Today I have something really simple yet powerful to share with you.
One of my ‘Platinum’ clients is currently going through some financial challenges that were not part of the initial plan and they’re feeling a little distressed as a result. Part of the reason for these feelings is that since we started working together the financial stress has been almost non-existent and that was a very welcome relief.
Now an unexpected (but not unpredictable) expense has occurred and all those bad feelings have come rushing back hitting a raw nerve!
I’m sure you know what it feels like when it seems that the universe is ganging up on you and everything is going wrong all at once. The concern my clients are feeling is that the bad old days are back to stay (which would be very upsetting if it were true).
However, it’s early days and taking back financial control is rarely without a few hiccups along the way.
There is a rule I’ve discovered that not only should give you comfort in situations where your finances are attacking you from all sides, it should also take you to a place where money stress almost never happens.
The rule is very simple:-
Control what is controllable and put money aside or take out insurance for what is uncontrollable.
Do this and the uncontrollable events won’t cause you anywhere near as much distress.
If your finances are in a mess and a few of these ‘unexpected’ expenses come knocking at your door you just want to scream (loudly)!
But imagine the difference it would make if your finances were all in order, with money allocated for all of the predictable expenses and events that are coming up into the future and some of those ‘unexpected’ expenses arrive. Dealing with them is going to be so, so, so much easier and even if you haven’t managed to build up a buffer for unexpected events yet, you will still weather the storm with much less trouble.
If you feel like life has just been pushing you from pillar to post for as long as you can remember I want you to consider embracing this rule.
Make a list of the expenses in your life that ARE predictable going forward. Then put a spending plan in place for those and get on top of that plan.
Most people go through what I call a ‘catch-up’ phase when they start a spending plan. If this happens to you, you need to commit more income than normal each week for a period of time to get your account balances up to where they should have been. Once that’s done you’ve controlled the controllable and you’re stress levels will have reduced dramatically. Bills will arrive and money will begin to ‘pop up’ to pay them with, right on que (that’s the place my Platinum clients were at when their unplanned expense occurred).
When you’ve completed the ‘catch-up’ phase it really makes sense to then use the income that was helping you play ‘catch-up’ to build up a ‘rainy day’ fund as a buffer for unexpected and unplanned events.
You will never anticipate all of the financial mishaps that will occur in your life but if you follow this rule and control what IS controllable you will be in a much better position to deal with them when they do come along!
Spending Planners To The Rescue
Over the last 4 months I have been training up a group of people to become qualified Spending Planners. They are spread all around Australia and are available to help you create and follow your very own spending plan. If you feel like you need help to put together a spending plan that will allow you to control what is controllable then find one of these people on my web-site and give them a call. They are listed at http://www.simplybudgets.com.au/spending-planners/
Everyone should have been shown at school how to create and follow a spending plan. However, that did not happen, so now my goal is to fill that gap and help change people’s lives for good! The exciting thing is that it is a really simple process and with someone to help you get started and to be accountable to along the way, it really makes it easy for you to take back financial control.
That’s all for now. Have a great week!