by a.b.

If you’ve been watching the news, you might’ve heard we’re going through a bit of heat wave here in Portland. In fact, we almost hit an all-time high, never before seen in Portland, temperature record. For a town that boasts a pretty temperate climate, that’s a big deal; most places (including my apartment) don’t have air conditioning.

So please excuse my absence, I had heat stroke on Monday, and only now feel aware of my surroundings.

When I went to Wal-mart on Sunday, the air conditioning and fan sections were wastelands. People had actually pried up part of the metal shelving trying to grab the display models. Same story at Target. There pretty much isn’t an air conditioner to be had in the city.

People in desperate circumstances have used the opportunity to sell any air conditioners they had at a premium. The evening news reported people selling air conditioners that sell for $100 at Wal-mart, for $250 on craigslist. With a 12% unemployment rate, and people trying to pay their rent, I can’t say I blame them.

I am kicking myself because I saw this coming for a while. My husband and I had been looking at air conditioners on craigslist for a month prior. I would like to think it wasn’t pure laziness that kept us from jumping on a good deal, but I doubt it.

We almost paid a hefty price for being unprepared: my health. Luckily, we have some great friends who allowed me and the FrugalPup to come and spend the day at their house. It worked out well for them too, as I was able to watch their dog for them.

There are so many areas in our life where we can pay by being unprepared. If you don’t have a place to put your receipts, you might lose out on being able to return your goods. If you don’t have an emergency kit, you might be in dire straights in a natural disaster. If you don’t have a financial management system, you might be in dire straights in a personal disaster.

This month I’m going to make a concerted effort to put together an emergency kit on a budget. There’s too high a cost to being unprepared.

Photo Courtesy Of faeryboots / CC BY 2.0