Top 11 Budgeting Tips for Emergency Preparedness

Top 11 Budgeting Tips for Emergency Preparedness

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When it comes to emergency preparedness, families often think about stocking up on food and supplies or having a plan for evacuation. But what about the financial aspect of being prepared for an emergency? Creating a budget is an important part of your plan for being prepared for anything life throws your way. Here are some budgeting tips to consider as you put your plan together for successful emergency preparedness.

Top 11 Budgeting Tips for Emergency Preparedness

Top 11 Budgeting Tips for Emergency Preparedness

1. Have an Emergency Fund

Preparing for the unexpected is what emergency preparedness is all about. An emergency fund is cash that you set aside specifically for unexpected expenses like medical bills, home repairs, or lost income. Having an emergency fund can help you avoid going into debt if you experience a financial setback. Aim to save enough money to cover three to six months of living expenses. But don’t hesitate to continue to grow it by more than that because you never know what challenges might come your way. Most of the time you won’t have any warning when a disaster strikes, so that’s where some effective planning comes into play.

2. Leave Your Emergency Fund Alone 

When you’ve made the effort to set money aside strictly for emergencies and savings, don’t sabotage what you’ve worked so hard for over the past several months by turning around and spending it on things you probably don’t need. Don’t cave to the temptation to spend it now, leave it alone! This is easier said than done, but it can be helpful to set up a separate bank account for your emergency fund so you’re not as tempted to spend it. So remember, emergency funds are only to be used when directly related to expenses that have to do with those unexpected emergencies that may come your way, no matter what those true emergencies may be.

3. Make a Budget

A budget is a plan that outlines how you expect to spend your money each month. When you make a budget, you’ll need to track your income and expenses so you can see how money is coming in, how much is truly available after taxes, and where your money is going. This can be very eye-opening for some people because they’ll see exactly how much money they’ve been wasting on things that aren’t necessary.

It will also help you make informed decisions about how to spend your money and ensure that your spending aligns with your goals and values. Also, don’t forget to budget for things like flashlights, blankets, chargers, medications, passports, gloves, duct tape, plastic sheeting, and even whistles. These are often emergency preparedness items people forget to think about when they’re putting emergency savings together.

Yes, we all need to have some recreation and fun things we cherish, but with a budget, you can learn to prioritize where the money is spent so you don’t get caught short when you need funds the most.

4. Make Adjustments

If you find that you’re consistently overspending in certain areas, it’s time to make some adjustments. One way to do this is to cut back on discretionary spending, like eating out or buying new clothes. You may also need to consider making changes to your budget, like finding ways to reduce your monthly expenses, or possibly getting a second source of income or a totally different job if your current income source doesn’t show signs of improvement. After all, a budget is not something that’s set in stone and can be tweaked as you go. Make sure you’re not skimping on essentials when it comes to disaster preparedness.

Who would have thought the cost to rent or buy a home, food expenses, and other necessities like a vehicle to get to work would experience the inflationary pressures we’re seeing right now? At least with a budget, you can track how things have changed over the past few months and work to figure out how to make the necessary adjustments.

5. Live Below Your Means

One of the best ways to save money is to live below your means, which means spending less than you earn each month. This may mean making some sacrifices, like eating out less, making your own lunch for work, stretching out the use of those clothes in the closet, or downsizing your home. Any of the efforts like these will free up extra cash that you can use to build your emergency fund or save for other financial goals.

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6. Be Frugal 

Stocking up on emergency supplies is expensive and harder to do when you’re on a tight budget. But you’d be surprised about the emergency supplies that you can track down at thrift stores, garage sales, and websites like Craigslist that cost only a fraction of what you’d pay if they were brand new. While this is a great tip for helping your family pinch pennies, there are certain emergency supplies where you shouldn’t go cheap. These may include batteries, first aid kits, and communication devices. Don’t forget to stock up on things like pet food, toilet paper, and personal hygiene items (these are all items that people forget about).

7. Invest in Yourself

Another way to prepare for unexpected expenses is to invest in yourself by building up your skills and preparation knowledge. When you have more skills and knowledge, you should be able to earn more money. With the employment situation the way it is right now with so many companies looking for quality employees, you can possibly help weather a financial setback better or pay for unexpected costs without going into debt if you can find ways to increase your income. You’ll be able to make real money while doing projects and jobs that you already enjoy without having to find more time in your busy schedule.

