There’s no doubt that financially people are hurting these days. Yet, there are some things that everyone needs at least one of that are related to a person’s financial life in some fashion. If you’re without any of these items you’re surely going to have some difficulties somewhere along the line. I name 5 things you need and the explanations why, even if I begrudgingly name a couple of them.

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1. Bank account. Some people would rather just use cash and never have a bank account but in today’s world, having a bank account is paramount to being able to survive. We can’t put thousands of dollars in our homes for risk of being robbed or something happening to our homes. Most company jobs these days won’t issue paper checks, and it’s hard getting checks cashed, while a bank account allows electronic deposit and immediate access to your money. There are still enough local banks where you can get free checking for a personal account, so there’s no reason not to have one.

2. Credit card. As someone that rails against credit cards, I hate owning up to this one. But without a credit card you can’t rent a car, you can’t book a hotel, and you almost can’t fly anywhere. Credit cards prove that you’re, well, you. Nothing says you have to carry a balance, but everyone runs into an emergency situation once in awhile, and a credit card offers great protection at a moment’s notice.

3. Health insurance. This one might seem strange to put in here until you realize that more than 60% of the people that claim bankruptcy have a significant medical bill included that wouldn’t have existed if they had health insurance. I view it as I do life insurance; you never know you need it until something happens, so you might as well be proactive at it.

4. Transportation. Everyone needs access to their own mode of transportation, and price might vary depending on what you get. Even in New York City, the need for having one’s own transportation became important in 2005 when there was a subway strike and suddenly there weren’t enough taxis to go around.

5. Rainy day fund. This one is entirely on you but I can’t stress how crucial it is. It doesn’t have to be thousands of dollars either; how often have you suddenly needed to buy something specific and didn’t have any money laying around the house? The easiest way to create a rainy day fund is to have some kind of container and throw loose change into it on a consistent basis. Every once in awhile think about wrapping some of those coins up so you have a better idea of how much money you can lay your hands on in an emergency.

I have around $250 at the moment, all from money that I never missed, and I can allow it to grow because I haven’t had that emergency where I needed to dip into it. Of course the more you can accumulate the better, but in this fashion you can grow your home savings without even paying attention to it.

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