As the wise Dave Ramsey says: “Live like nobody else, so you can live like nobody else.”
I hate to be morbid, but with the focus of the last week on the newly emerging details surrounding the Coronavirus stemming from Wuhan, China, Misses Cat and I are pretty focused on making sure that our family is able to just live under circumstances such as voluntary or mandatory quarantine.
We've had plenty of our normal friends and family, or "normies" as I like to call them, tell us we've over-reacted to this and other global phenomenon hanging over our heads, such as the debt crisis and over-due housing market crash. While it's true that playing defense in a good-times when you have the ability to make even more money seems stupid, having lived through one global disaster (the 2008 recession), it seems obvious to me that when you wait until you see the down trend from the good times, it's too late.
Last year, I bought a few courses from Joshua Sheats, the founder of the podcast Radical Personal Finance. I really appreciate Joshua’s takes on the subjects around being independent from the norms of society such as with home schooling, living internationally and being prepared for edge cases associated with economic and social problems. The course I have gotten the farthest through has been his “How To Survive and Thrive During The Coming Economic Crisis.” While I found this course stimulating and exciting to listen to, I put off most of the advice Joshua gave, even though I discussed a lot of it with Misses Cat and we both agreed it would be a good idea.
We instantly knew that this Coronavirus situation could easily spiral into something worse than serious and that we were not prepared. The last thing I wanted to hear in my own head was Joshua telling me “I told you so.” So, Misses Cat and I called an audible and picked up the baby early from daycare and went straight to BJ’s Wholesale and bought $450 of dry goods and supplies to last us more than a month if we got quarantined at home.
Indeed, we post about trying to spend less on groceries and we likely blew our budget this month with this shopping trip, but being prepared for the worst at such a cost should just be a separate line item rather than the monthly food budget. Besides, even if this entire pandemic matter blows over without directly affecting us, at least we have lots of food that we can eat before it goes bad anyways. The downside is minimal, thankfully.
If you have money saved, we really do recommend you at least buy a bit of supplies that would store well over the course of a month - at least enough to give you some time to stay safe indoors in a situation like so many in China are tragically facing.
Of course, we were not able to get any face masks - they were totally sold out. So that should really keep us indoors if this situation gets worse.