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    7 BEST WAYS TO USE YOUR STIMULUS CHECK

    7 BEST WAYS TO USE YOUR STIMULUS CHECK

    It’s likely you got a stimulus check recently from the government to aid in the wake of the COVID-19 outbreak. While having a bit of extra money is nice, you can actually put that money to work and make good use of it. If you make plans of how you’ll use that money, you can get yourself on the right foot for handling more challenges down the road of life. 


    Perhaps you are out of work as a result of the pandemic. It may be necessary for you to use some or all of your stimulus check to take care of your family's needs right now. There are many ways you can use that cash, but if you want to make the best use of it for your family’s safety and peace of mind, here are the seven best ways to use your stimulus check.


    ONE: PUT IT IN AN EMERGENCY FUND ACCOUNT

    If you are able, put the money into a high yield emergency fund account through your bank or credit union. Placing the money into a rainy day fund, or peace of mind fund, will allow you to accrue interest on that money and generate more value down the line. Having a rainy day fund allows you to be prepared for financial difficulties down the line, and usually they require over 1,000 dollars to start. Having a rainy day fund takes the edge off when stressful situations come up, offering you a safety net to handle the unexpected expenses of life. 


    By placing your money into a high yield emergency fund account, you can increase its value over the next year by as much as one half of what you invested into it. Not bad! You’ll want to look into what your bank offers, and what other companies offer for such accounts to find the best fit for you. If you can afford to place some or all of your stimulus check into an emergency fund, this may be the best way to spend your government money. This way you can get started on having what you need for times of crisis that will come along farther down the line of life. The current pandemic is a stressful, scary time. But it is not the last time things will get difficult. Being prepared is key to being there for your family when they need you most.


    TWO: PAY OFF DEBT

    If you have a good amount of debt, using your stimulus check to cover some or all of it is a very wise investment. Many people are carrying debt in the United States, as well. A recent study showed that 80 percent of Americans have at least some debt, with the average household having nearly nine thousand dollars in debt at any given time. Taking your stimulus money and using it to get ahead on your debts is a great way to plan for the future and relieve some of your money woes along the way. Getting debt free is a great way to be a hero for your family, because you will have more of your own resources to put toward investments, education, and medical needs for when your family needs them. 


    Being there for your family is about planning for the future. Paying off debts frees your future up to allow for more choice and reward in what you do with your money and time. Credit card debt is the best place for you to alleviate debt issues for now with your stimulus check. If you have student loan debt, the government has currently frozen those interests until the pandemic has passed. So put your mind at ease, reduce or totally pay off your debts, and put your stimulus to good use for you and your family’s future.


    THREE: INVEST IT

    The stock market is at a down turn right now. For some, that is a scary thing. But what that means is those stocks are at a pretty low cost for investors. Putting your stimulus money into a stock could be a good way to turn it into more money down the road. Investing in the stock market is a difficult thing to do well. There are a lot of factors and possibilities that cannot be fully predicted. That’s why when you choose to invest, if you do, you should invest in things you are more familiar with. Look into different companies. Find ones that are similar to your own trade or profession, and consider how well those markets are doing currently. If you see a possibility of the market going down farther for those companies, wait until that happens; then invest. Getting it at the lowest cost is important for getting the highest return when things get better in the future. 


    Investing money doesn’t only mean the stock market, either. You could invest it into your own business, or an education program you’ve been needing to increase your value as an employee or employer. However you choose to invest, be sure to do your research beforehand and make an informed investment.


    FOUR: DONATE IT

    If you’ve not been affected by a job loss or the economic downturn, you could consider donating the stimulus check to help other people who’ve lost everything. Some families aren’t doing well right now, with both parents out of work, and not having been able to set aside money for a rainy day before the pandemic came along. These families could greatly benefit from your charity if you can afford to help them. On the subject of donating your stimulus, Doug Garrison, wealth advisor for Investec Wealth Strategies located in Houston, Texas, said, “If you’ve kept your job and have an adequate emergency fund, you might want to consider donating a portion of the stimulus check to help those who aren’t as fortunate as you. Times such as this call for compassion and solidarity.”


    FIVE: COVER YOUR NEEDS

    If you’ve been faced with reduced income as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, using your stimulus money to patch the holes in your expenses is a wise decision. You can divide it into the pieces you need to fill your rent or mortgage needs, utility bills, and more. Being wise with your stimulus check means looking into what your current expenses are, how much you are currently making either from your employment or unemployment coverage during this pandemic, and then seeing where the biggest concerns are in your expenses. If you are $500 dollar short for your rent/mortgage payments right now, you could use the stimulus check to cover that hole for two months and still have $200 left over. By using this method of covering for your needs with your stimulus check, you reduce the likelihood that your money will be spent, either accidentally or not, on things that you and your family don’t really need. 


