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Creating Space Series: Bills

What do you consider to be “bills?” Electric, phone, and mortgage? Those are most certainly bills, what about Christmas gifts, anniversary gifts, and car repairs? Those probably weren’t on your radar as “bills” but they should be.

Yes, it does sound cold and calculated, but you know they WILL happen! There is no excuse not to plan for them or to expect them! Do you have to hand your wife a gift and say “I’m paying the bill?” Absolutely not, but if you can keep them in your mind, like you do the upcoming electric bill, then you’ll find that you’re paying with cash rather than that credit card.

The Holiday “Bills”

We hate hearing people talk about “unexpected” this or that. Here are some guarantees: Christmas happens every year, your car will break down, one of your family members will get sick, you will need to take the dog to the vet, and the kids will have a field trip.

Do you know when every one of those will occur? Nope, but you don’t need to! All you need to do is get together more than enough money for when they do happen. There is no reason why any of those events should be considered “unexpected” and if you do, then you better start expecting.

If you don’t then any one of those can be your financial undoing. Sure, it’s harmless to run up the credit card for Christmas gifts because you’ll pay it off, until you lose your job. The auto mechanic has a 6 month no interest offer so I don’t need to have that money set aside, until your next “unexpected” event claims the money you would have used.

The auto mechanic gives that offer because a percentage of their customers WILL fail to pay it off! You may not plan to be in that percentage, but you very well could end up there. Plan for the things that you know are going to happen, and then, when they occur, you can stand in confidence and know that you have it covered rather than lying in bed wondering what you’re going to do next.  You are your own worst enemy.

Break the Bills By Budgeting

One remedy to consider is a budget.  A budget will let you take control of these things.  If you budget for holidays, and you budget for car repairs then you will be much better off in your future.  How do you budget for car repairs?  Set aside a specific amount of money each month, and allocate it to a savings account meant ONLY for car repairs.  as time moves forward that money will build up into a car repair fund that you can depend on.  It might even grow enough to purchase another car!

Planning is the most powerful tool you wield for overcoming your bills. If you don’t plan, then they will sweep you away like a tsunami. If you do plan, then you’ll be so high above sea level that you’ll be looking down on the birds that are watching it.

When Life Happens, Smile

Plan for Christmas, plan for birthdays, plan for a car breaking down, then just smile when they come. Life is a lot more enjoyable when there isn’t a surprise around every corner. So take off the wilful blinders and get your newly planned life under way. This is one more step that will put you into the driver’s seat of Creating Space and eliminating Financial Stress.  On Monday we will be discussing income stress.

Self-Reflection Questions:

  1. Do you plan for holidays or do you let them spring up and surprise you?
  2. Are you willing to start planning for holidays and special events?
  3. Are you willing to create an emergency fund?
  4. What will stop you from making these changes?
  5. What will help you accomplish these changes?
  6. Can you commit to making the changes, and prevent things from stopping your success?
  7. Do you control your bills and money, or does it control you?

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