It seems people are just trying to get by financially today and for today only. In my financial experience, most people are just treading water. It is like they just fell out of the boat and they don’t know how to swim, so they are just surviving hoping someone, a lifeguard perhaps, is looking for them and will come along and save them. When you are treading water up to your nose, it is hard to breath and even harder to get out of the water high enough to see which way to swim to shore. And then, how much financial reserve do you have to tread long enough to be rescued?
There is hope, however. First sit in the middle of the boat, not by the edge. Financially speaking, this means spending less than you make. In other words, live on 90% of your income. Save 10% for life, yes for life, even though you may be retired, save 10% during retirement too.
Second, if you do happen to fall out of the boat, make sure you have a life jacket on, or financially speaking, an emergency fund. This way you can float high enough in the water to see which way the shore is and swim that direction.
Third, a lifeguard or financial coach can spot and assist you to safety, so it’s important to consider getting coaching if you’re struggling. EXAMPLE: As a youth I trained to be a lifeguard at the YMCA. We all competed to see how long we could tread water. If we could not tread water in the deepest part of the pool for 5 minutes, we could not continue. After we all got in condition and knew how to swim with as little energy as possible, many of us could tread for 30 minutes or more. This made it possible for us to assist swimmers who got in trouble and get them safely to shore. A financial coach can act as your lifeguard in this same way. They are trained to handle difficult situations perhaps better than you and can help you reach shore then help you, when you are tired and exhausted, set in motion a new spending plan and begin to create surplus to replenish what you have lost.
In summary, there are three suggestions for you to prepare financially.
- First don’t sit close to the edge of your financial boat by over spending all the time.
- Second, if you do happen to have big waves and get tossed out of the boat, then always wear your financial life jacket, or have an emergency fund.
- Third, get a financial coach, who much like a lifeguard can spot you and assist you to safety.