So I love the AMC show The Walking Dead. It’s funny, I’m really not a big fan of zombie movies, but I do like this show. However, I think there are some key personal finance lessons to be learned from the show – let’s see how many I can find.
- Emergency plans are a must. In financial planning, that usually involves making sure you have a fully funded emergency reserve (cash or liquid savings). Now, if there was a zombie apocalypse, I’m pretty sure having thousands in the bank won’t help much. But having a few hundred dollars in cash may be the difference in survival in the early days! (And will also help if you are facing a natural disaster such as an earthquake, tornado or hurricane. Zombies aren’t the only emergency, you know). At any given time, I can scrounge up between $200 and $800 cash in a real pinch.
- A fully stocked pantry can be a life saver. There used to be an article on MSN Money (I believe it was written by Liz Weston) called The Emergency Fund You Can Eat (the link is gone now, too bad, it was a good article). The long and short of it – if you lost your job (or lost power due to a natural disaster, etc.), having a big supply of non-perishable foods on hand will help you get through. Portable non-perishables are a benefit when dealing with zombies too – the less you have to go searching for food, the better. In addition to food, some basic first aid supplies are helpful too – bandages, rubbing alcohol, painkillers, etc.
- Knowing how to cook is an important life skill. Restaurants no longer exist – how will you eat if you can’t cook? When trying to pay down debt or find corners to cut in your budget, eating at home is an easy way to reduce your foods costs – learn to cook!
- There is strength in numbers. Fighting zombies by yourself is a losing proposition. The same can be said for debt – surround yourself with people who support you (family, friends, online support) – and fight back against your debt!
- Being self sufficient can save your life (or at least save you money). The ability to repair broken equipment or torn clothing, change flat tires, perform basic maintenance tasks – these skills can help you hang on to items you can’t easily replace. In a zombie apocalypse, that can save your life. Right now, that can save you money on everything from car oil changes to seamstress charges for repairing clothing.
- Stay in shape. Running away from or fighting zombies takes strength and endurance. Even without a zombie apocalypse, staying in shape will reduce your health care costs, may reduce your health insurance premiums, your life insurance premiums, and other associated costs (plus size clothing costs more!)
- Life goes on. Take time to enjoy it. Whether facing zombies or just a difficult financial road, it is important to stop and enjoy the simple things – you can still smell the flowers, share a meal, fall in love. Yes, your debt will still be there in the morning, but if you have no pleasure in life, what’s the point?
So that’s my take – Personal Finance and Life Lessons from a Zombie Apocalypse. Can you think of others I’ve missed?