8. Create a Debt Repayment Plan 

If you have debt, create a plan to pay it off as quickly as possible. One way to do this is by making extra payments each month or contributing periodic windfalls, such as tax refunds or bonus checks, directly towards debt repayment. Paying off debt will reduce the amount of interest you pay over time and free up extra cash each month, which can be used for savings or other financial goals.

There is nothing like the stress we all feel when it’s a challenge to cover unexpected expenses. Many chose to put these expenses on a credit card, the most costly debt you can get. Try to seriously pay off all your credit cards, and in the long term, use the funds to supplement your reserve or savings accounts.

9. Get the Right Insurance Coverage for Your Home

This may not sound exactly like a good budgeting tip, but going with a good insurance company that has adequate coverage for your home and car is something very important for you to look into. That’s especially important for those of you that live in an area that’s known for flooding, hurricanes, wildfires, and high crime.

While you may be paying a little more upfront each month, your home, possessions, and vehicles can be replaced or repaired following a devastating disaster. But choosing to go without enough or the right kinds of home insurance could leave you with a total loss, or at the very least, tens of thousands of dollars in repairs that you’ll be required to pay out of your own pocket.  The right insurance policies are a must when you’re planning for emergency preparedness.

If you have a mortgage on your home, the lender should have researched the possible need for flood or earthquake insurance. They can prove to be a little pricey, so if you’re looking to relocate, do your research, and don’t be surprised what quality coverage may cost you.

Another consideration is to look at the deductibles on your home and auto coverage. It does change the financial risks, but going with a higher deductible can reduce the cost of the coverage. That’s one reason to have a reserve fund, you can put your monthly insurance cost savings in the fund so you have a buffer when expenses for repairs come into play, just in case.

10. Best Place to Keep Your Emergency Funds 

One of the most common questions people ask is where they should keep their emergency funds. The answer to this question depends on a few factors, including how much money you have and how quickly you need access to it. If you have a large emergency fund, you may want to consider investing it in a short-term CD or high-yield savings account so you can earn interest on your money. However, if you need quick access to your cash, keeping it in a checking or savings account is usually the best option. Pay close attention to this tip as it’s one of the most important budgeting tips for emergency preparedness.

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Consider getting some advice from a financial advisor. It may cost for the consultation time, but they may have some good suggestions you can live with.

11. Find Out What Emergency Relief You Qualify For

If you experience financial hardship following an emergency situation, there may be government programs or non-profit organizations that can help you cover basic needs like food, housing, and utilities. Don’t know where to even begin? You don’t have to wait around until after a disaster has taken place to learn what assistance you can receive.

Contact your local 2-1-1 hotline to find out what resources are available in your community. Finding local shelters or waiting on an emergency kit might be some of the relief you find after an emergency strikes. You will hear from agencies like the American Red Cross and the Federal Emergency Management Agency after serious emergencies, these agencies exist in the United States for that very purpose!

More Emergency Preparedness Tips

What are the 10 steps to disaster preparedness?

The following are ten steps to take in order to be better prepared for disasters:

1. Know Your Risks

2. Make a Plan

3. Build or Restock Your Emergency Kit

4. Get Involved in Your Community

5. Be Informed about Emergencies and Disasters

6. Teach Youth about Preparedness

7. Get Training

8. Practice and Test Your Emergency Plan

9. Stay Informed about Changing Conditions

10. Volunteer to Help Others in the Community Who Might Need Assistance After a Disaster Strikes

What should a good emergency preparedness plan include?

There are a number of things that should be included in a good emergency preparedness plan. First, it’s important to have a list of emergency contacts, including family, friends, doctors, insurance agents, neighbors, etc. It’s also important to have a designated meeting place in case of an emergency. Additionally, it is important to have a plan for how to evacuate your home and where to go in case of an emergency. Have a plan for how to survive without power or water for a period of time. I

It takes some serious research to determine how much food and water your particular family needs and how to properly store it for future use. Consider checking out the posts in my archive for some great guidance.

What are the 6 requirements of an emergency plan at school and work?

  1. There must be a clear chain of command and communication procedures in place so that everyone knows who is responsible for what during an emergency situation.
  2. All staff, faculty, and students must be trained in how to safely evacuate the premises and where to assemble once they are outside.
  3. There should be a designated safe area away from the building where people can go in the event of an evacuation.
  4. Emergency exits should be clearly marked and all staff should know where they are located.
  5. First aid supplies and equipment should be readily available and staff should know how to use them.
  6. The plan should be reviewed regularly and updated as necessary to ensure that it remains effective.

What is emergency preparedness protection?

