Thursday, June 4, 2009

Being prepared in an unstable world

The only debt I currently hold is my mortgage debt. I live off less than 50% of my gross income from my current job and can comfortably afford my mortgage and other expenses. If the worst comes along, how prepared am I to pay for my necessities?

Keep an emergency savings of at least three month's expenses.
This is in place with additional savings if I raid the accounts that are funding my savings goals. This means at my current expense level, I can afford to draw down my savings before I run into financial troubles. Of course, there are expenditures I can cut in the face of no income that would also help stretch my savings.

Update your resume.
Unfortunately, I am not prepared. I have two things working against me: complacency in my job and laziness. While I have thought about updating my resume, I have not translated this into action. There are always other things (gardening, my cats, other issues) that arise and distract me from this task. The way to turn this around: decide to take action and make it a priority.

Maintain your network.
Keeping in touch with your neighbors, friends, acquaintances, current and former colleagues will only help if you lose your job. The more people you can ask for help, the more likely you are to find something because they know something of you. My network is rather small but I leverage it as well as I can when I need help. While I have yet to do this, make sure your LinkedIn profile is up-to-date and your virtual network ready to tap. In this market, the want ads are sparse and finding job leads are difficult.

While I believe my job is secure, it behooves me to be prepared in the event I am downsized or I find an opportunity I want to pursue. A current resume with a great network and several months of expenses saved are a good basis for continuing that mortgage payment and other financial obligations without wondering where the money will come from.

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