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How to prepare personal finances for emergencies

If you experienced a temporary illness or needed someone to quickly step in to pay your bills, would your finances be organized enough for them to handle?

Disruptions to daily life can happen at any time, and experts say our finances are particularly vulnerable to life’s twists and turns if we don’t have a backup plan for emergencies.

“The importance of having organized finances on a scale of one to 10 is a 15,” says Cameron Burskey , managing director at Cornerstone Financial Services in Southfield, Michigan. 

It might not matter so much if your phone bill is a month late, but if you miss a life insurance premium payment and you’re 80 years old, you policy may lapse, making it hard to get a new one, Burskey says.

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When your finances are organized to the point where you can hand them off if you’re in a bind, it brings peace of mind, says Amy Tokos, an Omaha, Nebraska-based certified professional organizer and incoming president of the National Association of Productivity and Organizing Professionals. “You can go on vacation and if by chance you get sick you can have someone walk in the door and not be overwhelmed by all the stuff that needs to be taken care of,” she says.

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