Emergency preparedness is the process of preparing for and responding to emergencies. It includes creating a plan, assembling an emergency kit, and being aware of the dangers that could affect your area.

Being prepared can help you survive an emergency situation and protect those around you. It is important to have an emergency plan in place so that everyone knows what to do in case of an emergency. You should also have an emergency kit that includes supplies that will help you and your family in case of an emergency.

How to budget emergency funds??

It is important to have a budget for your emergency fund. You never know when an emergency will occur, so it is important to be prepared. Here are some tips on how to budget your emergency fund:

  • Determine how much money you will need to save. This will depend on your individual situation and needs. You never have too much.
  • Set up a separate account for your emergency fund. This will help you keep track of your progress and ensure that the money is easily accessible when you need it.
  • Make regular contributions to your emergency fund. If possible, set up automatic transfers so that you don’t have to think about it.
  • Keep your emergency fund in a safe place. A high-yield savings account is a good option. (if there is one, right?)
  • Review your emergency fund regularly to make sure it is still adequate for your needs.
  • Use your emergency fund only for true emergencies.

If you use it for non-emergency purposes, you’ll erode its value and it will have less available when you really need it. Following these tips will help you create a sound budget for your emergency fund, giving you peace of mind and the security of knowing you are prepared for whatever life throws your way.

Final Word 

Budgeting may not be the most exciting aspect of emergency preparedness, but it’s definitely one of the most important. By following these budgeting tips, you’ll be better prepared financially if an unexpected event occurs. And when it comes to being prepared for anything, that’s what counts! What budgeting tips for emergency preparedness would you add to this list? May God Bless this world, Linda

Copyright Images: Emergency Preparedness AdobeStock_500411974 by New Africa

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  1. Linda,
    Great one that deserves a 10 rating. This is how we should all be living all the time, not just for emergency planning, but for life planning. Pat and I have most covered, but there are a few things that we are light on. Working on those. Have a great day. Pray for our country!!

    1. HI Harry, thank you, my friend, we all have things we need to work on that’s why we remind each other every so often. Life is good when you have friends like you and Pat, Linda

    2. I just want to say that in our area, people are talking about the possibility of the dollar crashing soon. In that case, even if it’s only the stock market that crashes, and not the value of dollar, I would not leave my Emergency Fund in a bank account! I am told in a crisis, all the banks will close their doors for awhile! That is why we keep a small fireproof/waterproof safe of money in our own home for emergencies. Over the years, putting what we can into the safe each August, when my husand gets a Profit Sharing check, we have mounted up a nice “savings account”, plus I also put most of my silver coins in there, too. You just need to put it somewhere, where it is not obvious for intruders to find or recognize!!

      Most of the experts out there are saying that if you have some emergency money set aside for a crash, then know that you can almost for sure run out to buy whatever you need to add to your pantry, if you do it right away. That means, you could use your usual “cash” for a short period of time, before it becomes nigh onto worthless.

      1. HI Joyce, there is a lot of talk going on just about everything these days. This is why we stockpile cash, food, water, and the other obvious items we should have. Life will be easier if you can make bread, cook from scratch, and fend for yourself. We must be self-reliant. Great comment, Linda

        1. Linda: You are absolutely correct when you say “need to stockpile” just about everything. For our family, which has to do strictly gluten free, it has been a bit more pricey. Yet, I have found that stockpiling something like Pamela’s gluten free baking and bread mixes is helpful, and easy to fit in 5 gallon buckets. I even bought a 40 lb. bag of restaurant-quality instant organic mashed potato flakes, which are not half bad, either! NO! We did not store all of those…only 15 lbs., and split with a couple of other familes that wanted some. NOW, when I am busy, I just whip up a batch of those to go with whatever meat, and they are a BIG HELP!! Otherwise, I grew up in 4-H from a very young age (actually before the age to join, cause my Mom got special permission as I would not pestering her to join my big sister and all of my older cousins in the 4-H club she ran. That means, I learned to garden, make homemade bread and pies/cakes, etc. from a very young age and I know how to sew clothing, too, as well as pressure can and water bath can. None of it is all that hard, you just have to learn by doing it!! What I love to store is HERBS and Young Living Essential Oils for making medicines!! Homeopathics and some few fish antibiotics have served us very well, also. They can make a case of something REALLY NASTY end up being short-lived and/or infect you to a lesser degree. I wouldn’t know what to do if we didn’t have homemade canned blueberry, blackberry and elderberry juice for winter time!

