As you all know I have been watching the the events happening in the EU closely. I think it shows what happens in an economic collapse and what we might see happen in the USA. One thing that jumped out at me was an Italian bank shutting down for 30 days and folks had no access to pay bills or get any of their money at all. I’m sure you can imagine the cost in late fees at best or having your utilities shut off at worse and having to pay a big fee to restart them all.
I use a couple of Credit Unions that are in 2 different states. Hopefully they won’t both go down at the same time. If they do we probably have an much bigger problems than me making a payment.
So how would I handle my bank shutting down for 30 days? About the only options I can see is have enough cash on hand to make 30 days of payments or pre- pay on your bills. The 30 days of cash on hand is a great idea but as many of us are living paycheck to paycheck that might not be realistic for most folks. There is also the fact of having that much cash on hand might make you a little nervous. Life is stressful enough with out adding to it!
I ‘m not a big fan of pre-paying bills or automatic deductions as I figure I can do better at managing my dollars. But I can see how paying a little extra on the most critical bills might make sense if your bank shuts down. Plus having everything paid 1 month ahead could offer some peace of mind in case you had an emergency. You know you have at least a month to come up with a plan.
Check with your companies but I know you can pay ahead on your mortgage and most utilities adding as little as $5.00 to $100.00 per month might be a little easier than trying to save up a months worth of cash. If you always see your cash on hand slowly evaporate this system may work for you. But keep working on that emergency fund!
I would not do this if I was working to pay down debts. Any money not used should be put towards your debts right after contributing to your emergency fund. Being debt free is a critical step for preparedness so get rid of any debt first!
UPDATE: RBS and NatWest in Scotland seem to be suffering from a “Glitch” that has kept folks from accessing funds to pay bills for the past 5 days.