“We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them.” -Albert Einstein
Units be advised we are receiving a 911 call of a subject wearing dark clothing, sunglasses, carrying a rifle and entering the mall…the radio is silent, but you know everyone and their mother in en route to that call.
Did you forget your Go Bag? Your rifle? Your helmet? Your plate carrier? Be honest, of course not, because you pre-stage all of the necessary equipment in your vehicle in the event you are sent to a worst case real-life emergency like an active shooter or some other catastrophic event.
Heck, your Go Bag probably has a fully loaded handgun and rifle magazines, a knife, a tourniquet or two, trauma bandages, a door wedge, glow sticks, a flashlight, 550 cord, water, a protein bar and who knows what else. This is a crazy thought, but all that stuff in your Go Bag probably costs about a $1,000 and you would absolutely not leave the station without it.
So answer me this, why in a study by the Federal Reserve does it show that in 2018–61% of Americans could not cover a $400 monetary emergency? What is even more troubling is that the number was at 50% in 2013, rose to 53% in 2014, rose again to 54% in 2015, rose again to 56% in 2016, and yes, yet again rose to 59% in 2017… absolutely heinous and unacceptable.
As cops we have to do better than that. Granted some of us may have a Go Bag full of go-to tools, but do we have a Go Bag full of quick cash aka: Solution Money–to cover a dishwasher repair, a broken lawnmower, or a new refrigerator?
So the guilt trip is done–your Go Bag is prepped. Now we move on to the emergency fund aka: quick cash–Solution Money as I prefer to say. When you have a problem you want a solution, right? What is an emergency fund? It is money in a readily accessible account or in a safe in your house that you can get to quickly and put out the fire. That fire is the fridge that has broken, the dishwasher that went down. The emergency fund (Solution Money) is there for your safety and peace of mind.
When an emergency hits, it is no longer an emergency, because you have Solution Money. Your Solution Money is like putting a tourniquet on a bleeding limb. It will get you to the hospital so you don’t lose your life. Solution Money is cash in a readily accessible area that can be used to solve a problem or challenging situation ASAP. Solution Money should not be invested in the stock market because the stock market can go up and down daily and your $10,000 could be $8,000 on any bad day. The money should be easy to access and in a stable account like a credit union savings account or high yield savings account. Would you leave your vest in your locker at the station?
The hardest thing for me to understand is why we don’t care more about our financial well being. It’s like the one thing we don’t want to talk about because of embarrassment, shame, or whatever else. Maybe if we talked about money and finances more and held our partners accountable to their families then we might have less and less financial struggles in law enforcement.
So you may ask, “Mr. Badge and Budget Investor, how do I start an emergency fund.” This emergency fund is not a fund to create a safety net to cover you if you need mutual aid. This Solution Money is a way to solve a problem quickly. A $1,000 or $2,000 problem, when you are starting to pay off your debt. Like we say in law enforcement, it is not if it will happen, it is when it will happen. The inevitable will happen when you are on the path to becoming debt free. The Solution Money will be able solve that “when it happens” problem, therefore allowing you to continue becoming debt free.
How do you start the Solution Money savings account? You start. That’s the simple answer. You probably have a checking account at a bank or credit union. The easiest way to start is to set up an automatic withdrawal from your checking account every payday for a designated amount.
Today I was paid. Today $100 is automatically withdrawn from my checking account and placed into my savings account aka: my Solution Money. If while I’m paying down debt my fridge breaks or dishwasher doesn’t function, I don’t have to stop paying down my debt because I can use my Solution Money from the savings account to take care of the problem.
I give you permission to take control of your money. Start on the next payday automatically withdrawing money from your checking to your savings. You are worth it!
“To double your net worth, double your self-worth. Because you will never exceed the height of your self-image.” -Robin Sharma
“Okay Mr. Badge and Budget Investor, how do I start my ‘Go Bag.’” Have questions feel free to contact me.
“I don’t have a dime to my name I live paycheck to paycheck. Do you have any tips to create extra money that I can save into my ‘Go Bag’ for solution money.” Why yes, thank you for asking…
20 Solution money tips to help boost your account–Why 20 because I like the number 2 and if I only give you 2 tips that’s not very many, so 20 works!
- Work overtime, even when you don’t want to…go to work
- Sell the stuff you don’t use on Facebook Marketplace or Offer Up
- Brown bag it, pack your lunch and snacks
- Make dinner at home
- Go shopping with a grocery list and stick to the list
- Take a hard look at your monthly subscriptions i.e., cable, Netflix, Amazon Prime, Spotify, to name a few
- Refinance your mortgage to a 15 year loan with a lower rate
- Open a high interest savings account for your Solution Money
- Ride your bike to work or walk
- Go to the library to borrow books or DVD’s
- Go on a financial date with your significant other at home and plan
- Use a home gym or gym at work
- Consider selling the expensive new car and buying a used car
- Turn down the water heater
- Use fans instead of the air conditioner–only works for some climates
- Become a DIY Do-It-Yourselfer–almost everything is on YouTube
- Wash dishes by hand and use real dishes instead of paper
- Buy used stuff–I bought a Trek Bike for my daughter for $50
- Wear your clothing out–I have sleep t-shirts that have holes
- Make gifts for people–limit your gift giving
Save money! It will help relieve stress for you as a cop. It will help your mindset because you are prepared for the emergency instead of scrambling when the emergency happens.
“Every test in our life makes us bitter or better, every problem comes to break us or makes us. The choice is ours whether we become victim or victor. Everyone goes through problems, but never let the Devil win a battle where he wants to divide and conquer. Which are you? A victim or a victor?”-Lorenzo Dozier
What an amazing quote!!! Mic Drop. I’m out!