It’s one of the spookiest days of the year again. I’m not sure if it’s related to this creepy date, but something weird has definitely been going on in the United States for the past several weeks. Electrical storms, uncontrollable wildfires, long power outages, flash floods and searing heat waves have been tormenting the country. First, the Northeast experienced an unprecedented spike in temperatures, with most of the area well over 100 degrees. Now that their temperatures are cooling, the western United States is getting a beating. On Wednesday, the National Weather Service forecast a high of 125 degrees for California’s Death Valley. Meanwhile, this week in Austin, which is normally very dry and very hot in July, had several days of rain so hard that you couldn’t even see the car in front of you. What is going on here?
This bizarre weather is a good reminder to always be prepared. When the power goes out, perishable food can go bad, you can’t charge your phone and you can only rely on cash. It’s an ideal time to make sure you have a small stash of fresh water, nonperishable food and some cash. While I love my plastic, I admit that having a secret cash-stash is vital during a lengthy power outage.
It’s also smart to round up your important documents and put them in a fireproof safe. Oh, and as I learned the hard way this week, a tiny travel umbrella does nothing when caught in torrential, gusty, world-is-ending kind of rain. Note to self: Buy a golf umbrella.
Read on for my roundup of my 10 favorite personal finance blog posts from the past week, many of which can help you get your finances prepared for a weather-related emergency.
1. 20Something Finance discusses Dave Ramsey’s baby steps for getting your finances in order and shares his thoughts on how to make them even better.
2. Free From Broke lists six steps to take when you experience a financial emergency.
3. Narrow Bridge Finance explains how you can use some wisdom from the business world and manage your cash flow like a company.
4. Million Dollar Journey shares how to avoid various fees, from airline baggage fees to credit card fees.
5. PT Money discusses five strategies for smart credit card use and how to use them to your advantage.
6. Money Counselor offers advice on how to create a plan to pay off debt and succeed at it.
7. One Smart Dollar lists several strategies for taking cheap summer vacations.
8. Prairie Eco-Thrifter uses a story about baking cookies to explain the importance of creating a budget with a purpose.
9. Moolanomy discusses the differences between two popular debt pay-off plans: debt snowball vs. highest-interest debt method.
10. Christian Personal Finance provides excellent tips on how to handle medical debt.