Preparation is Key!

By Shay Cook, MS, AFC®, FINRA Investor Education Foundation

September is National Preparedness Month, and it is a great time to prepare for a potential natural or financial disaster. You never know when a hurricane, tornado, earthquake or volcanic eruption may disrupt your life. Disruptions can also occur in the form of an unexpected financial torpedo.

I have helped many clients over the years who had to rely on their credit cards and payday lenders to repair an air conditioner, replace car brakes or fly home to be with a loved one who is in the hospital. After they get the item repaired or replaced, or come back from being with that loved one, they face a large amount of debt and no extra money in the budget to pay if off. All too often, the new debt leads to more late or unpaid bills and ultimately, a decreasing credit score.

With a little pre-planning, you and your family can avoid this fate! When you prepare ahead for emergencies, you can avoid debt overload and damage to your credit.

Having emergency savings readily available and your financial emergency kit fully stocked can keep you from reaching for that credit card when the unexpected inevitably happens.

If you’ve already found yourself falling into debt, make a plan to dig yourself out. You may also want to talk to your local Personal Financial Manager/Financial Counselor or a nonprofit debt counseling service like a member of the National Foundation of Credit Counseling.

There are many tips on how to prepare for a natural or financial disaster. Please visit SaveandInvest.org or Ready.gov for more information.


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Check out these tips from @FINRAFoundation on how you can prepare for emergencies like a flat tire, or natural disasters like #HurricaneFlorence. v/ @MilitarySaves! http://bit.ly/2QMOIig 

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