A buffer is something that reduces the impact of a shock or that forms a barrier between incompatible things or people. In chemistry, a buffer refers to an aqueous solution that can resist significant changes in pH levels upon the addition of a small amount of acid or alkali.
We can find buffers everywhere. The shock absorbers in a car act as a buffer when you hit a pothole. The loving embrace of little children can reduce the daily stress. Confiding in a loved one can reduce our anxiety.
Now we all face some shocks in our lives. It could be an illness in the family or the loss of employment. In times like this, we need several buffers. These buffers can come from our savings and support from friends and family. Some buffers are within our control like our savings and some are outside our control like support from friends and family. So it only makes sense that while things are still OK we need to set up some buffers.
A good buffer to start with is to set up multiple streams of income. These protect you against sudden job loss. Next is to diversify your skillset so you can do many things. You should also have some savings which can last you for 3 to 6 months. Reduce your borrowings and if possible get out of debt. You can also get insurance to protect yourself against unforeseen circumstances. We should also build social capital before we actually need it. You should also try to own your home outright because when everything collapses at least you will have a roof over your head. We also need to diversify our investments to protect ourselves from loss.
A good buffer is like a good shock absorber. It provides both comfort and safety. So make sure you have one.