Friday, May 1, 2009

The Time to Plan is Now

You know the advertisements that show the house being torn apart by the flood or hurricane or whatever disaster, that says "Now is not the time to plan." If you haven't planned out what to do in an emergency, you're going to be panicking too much to think straight when it actually happens.

And it's not just the big, catastrophic disasters like tornadoes and hurricanes and your house catching fire that you need to plan for. Especially when money is tight, planning ahead for the little disasters can be just as critical.

For instance, what would you do if you walked out the door tomorrow and discovered that your car wouldn't start? What backup plans to you have for getting to work on time, or to whatever other obligations in your life require the transporting of your physical presence to another location? How would you go about getting your car fixed so that you can get to those places by your own resources again?

For people for whom money is always there to fix whatever problems arise, it's easy enough to call the shop to have the car towed, then call a cab to get to the office. But when things are tight, having to pay a towing fee and a carfare means that money won't be there for other vital expenses. This is where doing some advance planning can really help, because you know who you can approach to ask for a ride without getting your head bitten off about presumptuousness, and you'll know someone who can fix your ride for a price you can afford.

What other crises can cost a lot of money to deal with when they arise, if your only recourse is to grab the yellow pages and hunt up the first name of a shop that deals with it?