So now that you have experienced the ultimate bug out scenario, do you feel you had enough cash set aside for when you decided to go, or do you wish you had been able to have more? Is the one month's expenses worth of cash still a good rule of thumb or would you increase that now, based on your recent experiences?
Good question. I had been planning to move for sometime so I had more than that read to go. More money certainly makes things easier. Yes, I’ve mentioned that a months worth of expenses in cash is a good idea in case of emergencies such as bugging out. Keep in mind that too often people don’t keep any cash at all or just very little of it. Sometimes you see bug out bags with a few 20s or 50s but little else.
Money is one of the three essentials I mentioned in the “3 Must have items when bugging out of the Country” video for a good reason. While credit cards are readily accepted in most places, it just doesn’t work that way when there’s complications and hard cash rules. Even during normal time cash appeals to people in a certain way and can land you good deals. For example when buying used cars or furniture, “so whats the final price, cash in hand right now?” are words that will get you some discount more often than not. Other times you just cant get around it. Some hotels will ask for a card of some sort, getting car insurance in some countries requires a local bank account, and its difficult to do that with no credit history.
In terms of how much cash you need based on my recent experience, I’d have to say now that a month’s worth of cash is indeed a bare minimum so as to make such a huge change in your life and the life of your family with an acceptable level of comfort and safety. Just landing in some country with only the clothes on your back and little else and expect to be taken care for by family, friends or the estate is a desperate, last resource idea. I’d say that two months worth of expenses would be more realistic. Consider that the plane ticket alone for getting out of there to begin with would consume most of a typical family’s monthly budget.
A good way of knowing more accurately how much you would need would be to make plans ahead of time. Leaving a country with no prior planning is risky and bold to say the least.
Know where it is that you would be moving to. Contact family or friends there and see if you could count on them and hear their advice. No family, no friends? Make friends then! Choose a country that suits you based on cultural equivalence, hopefully a place where you can speak the language fluently.
Once you chose one location or two try traveling there and getting to know your way around. I left for good having never been to Ireland before but it took a lot of researching, I have had experience in moving before and given that I’ve been seriously involved in survival and preparedness for over a decade I may have more experience in these things than the average Joe. For most people, I would not recommend relocating to a country you haven’t visited and spent some time in.
After making up your mind regarding what country you would move to if you had to do so, work on a budget, the more realistic and detailed it is the better. Think rent (don’t forget the deposit) car rental, eventual car purchase, insurance, cost of living, electricity and heating bills, etc. Take a look at the country’s average income to have a better idea of what two months worth of expenses would look like. Try finding out how much a family similar to yours would spend, and when finding different opinions go for the least favorable as probably the most realistic. Another way of looking it would be taking the average income. Supposedly a small family should be able to get by with that and a larger one would probably do ok with two average incomes per household. Once you have an idea of the budget your looking at, add 20% as unexpected expenses and error margin.