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Hobbies on a Budget: ‘Prepared’ — Are you ready for the word of 2017?

By Sharon Williams

Contributing columnist

I’ve been doing a lot of thinking about what my word for 2017 should be. Last year, I chose the word “possibilities!.”

I am a naturally optimistic person. I love looking for the good and dreaming about the possibilities each day holds.

But this year, I’m really focused on being prepared for whatever life throws at me. I want to face each day prepared for whatever may come.

How can I be prepared for life’s unexpected twists, turns, and unexpected opportunities? Are there things I can do now to help me be ready for tomorrow?

Be prepared: Health

There are many health issues we cannot dodge.  Accidents happen, people get sick and our bodies get older.  But there are things we can do today to improve our health and ward off some of the effects of aging. 

By watching what we eat and exercising regularly, we can improve our health and be better prepared for what comes.  I don’t do big diets or extreme exercise regimens, but I do want to make smart food choices and work in more movement. 

Since I spend a lot of time working on my laptop computer from home, I purchased a simple treadmill desk from Amazon several years ago.  For less than $40, I am able to do my work while walking on the treadmill.  True, it’s not as effective as a full workout, but it does allow me to increase my steps each day and keep my body active.

Be prepared: Finances We’ve all heard that there are only two certainties in life:  death and taxes.  April 15 will be here before we know it and that means we will have to pay taxes. 

There is also the reality that houses need repairs, cars break down and jobs change.  By getting prepared today and paying off debt and creating a rainy day fund, we can be better prepared with our budgets. 

There are many ways to save money and be prepared in your finances.  However you choose to tackle your finances this year, just remember the basic principle of “spend less than you bring home.”   

Be prepared: Skills

No matter what job you are in, there is always someone else who can do it better.  So take time today to hone your skills and make yourself more marketable. 

Can you take a class online?  Audit a course at the local college?  Read some books to learn something new? 

By continuing to improve our skills, we can be prepared for any potential job changes that may come in this new year.

Be prepared: Emergencies

I have no fear of zombie attacks or a worldwide meltdown, but I do know that emergencies occur on a regular basis.  Whether it’s a snow or ice storm, tornadoes or hurricanes, thunderstorms or power outages, I don’t want to be the person who has to be rescued and supplied with basic food and water supplies.  I prefer to do some basic preparations now so that I can rest easy when emergencies happen. 

We have been working on our emergency kit so it is ready in case we need it.  We have the basics covered but are always working on ways to improve. 

What should be included in a basic emergency kit: first aid kit, Lifestraw for water purification, bottles of water, canned food, can opener, propane camp stove for cooking, matches and candles.  Recently we added a new candle lantern that uses beeswax candles.  The candle lantern offers approximately nine hours of light for each candle and is small enough to pack in a go bag, emergency box or even use out camping.   

How are you preparing for 2017? Do you think it’s important to be prepared?  Have you chosen a word for the year?  I’d love to hear!

For more ideas on hobbies and life, check out Hobbies on a Budget (www.hobbiesonabudget.com).