2018-01-23 by George Mitchell
Uncertainty is more stressful than predictable negative consequences.
This was the main reason I had started Budgeter – I needed an answer to that.
I mean, not only today. Any bank can tell you that. But what my balance will be the minute before the next paycheck? The day my car's insurance is due?
I was deeply in red then and I decided to face the truth, however ugly it might be. Research shows that uncertainty is more stressful than predictable negative consequences.
My Deep Red Truth Time happened in 2012 and even though it lasted for more than next three years, that was ultimately the way up. I could think of possible solutions sometimes months ahead, before the problem would have occured (example: already mentioned car insurance or family holidays). Life is a bumpy ride anyway and getting out of debt when you're financially responsible for a family is never easy. But thanks to planning I avoided things like payday loan hell or embarrassment of having to ask my friends for money.
Running the plan has made me think long-term. Apart from insurances, there is boiler maintenance every summer, new tyre set every couple of years and so on. It's now 2018 and having mortgage and all the house maintenance covered, I am in black all the way up to 2020 when my budget plan ends for now.
Finally, I went even longer-term and started thinking about once-in-a-lifetime projects. If we're lucky, we only get about 4,000 weeks. By the time we (hopefully) stand on our own feet, at least 1,000 is already gone. Then the life goes on and time is running out faster than we thought. We need to decide what we want to leave for the next generations. Soon we realize that most of our ventures are somehow related to money, however small. Even if you just want to volunteer, it would be unwise to commit yourself to show up at the place 10 miles away, while you can barely afford commuting to work. Even if it's only a blog, you don't want your website and years worth reputation to be taken down because you overshot your financial capability for a given month. If you are an artist, God bless you – these people need money the most and they are the first to start bleeding, having spent everything thay had (I know this first-hand: I was the one!). I would say long-term financial planning is actually a necessity if we want to finish any non-trivial endeavour.
Yeah, but first – get out of this deepest red. I will soon share my own experience on that, unfortunately I have plenty of it. Meanwhile, fingers crossed!