Emergency Fund Do You Need?

In case you haven’t heard, you need an emergency fund, and you need it yesterday. In the good times, we could rely on home equity loans and credit cards to tide us through the bad times. Now, HELOCs are gone or shrinking and credit card issuers are reducing credit limits. Unless you want to borrow against your 401K (which has probably also shrunk), you need an emergency fund. But…
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The Documents You Need: Advance Directive

Next in my series of posts about the documents you need is the advance directive. This basic document ensures that your wishes will be carried out if you become unable to make your own healthcare decisions. Although the documents have been available for years, they entered the mainstream during the Terry Schiavo case. If you don’t have one, you need one. They’re easy to complete and you can do it…
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Increase Your Emergency Fund in the New Year

If you’ve read any personal finance advice or even watched Oprah for any length of time, you’ve heard of the emergency fund. It goes like this: you need to have at least three to six months worth of living expenses in cash in case a true emergency arises. I can hear you already “Three to six months? Who are they kidding?” That was exactly my attitude, too, until…
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Why You Need to Save for Gaps in Disability Pay

Before my husband went on disability, we stopped spending money in order to increase our savings. We’ve found that our spending has actually been much lower while he’s been out of work, but we also had a few unexpected events develop where the savings has come in handy. Delays in Disability Pay The first issue is delays in processing disability pay. We were prepared for it to take up…
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