          1. Hi Joyce, I LOVE LOVE LOVE your comment! It really is easy to learn those skills, so many of us did many years ago. I buy instant potatoes when they go on sale for $10 for $10.00! You boil water and they taste great, they are real Idaho potatoes! That works for me. We buy 30 at a time!! LOL! My family loves mashed potatoes! Sure we can peel or not peel real potatoes and then mash them, but some days are busy! They taste great! I love natural remedies as well. It’s all about being a self-reliant family, good job, my friend! Linda

  2. Linda, I agree with Harry. Seriously great article. I think the single most important prep anyone can have if an emergency fund, in cash, at their home–in case the banks aren’t, or won’t open. Even in a disaster, cash will have value until those selling goods run out of stock or figure out they can’t eat cash.

    Then comes spending less than is earned so any debts can be paid off as early as possible. Being frugal is an often ignored virtue. And being debt free brings peace of mind and allows a person to have extra money to stock up on food and other Prepper supplies.

    1. Hi Ray, thank you for your kind words, my friend! I never thought in my lifetime (sounds weird) that I would have to put down some ridiculously high-priced food at the grocery store. I’m so thankful I know how to garden, preserve food and cook from scratch. I bet your garden is the best treasure ever! I miss going out and picking the foods we will eat for lunch or dinner. Hopefully, next year I will have my garden again. Cash is critical, if we have a power grid outage which I believe we will, nothing will work. No gas pumps, no ATMs, and grocery stores will work until their generators run out of gas.
      And we can expect people to raise prices because of greed, that’s why we must be prepared now. Keep me posted on your new updated book. Linda

      1. Linda, why wait to start your garden? You can grow sprouts inside. And if you’re in zone 8b (which is technically the same zone I’m in) you could start a winter garden now. Just make a provision for covering your garden bed in the event of frost or a hard freeze. You should at least have time to harvest Bok Choi/Pak Choi before your first frost. Broccoli, lettuce, garlic, onions, carrots, beets, peas and turnips (just to name a few) will grow through the winter and give you very early Spring harvests. The work, as you well know, lies in getting the soil ready for planting.

        1. Hi Ray, you were a builder so you will understand why I can’t get started. My daughter lives on 1/3 of an acre. Her house is 2100 sq feet on the main and 2100 sq feet in the basement. We will be taking up most of her backyard with our home. I was going to plant tomatoes and squash where they had a garden. But we weren’t sure where and when they would start to excavate the yard. They are hopefully getting close, they need to make sure the water pressure will work for the new build. The city has never approved what we are trying to do. We have gone through many hurdles, on Friday the builder said we’re getting close. I’ve heard it so many times….but I must be patient. I am going to have several raised gardens, as many as I can put around the new house. They will be W x L x H : 3.5’ x 6.5’ x 32″ tall. Here is the link:
          I will use my packing boxes in the containers along with some clean wood pieces. Linda

          1. Linda, I do understand. Building Bureaucrats were one of the main reasons I opted to retire. It was just not worth the hassle any longer. When I first started building homes I could walk the plans and engineering into the Denver Building Dept in the morning an walk out with approvals in just a few hours. By the time I retired the building permit process was taking three months minimum. Made me want to yank out my hair.

            I’m a bit surprised your locale will allow two homes on a 1/3 acre lot as that means each home is on a roughly 7,250 sq. ft. lot.

            I like the 32″ height of your planned raised beds but I’d build them out of cinderblock, lining the bottoms with 1/2″ hardware cloth to keep out tunnelers. It would be much less expensive. I’m planning to deepen my raised beds to 24-30″ but I have to wait until I pull the summer stuff before I can get started.

            Have you considered using stock tanks? I wish you all the best in your building efforts.

          2. Hi Ray, I have considered stock tanks. I will look again at those next spring. I may do cinder blocks as you mentioned as well. It’s not called two homes. We have to call it living space. It is not a rental as we are paying for the build. Our son-in-law is a welder and talented steel sculpture artist. He will have a “shop” attached to our “living space”. The city does not allow rentals in the backyards but you can put a “Tiny Home” in the backyard. I needed a little bigger than a tiny home so we need to build. We have a neighbor who has had concrete poured and waiting to have a “Shipping Container Tiny Home” delivered for her brother to live in. I will try and send you the specs if I can figure out how to do it so you can “see them”! LOL! Linda

