I’m sure you’ve heard someone tell you that it’s best to “Save for a rainy day.” When times are good, they can seem really good. We tend to think that we’re above the bad days and bad times. We become too comfortable and forget to plan for those days where times can be tough.
For example, think about all the people who are struggling financially now. COVID-19 threw a wrench in many peoples’ plans and they weren’t ready for it. They find themselves financially challenged and not able to afford what they need to survive. Perhaps they could learn something from Aesop’s fable: The Ants And The Grasshopper…
The Ants And The Grasshopper
THE ANTS were spending a fine winter’s day drying grain collected in the summertime. A Grasshopper, perishing with famine, passed by and earnestly begged for a little food. The Ants inquired of him, “Why did you not treasure up food during the summer?” He replied, “I had not leisure enough. I passed the days in singing.” They then said in derision: “If you were foolish enough to sing all the summer, you must dance supperless to bed in the winter.”
Be Smarter Than The Grasshopper
You need to be smarter than the grasshopper who chose to sing all day. Sure, there’s time to sing and play, but they’re is also a need for work and planning. You need to plan for those rainy days by working and saving for when they come. And those rainy days come for us all. One of the best things for those rainy days is an umbrella. A financial umbrella that can shield you on those rainy days. In the financial world, that financial umbrella is an Emergency Fund.
An Emergency Fund is simply a savings account where you “save money for a rainy day.” This is where you want to store some of your money and ONLY use it in an emergency. In order to start an Emergency Fund, you just need to find a bank with a decent interest rate for savings and then start putting some money out of each paycheck into that account EVERY payday. You want to have at least $1000 in that account. The goal is to have enough money in that account to cover 3-6 months of your living expenses. This way, when times get tough, you have a cushion of a few months to help you through.
I have talked about an Emergency Fund quite a few times. You can read more about it in my post from early last year: Pay Yourself First: Savings Bucket.
Many people have felt the sting of the cold rain COVID-19 has sent our way. Many people and families are financially struggling as they were comfortable with what life was giving them and didn’t save for a rainy day. Many people have lost their jobs and cannot pay their bills. They’re struggling for money and need help from the government to survive. If more people could think like the ants from Aesop’s fable and planned for the “cold winter,” they would not be struggling through our current pandemic.
It doesn’t matter if you call these tough times a “rainy day,” or “a cold winter.” What matters is that you prepare for these tough times by working and saving. Don’t find yourself in a pickle because you chose to spend all your money on your wants rather than saving for the tough times. Think ahead, be prepared, and be in control of your future. Tough times can come out of no where, so make sure you’re prepared.