This might be the NUMBER ONE mistake when it comes to money….Not planning for FUTURE YOU. In my day to day practice, I find that most people think about their budget within the NOW… what will they need this month? When it comes to debt, most people think in the PAST… where they spent their money to get the debt. The PAST and NOW are important… but the MOST important is FUTURE YOU.
Who’s future you? That’s you next week. That’s you in 3 months when you gotta take the dog to the vet. That you in 6 months when the brakes go on your car. That’s YOU at your kid’s graduation. That’s YOU in retirement. Anything after today is “future you.”
If you, like many others, have a budget that is only concerned with this month, then when the brakes go on the car 6 months from now, you’re gonna be reaching for your credit card. This is where the hamster wheel comes in. We can’t seem to get ahead. We take one step forward and then two steps backward. Have you ever had these experiences? This is something that I hear every day…. “I started on this budgeting journey but then ______ (fill in the blank) happened.”
Do you drive a car? If yes, then car maintenance is not an unexpected expense.
Do you own a home? If yes, then home maintenance is not an unexpected expense. (The water tank, the appliances, the roof, the windows, the tree in your yard…)
Do you have kids? If yes, then new soccer cleats are not an unexpected expense. Neither are no-pay sick days. Or school trips.
Just because you have not planned for expenses does not make them unexpected.
You absolutely know that those expenses are going to be coming…. you just may not know when they’re going to come. Planning for “future you” is absolutely key. Putting money aside for “future you” allows you to gain control over your money.
If you have ever wondered where the money was going to come from, or if you found yourself reaching into an account that was not intended for a particular expense, you probably weren’t feeling like you were in control of that spending choice. If you are somebody that is carrying debt right now it’s probably because when an expense came up, you hadn’t planned for it. You didn’t have the money for it and you needed to reach for the credit card. This is what is happening day in and day out with families and why we are having a hard time getting out of debt.
So do this today: grab a pen and paper or use your phone and list your irregular and future expenses. Think of EVERYTHING that you MIGHT have to spend money on… back to school shopping, christmas, birthdays, property tax, vacations, retirement, kids education, time off work, medication, activities, field trips, home maintenance, car maintenance, weddings, date nights…
Also put aside some extra money for an emergency fund. What if your property floods and you find out that home insurance doesn’t cover the perimeter drain? What if your kid is being a donkey outside and throws a rock through the neighbours window? What if you drop your phone in the toilet? (All these stories are true… by the way.)
If you do a complete list… you should have AT LEAST 20 things on it. You may have upwards of 30 or 40!
I’ve got a freebie for you to help you make sure that you don’t miss things on your list. It’s my list of DON’T FORGOT expenses. You’ll get access to this list, my free budgeting template, and more when you sign up for my free video series called “the 5 day budget makeover.” I’ll e-mail you the freebies and the videos I’ve created to help you create your FUTURE YOU budget!