    SIX: PREPARE FOR DISASTERS

    Preparing for a disaster means having food, water, medical supplies, and even money set aside for when unexpected events like earthquakes, hurricanes, tornadoes, or floods come along. These sorts of natural disasters can cause roads to close, local infrastructure to be compromised, and could leave many people without access to grocery stores, food banks, and other essentials. Having food storage ready to go will help you protect your family from such events, and this stimulus check could be your opportunity to begin preparing for these disasters. Food, water, and medical supplies are the main things you’ll need when a disaster strikes. You can never be too prepared.


    SEVEN: GET SOMETHING FUN

    Things are difficult out there right now. If you’ve lost your job, you likely will need this stimulus check to cover for your necessities. Use it wisely! However, your family is also struggling to find normalcy in these abnormal times. Using a part of your stimulus check to get something fun for your family, like a new game, or a takeout dinner, are good ways to alleviate some of the stress in these stressful times.


    However you choose to spend your stimulus check, be wise with it. This is a good time for you to make the preparations necessary to be the hero your family needs when crisis strikes. 

    HOW TO BEAT THE COVID-19 PANDEMIC

    HOW TO BEAT THE COVID-19 PANDEMIC

    COVID-19 has led to a lot of changes in your communities. Stores are selling out of food, state and federal governments are issuing “shelter-in-place” orders, and people are losing their jobs due to mandatory business closures. It’s a scary time, especially if you’ve not prepared for events like these already by setting aside supplies in case of emergency. There is hope, however. Even if there’s nothing in the stores, or if you’re currently facing a stay-at-home order, you can prepare and survive this pandemic with ease. 


    There are many options for you to use online shopping to get the items you need, including food storage options with incredibly long shelf lifes. You also likely have more items at your disposal to use right now during the COVID-19 pandemic than you realize. Let’s dive in and discover how you can beat the pandemic, one day at a time.


    REVIEW YOUR CURRENT FOOD SUPPLIES

    You likely have a pantry, or at least a few shelves where you store dry goods, canned goods, and other snacks. If you’ve been hit with a shelter-in-place order where you are right now, chances are your local markets are looking pretty bare. This means you’ll have to make do with what you have on hand already. Chances are you’ve got a number of canned food items you’ve not opened yet, just collecting dust in your cabinet. There may also be some dry goods in there, like dried beans or rice or oats. These items may not be your first choice when it comes to a meal, but don’t turn your nose up at them right away.


    A major part of surviving a pandemic is surviving the boredom you face when stuck at home doing your part to flatten the curve. These food items that you normally wouldn’t eat can be a part of that! Look up some recipes that use your current ingredients. Find new ways to entertain yourself with some cooking of new foods using your current stores. You may find it to be a fun experiment! Being stuck at home can be fun if you try new things. Just be sure to read the recipes closely, or you may end up with a flop.


    Don’t forget to check the recesses of your freezer, too. Some of that old meat may look freezer burned, but there are plenty of recipes that can make good use of tough meat. Always check for any signs of the food you’re using having gone bad before you eat it, though. Now, if you’re not in the mood to try out some pandemic pioneer food, you could also place an order with My Food Storage to get up to a year's supply of delicious, easy to make food storage. My Food Storage provides incredible options for any palette, all self contained in air tight packaging designed to survive any apocalyptic event. Keep in mind, food storage is best had in preparation before a disaster like the 2020 pandemic strikes. Therefore, if you do choose to order food storage right now it may be a few weeks before it arrives. Don’t let that stop you! There will be more hazards down the road of life where you will want to have your storage ready! Let this current pandemic teach you to be prepared for the future!


    One of the most important items for your food needs is of course fruit. The human body cannot produce Vitamin C on its own, meaning going without it for long periods of time can lead to illness. Having fresh fruit on hand during a pandemic lock down isn’t always an option; the stores are likely out, and what you already have is nearing the end of its edibility. That’s why dried fruit options are an effective alternative. By having plenty of fruit on hand, you can ensure better health for you and your family, as well as having something tasty to enjoy when the other snacks have run out. 


    GET SOME SUNSHINE

    While your local law may currently require you to shelter in place, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t try to get some sunshine where you can. Sunshine leads to healthy production of Vitamin D, which some studies have suggested helps stave off depression and poor mood. Being stuck in your house all day might be fun for the first few days. But after a while, you’re probably feeling a bit of cabin fever. Getting a few minutes of sunshine in your yard or on the porch can help you feel better about your current situation. 


