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Safeguard Your Income With a Financial Back-Up Plan

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financial planMany years ago, a friend of mine made a comment I’ve never forgotten.

“Every woman should have at least two different ways she can earn money.”

The Problem

Now that the economy has tightened up and many families are struggling to make ends meet, I appreciate the wisdom of this statement more than ever. It’s the principle of having a financial back-up plan, a concept foreign to most people.

If you’re into preparedness, you’re putting this principle into action, perhaps without realizing it. Your food storage is a back-up plan in case store-bought groceries ever become too expensive, difficult to access, or depleted. The vegetables in your garden are a back-up plan if your food storage supplies run low. (Back-up plans to your back-up plans are always a good idea.)

If you’re saving money, you’re already in the back-up-plan mode. Suze Orman, like all financial advisers, has long stressed the importance of being debt free. However, with the changes in our economy, she now says, “Save, save, save!” Your savings are a back-up plan to a possible job loss. If you’ve been buying gold and other precious metals, that’s a back-up plan to your cash savings!

There’s a vital need now more than ever to have a back-up plan to your source of income. The past few years have taught me that no job, no career field is truly safe anymore. I’ve seen teachers and attorneys lose their jobs overnight. The construction industry in our city is at an all-time low with its’ workers seeking jobs anywhere they can find them. A seemingly stable career can end in a flash with a pink slip. If that happened to you or your spouse, what would you do? Do you have more than one way of (legally!) earning money?

Taking Stock

Alternative ways to earn money is one of the best back-up plans you could have. My friend Pat, who passed along the advice, is not only a 4th grade teacher but also a licensed masseuse. Another friend runs a produce co-op and has learned how to design websites. Women are amazingly creative, and SurvivalMoms will always figure out a way to provide whatever their families need. SurvivalDads too, by the way!

Now is the perfect time to take stock of the interests, skills and knowledge you have.

  • What talents do you have that, perhaps, have been neglected due to the busy-ness of your life?
  • Is there a direct sales company you have long admired that offers quality products with a low start-up cost?
  • Did you once, long ago, prepare for a career that was sidelined for one reason or another?
  • Can one of your hobbies become a source of income?
  • Have any of your closest friends said, “You should do that for a living!” or “You’d be so good as a _____!”?  Maybe it’s time to take their advice!
  • Does your family participate in an activity or hobby that could be turned into a family business?
  • Is there a partially-finished college degree in your background? Could you dig up your transcripts, take a few classes, and complete it?
  • What need do you see in your community that you have the ability or desire to fulfill?

Be creative and think way, way outside the box. One of my friends decided to start a pizza delivery business to people living in the far outlying areas of her city. Sure enough, she began collecting orders and spent her evenings driving long distances to the homes of hungry, pizza-craving customers!

The internet opened an ever-expanding door for income opportunities, and most have the advantages of having minimal or no start-up costs and being home-based.

It’s not boom time in America anymore. No one knows when, or if, our economy will truly recover. A second or third source of income, however small, may be a financial back-up plan now, but could someday become your primary career.

Originally published March 17, 2011.

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15 thoughts on “Safeguard Your Income With a Financial Back-Up Plan”

  1. Pingback: All In One Information » Safeguard Your Income With a Back-Up Plan | The Survival Mom

  2. Excellent article! I think that with the current economic climate, developing a secondary or tertiary income stream is absolutely vital. I am seeing friends and family lose jobs in industries and from positions that none of them thought were in trouble. Programmers in the space industry, business managers, even oil and gas guys down here in Texas!

    I'd even take this a step further and say that once you have a plan, start developing the business right away. Most Americans, especially in the middle class are paycheck players. Once a job is lost, the life span of the current standard of living is literally less than 4 weeks. Creating the secondary income stream NOW will act as a reliable savings income for the time being, and a primary income if the SHTF.

    1. Thanks for the kind words, Mac. That statistic of the change of standard of living in just four weeks is scary but so true. Thanks for visiting my blog!


  3. American Prepper

    Wow! I love your new Template. Hey tell your friend who runs the produce co-op to list it on Prepper.org…It's free

  4. I have to say that I am a 42 yr. old wife and mother of 2 young sons and I worked as a Realtor until a year ago when I just couldn't afford to hang on to a "dead" career any longer. It costs money monthly just to be "in" the business. Now we are reduced to only my husbands income and now his hours have been cut way back over the last few months to the point he doesn't even get overtime anymore which we desperately depended on just to pay the basic living necessities.

  5. Now school starts in 2 weeks and I have to figure out how I am going to get school uniforms and then when they start, I will try to find a job doing SOMETHING. I would have already but affording daycare for my youngest one was out of the question. I was stuck, which sounds horrible as a mother. Right now, I will be honest. I don't know about everbody else on here but I am scared to death!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I have major bouts of depression and anxiety over all of this. Day-to-day life is a constant struggle. There are even days where I am struggling just to put $10 gas in my vehicle or get milk and cereal for my kids. I mean, come on! What in the heck happened?????? We were doing so well, then, in latter 2007 BOOM! I feel like such a failure as a mother, wife and woman. The rich don't have as much to worry about when it comes to basic living, the poor get handouts from every direction (i.e., the govt) and the middle class are left, I feel, to fall in a long torturous landslide right down the path to living in the streets. Sorry to rant on here but it felt like a good place to do so.

  6. I make money from the internet via paid surveys, paid programs, and other ways online. I also make money collecting recyclables, finding small broken or lost pieces of jewelry, finding money. It may not be a regular job but it provides me with a little income and I do not have to worry about losing my job.

  7. You are one smart lady! I agree that people need a back-up plan, and a secondary way to make money is a very good idea. Another great idea is to start promoting yourself now, before you lose that job. Today we have tools at hand for “Free” that can be used to help us promote ourselves. LinkedIn, Youtube, Twitter and a personal website are very low cost and provide a platform for each of us to tell our own story. You can begin your personal marketing campaign now – you don’t have to wait until technology puts your company into the ditch. Post blogs and articles that show you are an expert in your field. Write book reviews on top business books. Make how-to videos, record speeches and presentations you have done and post them on the web. Build up a portfolio now! Then when the “bad day” comes, instead of 15 identical people hitting the unemployment line, one will stick out from the crowd – you will!
    And guess what, if you do have to crank up the “Rural Pizza” delivery business, you’ll already have a following and a website that will help you promote it. Good luck!

  8. Pingback: Prepper News Watch for January 29, 2016 | The Preparedness Podcast

  9. I’ve been thinking about this same thing around the clock. One of my favorite things I’ve ever read about finances was that your finances should come in streams to make a river not be a river. To have multiple streams is a much safer bet than one big river. I read that here I believe.
    Unfortunately weare a river family. Our river depends solely on the mining industry…..enough said. I’m trying to make the decision right now whether to go in to business for my self or to save the money I would have to spend on insurance & put it towards our pantry. It seems like a huge decision & I have yet to make it but seeing this article at this exact moment is definitely causing me to lean towards that second stream of income…we’ll see. Thank you for a very very timely article;)

  10. Great article I really need to sit with pen and paper and figure something out. Things are about to “get real” here at my house. What a timely article for me at least.

  11. I’ve been thinking for a while about a second source of income. I’ve yet to come up with an idea that works when times are rough. When people are broke there is little disposable income for pizza delivery, hobbies or direct sales. I am a jewelry student with intermittent skills and I can tell you sales are really down. I will continue my education because I love it, but I no longer have expectations.

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