Preparing for your next disaster
Into each life some rain must fall and for some, there are floods, even tsunamis. The impact of these events are worsened because of a lack of preparation for them.
A 2011 Time article by Brad Tuttle indicated that 64% of Americans didn’t have $1,000 in savings to cover emergencies or other unexpected expenses totaling that amount. Have we improved since then? No, only 36% of Americans said they had those resources in savings accounts. “The rest would be forced to hit up friends, family, or loan operations for the money, get a cash advance on a credit card, disregard payments on monthly expenses, or pawn some of their stuff.”
According to the May 2016 issue of The Atlantic, the Federal Reserve Board’s most recent survey gauging the financial status of Americans asked participants how they would respond to a $400 emergency. “The answer: 47 percent of respondents said that either they would cover the expense by borrowing or selling something, or they would not be able to come up with the $400 at all.” It appears as though most Americans are not prepared for those rainy days much less those catastrophes that are coming with increasing frequency, intensity, and with wider-spread destruction.
We–you and I and our friends and relatives–need solutions to these problems of unpreparedness. Congress needs to give some thought to the needs of individuals who make up America and not just those who represent wealth and the accumulation thereof.
As an ambitious youth I embraced concepts advanced by motivational speakers and wealth creators. Some were very helpful for those who aspired to the highest levels of wealth possible. I shifted my goals to government, social service, and ministry because I thought–and still think–they are more rewarding in this life and the life to come. Regardless of the field or sector, however, good stewards seek financial solvency, want to provide for their families and to give to good causes that relieve suffering.
We need solutions to these problems of unpreparedness.
Brian Tracy is an internationally known entrepreneur and success expert. He is Chairman and CEO of Brian Tracy International, a company specializing in the training and development of individuals and organizations. He shared his own moment of clarity as a way to inspire others to achieve their goals faster:
“The turning point for me came when I realized that nothing happens by luck or by accident. Everything happens for a reason. People are successful and prosperous because they do certain things in a certain way. People are unhappy and frustrated because they neglected to do the things that successful people do. . . . In your life, it is very much the same. The most important thing you do at the outset of your career, or at any time during your career, is to find out what the most successful people are doing in your chosen area and then do the same things, over and over again until you start to get the same results. It is no miracle, it is no accident, it is as predictable as the sun rising in the east and setting in the west.”
I suggest and urge people of faith to seek first the kingdom of God as other goals often follow on that train of faith, good works, integrity, and service to others. Here are some other tested recommendations to adopt if we would be prepared should financial disasters strike.
- Build a reputation in school, as a volunteer, and in your community as reliable, honest, respectful, and a hard worker.
- When you get a job, hold on. Do not be a job hopper unless there are really significant opportunities to do much better with a brighter future.
- Give something to charity regularly. Save something from every check. Avoid debt. Be known as thrifty and not a big spender.
- Do not rush into marriage or a big family. Do not rush into a big car or big house.
- Stay within a reasonable budget, saving for the rainy day.
- Seek counsel on wise investments and appropriate insurance coverage.
- Pray, prepare, and persevere.
You can as long as you think you can. Never give up on yourself or humanity.