Hurricane Sandy is bearing down hard on the east coast of the U.S., and many pocketbooks are feeling the sting of more than the wind and rain. With the economy in such dire shape, where is this emergency money going to come from? Do you spend your Christmas fund, take out a loan, bum off of family and friends, or go even deeper into debt on your already maxed out credit cards?
None of these seem like good options, and very few Americans have ‘vacation’ money just lying around.
So, what is the answer? How do you survive this unexpected hit to your pocketbook? Here are a few common sense and very practical ways to survive the unexpected.
First, it is imperative that you go into your best frugal mode. Lavish living is not on the menu. If you fall into the mindset of ‘lets party’ or ‘lets enjoy this vacation’ mentality, you will find yourself in debt after this is all over. So, think ‘cheap’ if you will.
If you can take shelter inland for free, by all means take advantage of public shelters or church facilities that become available. Five star hotels are not how you survive this and live well later to tell about it unless you already have money to spare. If you do have family that can put you up for a night, it may be the wisest thing to ask for a room.
If none of these options sit well with you, or your family and friends just can’t put you up, think about going to an out of the way town to get your hotel or motel room. Rates will be cheaper, and sometimes you can get a reduced rate because the owners may have compassion on folks in need. Fall rates are sometimes half of summer rates.
Eating out can break your piggy bank. What are you supposed to do? Be sure to pack a cooler or pick one up along the way. This can save you your sanity, especially if you have kids. You can buy a cooler full of food at a grocery store for the price of taking the family out to eat at a nice restaurant one time. So, you can eat for two or three days or go out to eat once on the same amount of money. The choice is obviously clear. Pack a cooler.
Steer clear of gas station pit stops. Stop only when you need to get gas, but not to get food or snacks. You can blow as much as a trip to a fast food restaurant and come out with nothing more than junk food. It is tempting, but not worth the cost.
Stay focused. Buying things you don’t need just to feed the stress emotion will make your life so much harder when you return home. By avoiding shopping sprees, fast food restaurants, high dollar restaurants, high end hotels, expensive coffee and snack buying, you can save that money you are going to need to survive hurricane Sandy without going into debt.
This takes will and a plan that you stick to. Just think past the ‘now’ emotional need to be pampered and think of how much happier you will be and proud of yourself for not ‘blowing it’.
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