May Reading Roundup



Are you prepared for a power outage? Do you know what you would do if your wallet or identity was stolen? How about if there was a medical emergency, be it for yourself or a family member? With spring wrapping up, May is a great time to take stock of your emergency plans, be they financial, medical, or anything in between. Below, we’ll take a look at some emergency situations you may want to be prepared for.

Stolen Wallet or Stolen Identity


Identity theft may be more common than you think. In fact, Consumer Affairs reports that out of all the consumer reports it receives nationwide, nearly a third are related to identity theft. And with the rise of online buying during the pandemic, that number is only expected to increase.

The best way to prepare in case your wallet or identity is stolen is to know how to report the theft before it happens. Instead of waiting for the worst-case scenario, it’s smart to learn how to deal with it now so you’re not scrambling or panicking in the moment, which can waste time and make it harder to stop the fraud.

Sudden Large Expense

What if your roof starts leaking after a heavy spring rain, or your only car breaks down and needs major repairs? Even the family pet can have an unexpected illness and rack up a large vet bill. Unfortunately, big expenses can come out of left field, and without having a plan in place or emergency savings, you could be left scrambling to find funds at the last minute.

The best way to avoid the stress of a sudden large expense is to have some funds set aside for the unexpected. If you don’t have one, now may be the time to rethink your budget and cut back on a few expenses in order to start an emergency fund. Not sure how much to save? You can use an emergency calculator to help you get a better idea of how much you may want to have in emergency savings. But as a general rule, most experts say you should have three to six months’ worth of expenses saved up for an emergency.

Natural Disaster


A late winter storm causes a power outage. A tornado, hurricane or other disaster damages your home. Knowing what to do during a natural disaster can save you time, money, and stress. To prepare for a natural disaster, it’s wise to have a plan in place. This plan could be to hunker down in a fully stocked basement until the danger passes, or it could include having food, clothes, medical supplies, pet supplies, and other essentials packed in a crate and ready to go in case of an evacuation. If there is a power outage but you don’t need to evacuate, it’s also smart to have a similar kit of essentials for kids, pets, and anyone else living in your household.

If your home or rental is damaged due to a natural disaster, it’s good to know ahead of time what your home deductible or renters insurance covers. And if you experience financial hardship in the aftermath of a disaster, knowing how mortgage relief programs work could also help you feel calmer and more prepared in a worst-case scenario.

Medical Emergency


Accidents happen, but being prepared for a medical emergency can help you avoid the financial hardship of medical debt in the aftermath of an emergency.

Medical emergencies can be stressful , both financially and emotionally. When you have kids, that stress can be even harder to deal with. And sometimes, you need to travel with kids because of a medical emergency, such as having to leave the state to take care of a sick parent or dropping kids off with the grandparents so you can help a sick spouse. As such, having emergency travel plans in place can help relieve stress when dealing with a medical emergency.

Death


No one wants to talk about it, but death happens to us all. And if you’re not prepared, you could risk leaving your family with a financial mess to deal with as they grieve. Having an emergency binder with account information, wills, and other legal and financial documents can save your family time and stress after you die. Perhaps most crucially, having an updated will ready and easily accessible can help resolve many estate-related issues after you die.

Knowing what happens to your debt can also help you prepare for death. If you know what happens to debt after you die, you can better prepare yourself and your family for dealing with the financial consequences.

Tips from Experts


If you need more help preparing for emergencies, we’ve scoured the web for expert tips on how to make sure you’re ready. From power outages to hurricanes, here are some more tips on preparing and staying calm during an emergency:

•  Power outage tips

•  Keep your animals safe during a disaster

•  Prepare for your health: Staying calm during an emergency

•  How Families Can Prepare for Emergencies

•  How to Prepare for Emergencies

The Takeaway


Emergencies happen, be they natural disasters, medical issues, or other unexpected expenses. To prepare, make sure you have an emergency fund, have important documents ready to go, and know what to do if your identity is stolen or your home is damaged during a disaster.

While you’re preparing for emergencies, SoFi Relay can help you reach your emergency savings goals. Whether saving up for a vacation or paying down debt, you can keep a close eye on your expenses and watch your funds grow all in one single app.

Learn more about how SoFi Relay can help you manage your finances.

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External Websites: The information and analysis provided through hyperlinks to third-party websites, while believed to be accurate, cannot be guaranteed by SoFi. Links are provided for informational purposes and should not be viewed as an endorsement.
Financial Tips & Strategies: The tips provided on this website are of a general nature and do not take into account your specific objectives, financial situation, and needs. You should always consider their appropriateness given your own circumstances.
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