They have to live everyday lives, while preparing for a variety of disasters.
But often times, preppers make one critical mistake that could put them in grave danger.
Developing an array of skills is arguably the most important task for a prepper.
Stocking up on supplies is obviously important, as well.
But often times preppers forget to build up one crucial item: an emergency fund.
Saving money is one of the most difficult tasks people are faced with, because financial literacy is not taught in schools.
Most people aren’t taught about debt—particularly student loan debt—and compound interest.
As a result, millions of Americans are living paycheck to paycheck, and perhaps depending on social security that may not be there when they retire.
Social security is already insolvent and is on the brink of being completely gone.
And not many politicians seem interested in solving the debt crisis, which could facilitate an economic disaster.
For this reason, and many others, you need to have a healthy emergency fund.
First, your emergency fund should be in cash.
It’s much easier to spend electronic money frivolously.
The psychological effect of spending hard cash makes it a little bit easier to avoid the impulse of touching the money.
Stash the money away somewhere safe, and do not touch it unless a legitimate emergency strikes.
Cash is also great because financial services may not be operating properly in an emergency.
Credit cards won’t help if the power is out, or telecommunications are down.
Second, budget very closely.
All inflows and outflows of cash should be tracked to the dollar.
When you toss receipts and have bills being auto-drafted out of your accounts, it’s easy to lose track of your money.
At the end of the month, you’re left wondering where it all went.
Create a budget based on how much money you make and all of your expenses.
Allocate part of your budget for your emergency fund, and stick to your budget firmly.
When you abandon your budget, you’re either not building up your emergency fund—which will never feel like a priority—or you’re dipping into it for non-emergencies.
And if an emergency happens, you’re going to feel sick when you spent it on something trivial.
Fighting the urge to dip into the emergency fund can be very strong, but you have to resist it.
Finally, it’s a good idea to have emergency funds in different places.
The bulk of your fund may be in a coffee can in a secure location.
But it’s also wise to have some in your bug-out bag, as well as in your bug-out vehicle.
Emergencies never strike under optimal conditions, so be ready for anything.
Make sure to have an emergency fund of at least $1,000.
Following these steps can make all the difference in the world.
Budgeting money for an emergency is never fun, but neither is saving for retirement.
But that’s the cost of being prepared if disaster strikes.