I did a poll of my #AskTani followers. I wanted insight on what they were most worried about. I wanted to learn what they didn’t worry about at all. How confident or unconfident they were in their personal finances. What I discovered was that nearly half of those surveyed had a common fear:
They worried about what they would do if the unexpected happened. If they suddenly lost their job, car broke down, or fell behind on their bills for an unforeseen reason. And this was a worry that showed no matter what they made. Yes, people who make enough money to pay their bills or “get by” and people who just simply worry about how to plan for the unexpected no matter what they make had the same worry.
Was I surprised about my findings? No.
We don’t expect the “unexpected” to happen. But the “unexpected” doesn’t have to be so “unexpected” if you prepare for it. Imagine thinking to yourself, yes – I’m on top of my bills – and you know what, if I were to lose my job, I’d be good for 6 months – or a year – or even two years!
So, just where can you begin to even plan for the unexpected? After all, it’s called that for a reason, right? Think about your current bills. What do you have that will need to be paid no matter what? Maybe it’s your car loan, mortgage, or medical bills. These are recurring expenses that if you were to take a loss in income, you would have enough stashed away to cover these bills until you got back up on your feet.
Or check this out – what about your uncontrolled expenses, things like gas, food, or insurance premiums that you can’t always predict what there exact price will be? Plan for these too. You know on average how much they cost. Create a spending plan of how much you’ll set aside plus a little more in case prices go up. But keep track of your spending plan, so you’re not spending too much on food or gas.
What else? Replenish. In the case you go through your emergency fund on a rainy day, make sure you immediately start setting aside money to build it back it up. Don’t let a rainy day be an excuse for why you still aren’t prepared for the unforeseen. Pick back up. Even if you’re putting away as much as $500 or $25. It’s still progress.
And when you put it in your savings – keep it there. Live by the hashtag #DontTransferSavingstoCheckings2017! Don’t do it! I know it’s tempting when you see $500 just sitting in your bank account – and you think, this watch would look nice on me – I can add back to my savings or I’ll just eat out today and put it back next week when I get paid, it’s no big deal. Man!!! I am so guilty about this and many others. Say NO to “tempting money spending” #DontTransferSavingstoCheckings2017!
Well, I love to break it to you, but this is a big deal. That money you take out today and tell yourself you’re going to replaced next week, will not be replaced. Think of it like this, let’s say you had $200 in your account and you took out $50 one week. Next week, you place $250 in your bank account and consider it no lost, right?
Wrong, you still lost $50. Instead of having $450 in your account, you could’ve had $500 if you’ve kept that $50 in there. And if you keep taking out $50 every other week? That’s $1,300 you’ve lost in a year.
And the most important way to “know” the unexpected? Look at your past “unexpected” occurrences. Did you car break down? How much did it cost? Did you have medical bills? How much did you pay out of pocket? Did you have to repair your home? How much was that? Use these past unforeseen events to make the future expenses more foreseen. The unexpected doesn’t have to be unexpected on your finances if you know what to do.
Weigh in with me, using #AskTani, what’s something unforeseen on your finances you’ve encountered? How would you handle it today? #Share.