Here’s something I’ve kept under my hat for the last 3 years: my father had cancer. While he fought the good fight, it’s been obvious for the last year that he was losing the battle.
In October, I managed a trip home to visit him. He’d just had another bad couple of weeks in the hospital following days and days of endless vomiting, weight loss, and severe dehydration. That’s when they found the mets in his brain. I saw him while he looked pretty peppy, all things considered. We had a great visit over the course of a week.
It was to be the last time I saw him alive.
When he lived to Thanksgiving I was surprised. When he lived to Christmas, I was shocked. But by the end of January, I was trying to decide when I would fly home to help out with sitting with him and taking some of the burden off my family back home.
On January 31st, I got a text message at 5:30 am saying I should get home NOW. Within a couple of hours, I had a plane ticket and was on my way home. I made sure there was money in the bank for plane tickets, bills, and spending money. I was calling clients from airports to cancel for the next week. I wasn’t sure how long I was going to be gone.
This meant I would have no income for at least a week. I had to pay for a last minute plane ticket – even bereavement fares are very expensive. I had other expenses – like flowers, clothes for a funeral, and on and on.
Would you be able to survive an emergency that would not only cost you a couple of thousand dollars plus a loss of income for a week? I’ve talked before about having an emergency fund. This is the kind of emergency that fund will cover. My thanks to Wes K for the great advice given to me so many years ago. That one sentence (always keep 6 months of take home pay in the bank) has saved me on more than one occasion.
This was also the topic in one of our past #massagechats (the one before my quick trip home). The rule of thumb is to keep enough money in the bank to pay all of your bills, personal and business, for the amount of time it would take you to recover from major surgery. At least 6 weeks and up to 6 months.
We also talked about having your client list handy in case you have to contact them to cancel appointments.
Speaking from experience, emergencies happen. Be prepared.