Winter in the Midwest this year has been especially harsh. The cold and snow started the beginning of December and as we near the end of January, there is no end in sight. It has been constant. This morning we wake up to another fresh blanket of snow with a cold blast coming in right behind it.
The weather gets the headlines in the news. With it comes a transfer of wealth. Those plowing the snow, operating the tow trucks, replacing furnaces are gaining wealth. Many others face unanticipated costs for damaged vehicles, hospital stays, moving snow, replacing plumbing and heating systems.
Nothing demonstrates the need for an emergency fund more. A credit card is not an emergency fund. Credit gives you the opportunity to pay two to three times the original cost of the loss. An emergency fund in a savings account or a money market fund of three to six months of expenses can help you sleep better than any sleeping pill on the market.
If you are on the benefit end of the weather systems, use that additional income to build your emergency fund (and don’t forget the government expects their share). You can bet that one day the shoe will be on the other foot.
If you are trying to recover from damage by the storm, you may have to grab a shovel and earn some cash by shoveling out some driveways or finding other ways to take these lemons and make lemonade out of them. There is a place for people to go when they are broke – to work.
I leave you with a quote from Anne Bradstreet:
“If we had no winter, the spring would not be so pleasant. If we did not sometimes taste of adversity, prosperity would not be so welcome.”