Friday, September 14, 2018

Scotch Nature: Ant Time Grasshopper!

Given the generally strong economic news and the boost both standard deduction and refundable tax credits, people are starting to more likely see a little money left over at the end of the month. The natural human reaction magnified by out current culture is to go spend that and more. I would like to point out some older wisdom of what to do in good times.

If you really struggled to make it through recent hard times and wished you'd been able to go back and do things differently now is that chance. So here are a few thoughts:

  • Get rid of some bills- Now's the time to get out of as many debt traps as possible. Start with any short term borrowing that you're doing. Then any consumer debt. If things take a turn for the bad wouldn't it be easier to manage if you didn't have as many bills coming in demanding upon your scant resources?
  • Emergency fund- One thought that's occurred to me is there are probably multiple reasons to set up your emergency fund in a different bank than the one that you use for day to day expenses. For starters it's too damn easy to tap it, if transfers are only a click of the mouse away. Secondly there's still the threat of bank failures in another downturn, so diversifying your bank accounts might not be a poor choice. 
  • Preventative maintenance- How many years has it been since you've had an HVAC service on your house's heating/cooling? Is your main means of getting to work past due for a transmission service? Are you current on your preventative medicine screenings? Now would be the time to catch up any of these you are putting off. If you don't, they wont come up now they'll wait to get expensive till the worst possible time.
  • Skills- Did you have trouble making enough or even finding employment durning the last down turn? Now would be the time to improve what you can offer to a potential employer. Not only can you seek or demand better when times are good, but you're more valuable or employable when they aren't.
Whatever you do with these better times I implore you to make it lasting, you wont think kindly of yourself for going out to dinner an extra time a week if /when things are tighter.

These are just a few thoughts for the moment, and as always if you are only getting your financial advice here and aren't also seeking qualified professional advice than it's on your own head.


  1. The hardest part of being prepared is STAYING prepared. Get rid of the debt. Get the house maintenance up to date; same for the vehicles. On that tack get YOUR maintenance up to date! Have the doc check under your hood. Get your immunizations squared away. Pay the dentist a visit. None of this is pleasant, but neither is a raging toothache... with no Novocaine available...

    Don't put off until tomorrow, because tomorrow may play by a completely new set of rules!

    1. Yeah I started these Scotch Nature posts when I cam across a story that half the country couldn't handle a $500 emergency without going into debt. Preparedness includes basic finances.