How much money set aside for a rainy day is too much? Considering the inevitability of either massive inflation and/or petro-dollar collapse and let’s not forget bank forced borrowing, the question becomes How Much Can I Afford To Lose. You can’t NOT save money. Even in my worst financial circumstances, once I no longer had credit cards to fall back on for emergencies ( declaring bankruptcy just a year prior to the law changing making the process much less advantageous to the debt holder ), I never went without savings. I clutched to three months expenses savings religiously. That was only depleted years later when I moved to Elko ( the infamous Great Tire Failure Event as both truck and trailer tires needed to be replaced en route ) but even though the cash amount was halved, I still had three months expenses saved up ( when city trailer rent was $400 and paying on your own lot is $100, your monthly outlay drops dramatically ). Yet, a curious thing happened. I’ve continued to add to my savings, even as my paranoia and fear and realization of true global events has increased. That sucks. I know better, yet I keep saving more. As if subconsciously I know the employment situation is temporary and I must squirrel away more and yet more. Mucho more!
It is easy to say you can’t have enough if you are then laid off for two years. It is easy to bemoan not having bought more commodities after the crash. What is a redneck irregular to do? You can’t spend any money after the apocalypse and you can’t use wheat and ammo to pay for utilities before then. The uneasy answer is that you must suffer and both programs are less than satisfactory. No matter what you do, it is the wrong answer. But how much savings should you have? I don’t think the traditionally preached six months is realistic. Even if most of us had that much, it is too big of a hit to lose and too much to be idle since that could really wipe out a bunch of debt or otherwise be used more constructively. Even my three months, right for me, both being extra paranoid and able to live off almost nothing, but is probably not right for most folks. Still too much. If your household earns $40k ( and I’m sure that is on the low side ), $10k in savings is lost opportunity. You could already have paid off land and a modest shelter for that amount. It is silly to park that amount of money, awaiting the bankers to steal it or the government to quickly erode its purchasing power. One month is far more realistic for most people. BUT! You had better have a pretty iron clad escape plan in place for that to be realistic. You want to use that money to move and restart, not to waste money throwing good after bad into the black hole of middle class living expenses desperately hoping for a miracle. The drama of savings is just our fears materialized. We fear collapse, yet also destitution in “normal” times. You might never resolve the tug of war between the two. The best you can hope for is a truce of a rickety nature.
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