I get it, it’s hard to think about preparing for an emergency when you are having trouble just paying your basic bills and putting food on the table. Emergency preparedness on a budget can be just as, or even more, important than when you have unlimited funds to spend. You may not be able to build your emergency stash quickly but you can build a supply even with little money.
When my husband and I were in our early 20s we were ba-roke. Broke as a joke. After I graduated college we decided that I would continue to stay home instead of getting a job. This worked well for us for many reasons but it also meant we didn’t have two nickles to rub together. I started researching everything I could about frugal living and one of the things I learned about was once a month cooking. That was a frugal tip that didn’t really work for us but I did stick with batch cooking some items and often have several meals frozen in the freezer. One week we had to fix our car and every bit of our check and what little savings we had went to fix it. Those frozen meals I had stashed back were the reason we ate the next week. This was the first time I realized that being prepared for an emergency was important and that I had to find a way to make us better prepared even though we were broke.
Emergency Preparedness on a Budget
Save $5. So many financial experts will tell you to save $1000 but when you’re trying to scrape by that can seem like such a big number that you don’t even bother. Work on saving five dollars. Then another. Then another. Put it in an online bank so that you don’t have easy access to it.
Ask for emergency supplies for gifts. We’re known to our friends and family as preppers so they use this as an easy gift idea for us. No matter what someone’s budget is, they can find a prepper gift for you.
Build up an emergency supply of food. It is said that the minimum you should have is three days of food and water for each person. This is true but if you don’t have the money to purchase that much extra food then just purchase what you can. When you go to the store try to buy something extra for your emergency supply of food, a can of tuna or an extra can of green beans. Make sure that you keep track of expiration dates and rotate food back into your regular groceries as needed.
Create a basic first aid kit. Buy one item a week or a month, depending on your financial situation. Buy quality bandaids, triple antibiotic ointment, burn ointment, tweezers, and Benadryl to start.
Buy emergency preparedness supplies. You should have a good knife, a can opener, flashlight, and a whistle to begin your emergency kit. Look for these items on sale to build up your kit.