Imagine if you would, for just a second, a country where everyone took the initiative to have an emergency fund. Not an extreme amount of money necessarily, like for a catastrophic illness or injury, that is what insurance is for, which everyone should have as well, but an emergency fund that you kept in an account, or under your mattress maybe, that could help you pay the bills for 3 to 6 months in the event of some unforeseen circumstance? When I say unforeseen circumstance, I mean a layoff, your employer goes out of business, or maybe some wild virus from somewhere you’ve never been starts to sweep the whole planet and your representative government decides to crash the economy as a preventative measure for your own good?
I’m not writing this to debate the validity of the bill currently being debated by all the bureaucrats in congress, or all the people that are very much in need of the assistance that said funding bill would provide. I am writing this in the hopes that it will possibly make people realize the importance, now more than ever, of a personal emergency fund to keep you whole in the event of a mess like the one we currently see ourselves in. The tragedy our country is currently facing will be Monday morning quarterbacked for generations, but in reality, if each of you reading this had your financial house in order, can you imagine what a different narrative it would be amongst all the talking heads? Instead of everyone fighting over how the deck chairs are organized as the Titanic is sinking, they may be contemplating punishing those who allowed it to happen instead of running cover for a communist regime or better yet, focusing on the important question of how to prevent such a tragedy in the first place?
Much of what I’m about to say may be unpopular with some, and I’m sure it will be offensive to those who tend to be offended by everything else anyway, but the fact of the matter is, you should not be depending on the government to send you a check to get you through the hard times, Government is not your Daddy! As nationally syndicated talk show host, real estate investor and financial advisor Dave Ramsey always says (paraphrasing), you should live on less than you make, build an emergency fund of 3 to 6 months of your living expenses, and strive to live a debt free life. Can you just imagine how much of a difference this global tragedy would be, and how differently it would be affecting our country currently if this was practiced by you, your neighbors, and the vast majority of your fellow Americans? Instead, the vast majority of us live beyond our means, buying stuff we don’t need to impress people we don’t like (again, something I heard from Dave Ramsey). With that said, so many of our fellow Americans are left incredibly unprepared for the most minor of tragedies, let alone a catastrophic national, or worse, global event. This is not the fault of your neighbor, or your community, or your state or federal government, this starts with you and can be fixed by you, and must begin with you making a commitment.
I’m not trying to call anyone out, or say that living this way makes you a bad person, because it does not. I lived most of my life this way, and I don’t see myself as a bad person. I can tell you this though, I’m not looking for a check from the government right now to keep me whole though, and I’m thankful for that. I chose not to live that way anymore. If there has ever been a time for people to do some self-reflection, and think about how things could be different by making some different choices, maybe now is that time. Maybe this tragedy can be used for some good, maybe it’s time for a little personal reset, a paradigm shift when it comes to your financial housekeeping? Maybe next time, it won’t be a matter of hoping some far-away bureaucrat votes the right way to get you a check, because remember, THE GOVERNMENT IS NOT YOUR DADDY…