One of the best ways to alleviate financial anxiety and stress is to be proactive instead of reactive. Yes, its impossible to be proactive and prepare for every situation but the more you prepare, the better off you will be.
Earlier this week, one of our dogs (named Dill, after the character in To Kill a Mockingbird) developed some swelling under his eye. It didn’t look like he had a bug bite so we assumed something was wrong with his tooth. I knew he needed to go to the vet so I made an appointment for Monday afternoon.
Upon examination from the vet, it was determined that he chipped his tooth and it started to get infected. He needed surgery.
He was given antibiotics and he will have surgery in two weeks.
What would your level of financial stress be if this was your dog?
Here are a few things to keep in mind with this situation:
1. This happened the last week of the month.
2. “doggie dental surgery” is not a regular line item in the budget.
3. This is something that has to be done.
For us, this was not a financial crisis!
As a result of learning how to budget better and be proactive in our financial planning, I paid cash for the trip to the vet the last week of the month.
The money for Dill’s surgery can be in the budget for July, I just need to add it as a line item and then re-appropriate some other funds to balance it out.
In addition to Dill’s surgery, we have other “July only” expenses to add into our budget.
Flood Insurance premium: $450
Back-to-School Supplies/Clothes: $400
Add the surgery in and the total is over $1,000.
How would that amount of money impact your budget for July?
Does it give you great anxiety to see those listed?
Six years ago, it would have given us great financial stress and anxiety. However, because we took the steps necessary to learn how to budget better and pay off our debt, we are not stressed about these expenses.
I KNOW the Flood Insurance premium is due every July.
I KNOW that the boys go back to school every July.
I KNOW that being a pet owner means unexpected expenses. (Did you know that we have FOUR dogs? Unexpected expenses times FOUR!)
We are proactive instead of reactive. Are you?
Now is the time to sit down with paper and pencil and make a money plan for July. Being proactive means planning for things like back to school, Labor Day weekend ( vacation?), Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Years, etc. How about your quarterly insurances and title/tag renewal for your car? When are those due?
Our budget for July is set up like this –
Yes, every month the budget is handwritten in a notebook with pencil. We get paid on the 1st and the 15th so the budget reflects that. The most important aspect of the budget is that it needs to balance out.
Think about things in your life that have happened that became a financial crisis when it could have been just a financial inconvenience.
How could you have planned better?
Do you need help planning? A one-hour coaching session includes a budget review and a rough draft plan for being proactive. You can schedule your session by going to ww.melissathecoach.com/scheduling
I look forward to helping you soon!