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Nov 8, 2016

Light Bulbs and Finances

~ by Personal Finance and Small Business Coach Greg Pare

I was visiting my parents over the weekend and noticed a light bulb had burned out. I asked where the extra light bulbs were kept, and upon hearing the answer, I proceeded to go to the garage closet.

When I got there, there wasn’t just an extra bulb, there were enough spare light bulbs to light up a small city!

I got to thinking about how parents were prepared and kept spare light bulbs along with pretty much a spare of anything they might need. I also noted that I have spare light bulbs at home, maybe not quite as many, but enough on hand should we lose a bulb or two.

Finances and savings should work the same way.  Are we financially prepared to handle a car repair or a house repair?

As always, I urge and coach that behavior, especially when it comes to predictable expenses. There is no such thing as unplanned expenses.  If you own a house then guess what?  Your appliances are going to break. So, I teach to budget for that every month.

Your monthly budget should include categories like home repair, car repair and school start-up costs.

If things are tight, you might want to reconsider some priorities in order to fund these important categories.  That’s how you turn unplanned gotchas into inconvenient, but planned for repairs.  Sure, it’s not much fun to spend money on stuff when it breaks.  But at least it doesn’t become a big financial crisis that leads to an emotional crisis.

Here’s one last hint regarding these categories.  Don’t simply keep that money in a savings account unless you have everything named and accounted for. It takes away the pain and eliminates the need to take out of savings.  Many take out of savings their entire life due to lack of planning, then don’t have any savings left.

Does your philosophy of keeping spare items at home reflect your savings habits?  I bet there’s some connection! Be proactive and be intentional!