    There are other ways you can beat the pandemic cabin fever as well. Taking time to learn a new skill, practice an instrument, or write that book you’ve been thinking about are all good ways to keep your mind alert. Use this time wisely. You may be feeling some anxiety from your order to shelter in place. That’s normal. But this is a unique opportunity for you and those you’re close with to invest some time in those things you’ve not had time to do before. 


    COVID-19 has put the world on hold, and you are along for the ride. Take this time as your opportunity to discover more of the things you want to do, the things that make you happy. By doing this, you’ll find the sunshine you’ve been missing, and discover more peace in this restless time. 


    KEEP IN TOUCH

    Calling loved ones is a great way to keep your social connections strong during the current stay at home orders in many States. Try having a video call with an old friend, or reach out to a family member to see how they’re doing during their own quarantine. Keeping connected with those you love will help you get through this pandemic with your sanity intact. Self isolation doesn’t have to be so isolating!


    Depending on your interests, there are even ways for you to play boardgames with others through the internet. So there’s no reason for you to feel bored and alone as long as you can connect with your friends and relations. Keeping in touch can mean more than just keeping up with your friends. Keep in touch with your current events in your area as well. Reading local articles of how your community is doing good to help those in need will give you hope. Hope is one of the most precious commodities when dealing with a pandemic. Humanity is resilient, and the trials we face now will make us stronger together. Focus on the good that is happening around you, and where you can, do good in your community, as well.


    MANAGE YOUR TIME

    Keeping track of what you have to do and what you want to do during your time in quarantine will help you feel in control of your life. If you’ve been affected by a lay off, be sure to make use of the available support options in your State. You can also take this time to discover, or rediscover, a talent you have that you could put to use. Keep busy, learn new things, and focus on what you can control. There are many options in your area that can assist you with whatever difficulty you are currently facing. 


    You are not alone through this. Be sure to manage your resources wisely, keeping track of your food needs, health needs, and social needs. If you are low on food supplies right now, go to My Food Storage and stock up without the hassle of empty shelves. COVID-19 can’t stop you from making it so long as you continue to keep strong!


    10 SIMPLE PLANTS FOR YOUR MEDICINAL PREPPER GARDEN

    10 SIMPLE PLANTS FOR YOUR MEDICINAL PREPPER GARDEN

    Most people think to store long term food and water along with first aid supplies, but what about medicine? Pills and ointments can expire relatively quickly and are expensive to rotate for preparedness, and you can run out quickly. On the other hand, tons of remedies can be found and sustained in nature, in common and easy-to-care-for plants. These herbal remedies have aided humans for thousands of years, and are a great way to care for your health in an emergency. Starting a medicinal prepper garden is a great way to supply your family with natural and cost effective remedies.

    Even if you're no green-thumb, growing these little plants is easy and well worth the time. Often, plants with medicinal properties are tough and require simple maintenance that allows them to thrive in the wild. Take a look at these ten plants to add to your medicinal prepper garden: all of these plants will tolerate potting, making them easy to garden in minimal space.

    10 Simple Medicinal Herbs that Smell Great!

    Aloe - Treats cuts, burns and rashes.

    Basil- Antioxidant and anti-inflammatory, also can boost your immune system.

    Cayenne Pepper- Lowers blood pressure and can even stop heart attacks, also is great for relieving congestion and headaches.

    Ginger- Aids aching muscles and digestion, helps with stomach upset.

    Lavender- Antibacterial and can subdue anxiety or stress.

    Mint- Remedies upset stomach internally, externally relieves pain or itching from bites and stings.

    Parsley- Aids the kidneys and bladder, reduces fever and helps eliminate toxins.

    Rosemary- Good for digestion and blood pressure, boosts heart health.

    Sage- Sore throat remedy that also fights bacteria.

    Thyme- Aids digestion, cold symptoms and coughs while preventing parasites.

    All of these plants are relatively easy to maintain and do not require a lot of attention. They also thrive in pots, so you don't need land to grow them. In addition, you'll have a useful and great smelling herbal remedy garden that boosts your health and ease of mind in a crisis.  If you haven't already, don't forget to store long term food and water storage. Start with the basics, and work your way up. A prepper garden is an easy and fun way to prepare for the future without breaking your budget.

    SURVIVAL'S WORST ENEMIES: TOP 7 THREATS TO YOUR PSYCHE

    SURVIVAL'S WORST ENEMIES: TOP 7 THREATS TO YOUR PSYCHE

    In any sort of disaster crisis, your survival depends on a few major factors that help fuel your body's ability to pull through a rough situation. To secure your survival, make sure you address all of these threats in your emergency plan to keep your enemies at bay.

