The Importance of Building a Financial Buffer

Updated on: by Amy Kennedy

work at home life preserverWritten By Deb Knight:

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Irene, I am sure you have heard her name recently and she has been the bane of my existence last week. At the same time, she taught me a very valuable lesson that I want to share with you to save you the pain and suffering.

Before Hurricane Irene hit I was working online paying my bills and setting some money aside for taxes.  Between the bills, food and our son wanting or needing things, the money simply disappeared from my bank account almost as fast as it went in. But then Irene happened and I was out of power and internet. Three days of no power, three days of no work, three days to stress about being able to pay bills and buy my son the things we want to get him for his birthday in a few weeks.

Three very long days!

In general I try to make $30 a day minimum, I would prefer to make a good $50 a day but the work isn’t always there as I work in the Duplicate Checking Department for Demand Studios. Some days there is no work, some days there is plenty to go around, it’s a feast or famine kind of existence.

My other job is a phone job with a company called LiveOps and without a phone or internet, I can’t work that either. So when I found myself unable to work for three days straight, knowing that I was missing out on at least $100 I realized I really need to build up a buffer, something that will be there when I can not work at all.

As I read the texts from my electric company telling me that they might not be able to restore my power for another 5 days, I began to panic. I had bills that were due and I needed to make sure I paid them but I didn’t have enough in the bank to do that. I knew that if I was working I would have made enough and then some.

This made me realize that I simply need to stop living paycheck to paycheck. I need to stop spending when the money comes in for a while, I need to start saving not only for my taxes at the end of the year but also for the Irene’s that will come into my life. Lucky for me, I have a terrific husband who makes a lot more money than me and he can pull me out of the hole I am in. He can toss me a financial life-preserver and make sure the bills get paid and then I can begin fresh. I can save my money more wisely and build a buffer before spending on toys and treats.

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Miranda Grimm

September 7, 2011 at 12:06 am

This was true for me the other day actually! I have so many eggs and yet when titles were down I dug down into my basket and checked around. Every where that would allow me to make a significant earnings for the day were a bust! (Thanks to Memorial Day and the long weekend). So, essentially I lost around $85 yesterday! I too need a little cushion to fall back onto.

Deb Knight

September 7, 2011 at 8:00 am

When I wrote this article it was in the brief break we had and the power went out shortly after. In the end I was 5 days without power thus 5 days without work. This past weekend I had no titles as well so it only reinforced what I already know, I really need to crack down and build a buffer.


September 8, 2011 at 9:54 am

Excellent advice Deb, this is so true. I’m glad Irene didn’t do any more damage than what she did to your family, that was enough. I’m a pay check to pay check person myself and yes one hiccup, one event can throw everything off. Nowadays it seems hard to even recover and catch up. Miranda gave me an idea I really need to look for some new eggs so I’ll have several to choose from in case work isn’t available with one egg. We all need that buffer in more ways than one.

Leisa Good

September 8, 2011 at 9:55 am


Hugs to you as Irene finally left you. Glad that you are safe.

I totally understand what you are saying. This is one of the reasons that I am getting more into affiliate marketing as well as writing e-books (ways to make passive income) when I can’t work. This would be the same as having paid vacations or sick days! 😉