Most of you all who follow me on Instagram know that I totaled my car a couple of weekends ago. I had never been in a car wreck and I certainly had no intentions of making that happen. I’d purchased my car while I was still in college and paid her off in only three years, so I had been without a car note for the last two which was amazing. Once I’d paid her off, I began paying myself the car note money I was used to spending every month instead of treating it as $420 worth of extra cash. I had absolutely no plans of getting a car note any time soon and was planning on driving Shalaquandrial (Sha Sha for short) until the wheels fell off… or at least another two years.
Nonetheless, I wrecked my car and was going to have to buy another one – no way around it. My immediate worry was having to squeeze a car note into my monthly expenses, which wasn’t the biggest deal but was indeed an adjustment since I had gone so long without one. My second worry was that I wasn’t prepared to purchase another car. I like to control everything and in this situation, I didn’t wake up one morning and say “I’m going to go get a new BMW”. I felt forced, and I was but it had to be done. The following week I had to do what I had to do. I found a car that I loved and had it purchased within a few hours on a Tuesday evening. Simple as that.
Although I had no financial plans to buy a new car, I was prepared when it happened out of the blue. I was financially prepared to pay a car note on a car that I had been wanting and prepared to put down as much as I needed to in order to get my note where I wanted it to be. In the years that had passed I had taken such good care of my expenses that my credit score was also ready for a purchase that large and worked in my favor. Jay Z said it best, “in anticipation for precipitation, stack chips for a rainy day”. Even with all of the chaos of my insurance company, being carless for almost two weeks and being out of town twice within that time, I could breathe easily knowing the least of my worries was how I was going to pay for anything.
The fact of the matter is, we don’t always anticipate having to buy a new car, being laid off from our jobs or needing $5000 in the next week to cover last minute tuition – but these things occur and when they happen, we need to be able to handle them without drowning ourselves in worry. What can you do today to ensure that you’re prepared for the unexpected should it happen? I can’t stress the importance of thinking ahead even when everything in your life is going right.
In case of emergency, here’s what I make sure I always have on hand – 1) four months of my salary tucked away in my savings 2) my credit cards below 30% of their limit and 3) an alternative source of income outside of my paychecks. P.S., my Secure The Brand notepad is the perfect way to balance a 9-5 + a side hustle. My dad would always say “if you stay ready, you don’t have to get ready” and it’s proven to be true. Happy Monday babes! Make the best of it.