If there is one thing that I’ve found extremely helpful, it’s keeping in mind that we can always start afresh in each moment. Reboot. Recover. Reinvent. Each moment that passes through our hands is actually a fantastic opportunity to change direction and live differently.
I’m not the first – and certainly won’t be the last – to rally around this idea of the present moment. Rather than just an abstract idea, however, to me it’s much more about what you do with the present moment that counts. The past is history and the future is still around the corner, so the present is a great point to measure up your situation and make the best decisions for your circumstances.
When things don’t go quite as planned – or are a downright disaster – that’s the time to roll up your sleeves, get stuck in and rework the plan. (The ‘head in the sand’ option is not much of an alternative.)
Let’s face it, stuff happens. There are the everyday, minor things: A few more guests show up at the barbecue you’re hosting (and inconveniently don’t bring much with them). The kids’ uniforms need replacing. The power bill comes in higher than usual. Or there’s the Boxing Day sale that’s not to be missed.
Then there are the steep curves that life throws at us – just ask anyone in Christchurch. For us it came in the form of redundancy and five months between contracts. After running down the savings we had and raiding the KiwiSaver fund (for economic hardship), there was nothing to do except squeeze every penny and stretch whatever benefit dollars there were as far as humanly possible. We looked at our situation and put our own austerity measures in place until things got better.
So the question is: after stuff happens, where are you at financially? It’s time to take a good look and make a new plan to recover. Our budget calculator makes it easy to plug in some numbers and see what needs to happen. Hopefully your budget has some breathing space and you have some room to trim here and there. And perhaps that’s all it needs.
For the more drastic stuff, an emergency fund of three months’ expenses and insurance can be a valuable safety net. But just as importantly, you need to make a new plan that matches where you are at in that moment.
Investors who haemorrhage huge amounts of money often attempt to bounce back to make up for their losses. Thinking of how much they used to be worth, they desperately try to recoup. Yet in order to do this they take on much more riskier investments than are right for them – and then fall even further.
They need a plan for the moment they’re in, not one that tries to redress the past.
What are the best decisions you can make for your circumstances right now?
If it all seems too much
Help is there for you if you find yourself in dire straits – especially if you are resorting to your credit card for your basic needs and bills. Don’t hesitate to call 0508 BUDGET (283 438) or email a budget adviser for help if you need it.
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