Rainy Day Guidelines
Government officials advise that:
- 25% of Americans (mostly younger people) save no money for "rainy day" emergencies.
- The rainy day fund for families with two incomes should be at least the equivalent of six months of family living expenses.
- The rainy day fund for families with one income should be at least the equivalent of twelve months of family living expenses.
Lesson To Be Learned: Failure to establish an adequate family rainy day fund is like being in a Nascar race not knowing whether you have enough fuel to finish the race with five laps to go and making the decision not to stop to refuel - gambling you'll make it.
About one-third of race cars taking this gamble do in fact run out of gas which is the equivalent in this analogy to your family going bust in a bad economy with no back-up funds. Jobs, college tuitions, mortgage payments, car payments and the like can be ripped away. Don't gamble with your family's welfare.
Can We Trust The Media?
It is important to understand that the political media consistently presents the economy in its best possible light and generally not in an accurate light.
For just two examples of many on this subject see the following:
- The current media position is that the economy has "stabilized" and is "in recovery." How can this be true when the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) announced last week that the GDP (Gross Domestic Product) for first quarter 2015 grew at the dismal rate of 0.2% knowing that a good GDP grows within a 4% to 7% range annually?
- The unemployment rate has been reported at +/- 5.6% since the 2012 elections, which is a mis-statement because this number only counts those still receiving unemployment checks as "unemployed."
Once workers out of jobs stop looking for jobs they are considered "employed" - a device invented to make politicians look good. In fact the current national unemployment rate is not around 5% but nearer to 25% which is why over 94,000,000 Americans are out of work.
Lesson To Be Learned: In order to family plan and career plan effectively it is imperative to know when to trust the media which is hardly ever because the media only reports what the government tells it to.
Two examples of consistent media accuracy are the quarterly growth rates of the GDP (Gross Domestic Product) and the of the national debt. Visit US Debt Clock.org to bring the US Debt Clock below "alive" here on this page.
The current national debt is currently over $18 trillion and growing; i.e.- virtually double what the national debt was five years ago because the government is spending like a "drunker sailor." You'll know when the economy is recovering when government policy results in consistently lowering the debt over a period of time.
Tighten Your Personal Finances
The truth of the matter is that most superintendents underestimate the difficulty the current economy presents because: (i) They work within a constituent rich golf-based environment where wealthy club members and golfers remain wealthy; and (ii) They are not well informed and, consequently, tend to believe the misinformation the media pedals which softens the blow.
Against this backdrop, it is imperative that families learn to tighten their economic belts to deal with the economy and the inevitable coming higher inflation in the following ways:
- Commit to eliminating elective/credit card debt.
- Convert adjustable mortgages to fixed mortgages.
- Pay off or consolidate second mortgages.
- Commit to tight family budgeting and stay with it. Do not over-spend.
- Seek professional counseling advice re: how to best protect/secure your family's rainy day funds and general savings for retirement.
Lesson To Be Learned: Committing to the above five recommendations will more than double a family's chances of surviving a bad hit by the economy.
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Next Week's Blog: How To Reduce Operating Budget Spending Cautiously