One of the best tips I ever read for saving money was to plan for the common expenses in life.
When you’re 20-years old it’s easy to think that you’ll have a small wedding. But if you look at the average these days, most couples spend a good amount of their wedding. Even if they have small intentions.
The same with a car. You might think that you’re okay with a cheap, used car, but the averages are against you.
There are a number of things like this in life. Instead of sticking your head in the sand and thinking you’ll be different, you’re better off just planning for the expenditures and starting to save.
At worst, you have some money set aside when the big spending moments come. And you won’t have to take out loans or things like that. Or at least not as much as you would have.
Another aspect in life that I found to be a certain is that unexpected things will take up your time. Unscheduled events. In professional and personal life.
Unexpected calls at the office. Surprise meetings that the boss sets when you walk in. Vendors that call with emergencies. All kinds of things.
On the personal side it’s things like sickness, injuries, family issues, friend issues and more.
These are unexpected at the time, but if we step back and think about the big picture, they are almost all certain to happen.
So why don’t we plan for it?
When you’re setting up your schedule for the week, start by leaving one hour each day for unscheduled events. Put seven hours of work into your eight-hour day. This way when something comes up and you spend an hour taking care of it, you aren’t missing out on something. You planned for it.
And here is the really cool thing…if nothing comes up that is unscheduled, you have an hour to do whatever you want. You can do more work. You can work on a pet project that you’ve been putting off. You could take off work and spend time with friends or family.
Unexpected events are a major cause of stress. But maybe the biggest reason they cause stress is that we don’t leave ourselves any wiggle room for them to happen to us. We plan our lives as if nothing out of the ordinary will happen.
But if you just plan for these events you’ll be pretty prepared for when they do happen. Obviously they won’t be enjoyable, but they hopefully won’t be unbearable.
And on those good days when nothing unexpected happens, you have a nice little cushion of time to use for whatever you want.
Talk about a bonus!