Have you found yourself out and about “panic buying” lately? Moment of truth: I have. If you've tried hitting up the grocery store lately, you've seen the chaos! Panic buying is defined as the unplanned purchasing of large quantities of a particular product/commodity due to sudden fears of a shortage or price increase.
The psychology of panic buying is generally summed up as an attempt to take back control in a time when you feel completely out of control (sound familiar?). Panic buying is connected to our fundamental psychological needs to control our circumstances, relate to those around us (or the “everyone’s doing it” mentality) and feel competent about our abilities as consumers. Empty shelves and rising prices can tempt us to stock up but buying what you do not need or what your family will not use actually gives you a false sense of security that you’re a “smart shopper”.
As connected as we are online, it’s easy to see just how empty the supermarket shelves are regardless of whether or not you’ve been there in-person lately. Let’s be clear – there is a distinct difference between disaster preparation and panic buying. I am certainly not suggesting you ignore recommendations to purchase what your family needs. However, irrational stockpiling can make shortages worse and bust your budget over and over, so here are six hacks to combat future panic buying (cause we're not out of the woods yet...cue Taylor Swift).
GUEST BLOGGER: KATHY RIGGS
Being prepared with food, water, and fuel for an emergency situation is fairly common practice for many Utahans and other folks living in areas throughout the U.S. While ice storms, power outages, and closed interstate highways may seem unlikely today, peace of mind is worth a lot when considering the unknown possibilities for your local area.
GUEST BLOGGER: MELANIE JEWKES
Recommendations for food storage are to have 72-hours’ worth of food and water to tie you over until water supplies, roadways and help can reach you in the event of an emergency. BeReadyUtah.gov spells that out to be one gallon of water per person per day for at least 3 days and a 3-day supply of non-perishable food. However, the American Red Cross recommends having a 3-day supply of food and water for emergencies that require an evacuation, AND a 2-week supply for emergencies where you are confined to your own home.
Don’t let that 2-week supply of food and water be too daunting. Here a few tips on establishing a food storage for emergencies on a budget.
GUEST BLOGGER: ELIZABETH DAVIS
Why do I need an emergency fund? The reason is simple really, we don’t know what is going to happen. Money guru Dave Ramsey recommends starting with a $1,000 cash emergency fund. This is SEPARATE from long-term savings and should be immediately available in case of emergency. After debt is eliminated, then save enough to cover the basic expenses without income for 3 months. This number will vary for different family's situations. What I would like to discuss is the first step. Saving $1000 dollars. Sound overwhelming? My recommendation is to make a plan that can work for YOUR situation.
Welcome to September! All month long (monday-friday) we'll be sharing financial emergency preparedness tips over on our Facebook page in honor of National Emergency Preparedness month. Watch for tips to help you prepare now for the financial aspects of different kinds of emergency situations. A focus on preparation can help take the fear out of the unknown. We hope you'll follow along!
Blog editor and Accredited Financial Counselor sharing real-life money smarts that can help you stay on track with financial goals while still enjoying life!
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