      2. Linda: I apologize for not clarifying this info. in my earlier comments: You need to have a goodly amount of natural and allopathic medicines stockpiled, too. Even a small cut or puncture wound can kill you if you have no way to treat it and an infection develops. I personally only use Young Living Essential Oils because I have been to their main farm several times and personally know some of the people who work in the labs., have seen their gas chromotography results on some products, and have seen how their equipment for distillation works, and have imbibed some of the floral waters that are left over after the main amt. of EO has been removed. That being said, I have also had significant amts. of training from a professional aromatherapist who had her own EO company in the past, etc. and know quite a bit about EOs in general. Personally, I would NEVER be without Young Living’s R.C., Onycha, Melrose and Frankincense (the Boswellia Carterii variety) from Young Living Oils. R.C. is for respiratory, as are several other Eucalyptus oils. Onycha will kill germs and is cell regenerative to close wounds, though you MUST be careful the wound doesn’t close too fast and create an unhealed pocket, while the surface closes nicely over it. Be a little cautious with that. Otherwise, it works like a charm. I also use Melrose to disinfect wounds and the Rosemary part of that blend is also cell regenerative as well as the Rosemary and Clove are significantly disinfecting. Also, Frankincense is great for all kinds of healing, emotional as well as physical.

        Other than that, we buy a few fish biotics from a Vet Supply in California, like Dr. Joe Alton recommends in his books. If you look into his books, he will tell you what and where to buy those products and for what problem you wish to treat.

        If you really want for humans Ivermectin for C 19, you can easily acquire it from However, once you order, it will take 3+/- weeks to reach you from India, where they sell it. We did that and used the Ivermectin when all 3 of us caught Cvd 19 last Christmas. IT worked pretty fast! The CDC has finally put up on their website that Ivermectin works for the C virus…FINALLY telling the truth!!

        O.K. Just look up homeopathics and natural medicines for Influenza and you will find what else is out there that WORKS! AND, YES! I am a Certified Natural Health Professional since 2006, so I know what I’m talking about. You may also wish to find out how to stop severe bleeding, too! That could save your or a loved one’s life! I have been watching faithfully the webinar called “REMEDY: Ancient Medicines for Modern Illness” that is showing right NOW and will undoubtedly have a weekend repeat coming up. YOU DON’T WANT TO MISS THIS WEBINAR!! I own probably 20-25 of them, and this is the BEST ONE I’VE EVER SEEN!!! In Episode 6, the Cardiovascular Episode, it is said that an herb called “San Qi” or “Tian Chi” which is botanically known as “Notoginseng” will not only enhance circulation in the body, but it will also stop bleeding of gushing wounds!! Apparently, the Viet Cong used it for bullet wounds back in the day. They packed the wound with Notoginseng and the bleeding stopped….Also stops bleeding in the gut, too. It is also a longevity tonic- nourishes your brain! So good to know!!! O.K. That is probably more than anyone but me needs to know or wants to know. Just thought I’d share some important information for free to help others! Just don’t forget to get prepared for sanitation and medicine, too…like soaps, cleaners and meds. you will need in an emergency.

        1. Hi Joyce, I love hearing about your experience using natural remedies and the discussion about Dr. Alton’s book. I cannot personally find anything on the C D C website stating “I” works for C. Please send me the link. I looked and looked and only found negative comments. I’m not questioning you but if I have something on my website even in the comments, I like to add links for those interested in reading about it. Thank you so much, Linda

        2. ANOTHER APOLOGY, FOLKS: Linda put me on to looking up CDC’s recent inclusion of human version of I for C 19. Well, it turns out that I read that at several websites a couple of days ago, but now cannot find any links online. It is possible they’ve been removed or surpressed? You can take it or leave it, as far as I’m concerned. We took it, and within 2 hrs. started to feel an uptick in our energy and wellbeing. That was good enough for all 3 of us. Not one of us got injured by taking the “for humans” I, but we did not take the veterinary dose, which can be 100s of time stronger.

  3. Linda, I think the best place to keep an emergency fund is in a one hour fire rated safe at home. That way it’s always accessible at need and you don’t have to depend on a bank being open or having to sell stocks or bonds to get the money you need to survive on. Yes, it will lose value as inflation continues, but being available during emergencies is a value beyond price.

  4. We use a cash payment system plus envelopes to stay within our budget. We are all about prepping on this board so you will appreciate my “Saving Funds”, essentially a system of planning for emergencies and having the money to take care of it. Things like an appliance fund to take care of repairs or replacement of appliances. This was great to have when the ‘fridge died the day after closing on this house. We have envelopes for home repairs, car repairs, furnace repair/replacement, plus some fun ones like Holidays and camping. Plus one for “Spoiling the Granddaughter”, it’s really amazing how fast $5/week will add up. I need to add one for Prep Supplies.

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