    1. Panic: This intense emotion is driven by anxiety and fear, and can blur your focus and performance in a crisis. It is important to remain calm and act wisely, stick to the plan and do not allow your emotions to get the best of you. Falling a part in the midst of a disaster will compromise your ability to survive.
    2. Temperature: If you are excessively hot or cold in a crisis, you will become fatigued and agitated. Extremely low or high temperatures can be life-threatening, which is why it is important to keep an alternate heating and cooling source. A generator can run a small space heater or fan without electricity.
    3. Thirst: We cannot survive very long without water, it is the most needed resource in our survival. Be sure to store water year-round, and rotate as needed. Keep enough to last your family at least a week, preferably much longer.
    4. Sleep Deprivation: Without sleep, parts of the body begin to shut down, starting with the brain. We cannot function without sleep, our ability to think and rationalize will quickly vanish, and our chance of survival dwindles.
    5. Injury: With limited resources in the midst of a disaster, especially if you are hunkered down, a small injury can quickly become fatal. The best way to secure your safety is to stay inside, away from potential hazards, and keep a well-stocked first aid kit.
    6. Boredom: In addition to your physical needs, like food and water, your mental and emotional needs are also vital to nurture in a crisis. Keep some games and books in your emergency supply to help stimulate your mind while waiting out the storm. This will also help to keep everyone calm and distracted from worry.
    7. Hunger: Hunger sets in quickly, and will soon affect all areas of your well-being: mental, physical and emotional. Without food you will not survive very long. Store a long-term supply of food that is easy to prepare and store. We recommend at least 3 months worth to start.

    It is important to remember all of these threats when preparing for disasters. Without proper preparation and planning, a crisis can be fatal. Avoid your enemies and secure your survival with your own long-term supply now.

    THE FIRST 10 THINGS TO GO IN AN EMERGENCY: WHAT YOU WON'T FIND ON THE SHELVES

    THE FIRST 10 THINGS TO GO IN AN EMERGENCY: WHAT YOU WON'T FIND ON THE SHELVES

    In the midst of any sort of disaster, natural or man-made,  there are certain items you'll need that will be gone off the shelf in the blink of an eye. To prepare efficiently, store these items beforehand to prevent being left with nothing. We always recommend keeping a large supply of emergency provisions, such as food, water and survival supplies. This is the best way of safe guarding your future and ability to survive anything.

    First 10 Things to Go in an Emergency:

    1. Generators- We depend on power for just about everything, and sustaining it is typically the first priority of most people. Keeping your fridge or a space heater running can mean the difference between basic and a more comfortable survival.
    2. Water and Water Filters or purifiers- Water is a must-have. If the pipes freeze over you'll need an alternate source, and if the water is not good to drink you will need a way to purify it. Having a filter is more efficient than boiling water; save as much heat as you can for cooking and warmth.
    3. Portable Toilets- In case plumbing goes down you'll need one, and these typically are off the shelves fast in an emergency. It's a basic, but it's a very important one.
    4. Firewood- Especially in a power outage, firewood is extremely important to stay warm. Alternate heat is vital in the colder months, and even in warmer weather it is important to have for cooking. Make sure your firewood is safe for indoors.
    5. Lamp oil, lamps and wicks- Without power there is no other source of light, which is why oil lamps are another quickly oversold item, a safer and longer lasting alternative to candles.
    6. Emergency Stove fuel- Store a lot of fuel for your emergency fire, we use more heat than we realize, the more you have the better.
    7. Protection: knives, pepper spray, clubs, ammunition and guns- In an emergency we can become very vulnerable, lacking household security systems and electricity. Make sure you have everything you need to protect yourself before disaster strikes to keep your family safe.
    8. Can openers and egg beaters- These items are important in order to eat your perishable supply before it goes bad, make sure they are a part of your emergency supply.
    9. Sugar, honey and syrup- The sweet tooth prevails and these food items are often the first to go. Stock up and rotate as needed.
    10. Grains, beans and rice- Those who do not have a long-term emergency food supply go for these items first. However, these components are difficult to prepare and can spoil quickly. Avoid expensive rotation and empty shelves by investing in our 25 year shelf life meals that simply require water. You'll be glad you did.

    When putting together your emergency supply, keep all of these things in mind so that you're not left empty handed in a crisis. Our long-term food lasts you 25 years and is easy to store and transport in an emergency. It's high quality food with a great taste, prepared by adding water. It's an investment worth making and easy to do on My Food Storage. Our priority is your protection.

    For the full 100 item list of things to go in an emergency, go here.