Weaving a modern financial safety net.

financial safety netAre Your Finances Fragile by Philip Brewer on Wisebread.com this week really made me stop and think about all the people in my life over the last three years. Brewer mentions that many people are just one misstep away from financial catastrophe. I saw this happen to both the company I worked for and the many of the people that worked there. Three years ago I was happily plugging away, writing about coupons and sales when all of a sudden the recession hit and badly beat up the company I was working for. People started losing their jobs as business tapered off. At that time there were over 450 of us working full-time. This past week I attended the liquidation auction of the business and now there is no one left. Not even our tools, desks, or pencils were left. Nothing. Coupons and sales weren't going to cut it anymore.........

Before it was my turn to get laid off I had to watch many others lose their jobs and then struggle with "what now?". They held their job for years, and had no reason to plan for disaster, thus were very unprepared when the recession hit. Many of us could not find an equivalent job, had credit/loan/and other obligations to pay for, couldn't sell our homes which made us less mobile, didn't have adequate savings to live on, and didn't have the type of advance training or education that would allow us to start a career in a different field. They had no safety net.

Philip Brewer remembers growing up believing that citizens of our country had a safety net. There was much more job security, medical insurance was a given, and it was much easier to buy things like a car or home. Things have really changed. Perhaps the most valuable lesson I learned during the last three years is that you have to work everyday at weaving your own safety net. Brewer listed many great ideas that will help you get started.

-Have An Emergency Fund
-Avoid Debt
-Limit Fixed Expenses
-Buy Appropriate Insurance
-Improve Your Employability
-Make the Things You Need
-Have Another Source of Income
-Help Your Family, Friends, and Neighbors

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