Plans vs. Reality

We’ve all seen some version of this image – heard some quip about the perfect plan falling apart as soon it begins. “There’s no such thing as a perfect plan.” or “Why plan if it all goes out the window as soon as you begin?”

What is actually pretty cool about this little illustration is that is serves as a reminder to not plan for the perfect path to our goals. Our plans should account for the contingencies, emergencies, unexpected and unknown. Plan for reality, not the ideal solution.

Plan for the worst, hope for the best. Enter the emergency fund.

Emergency Fund – A plan for the worst. A budget is nothing more than a plan for your money. You can’t of course predict all the things that could happen, but for everything that goes right, you can probably imagine it going worse. If things can always get worse, then why don’t we take a step towards planning for that first? If we do, everything after that should be uphill.

Fund for an unknown emergency (tree falling on roof), a likely “emergency” (an old water heater) or a very rainy day, where the tree falls AND the water heater goes AND… who knows what else all on some random Tuesday after work.

Future Proofing. As the year comes to a close, and I start thinking about the new decade getting well underway in 2021, I want to plan for the worst financially. I think I’ll start doing this by beefing up that emergency fund, continue hitting those student loans hard (can’t wait to update the world when those are paid in full!) and figure out how to pay for twins’ braces AND newly minted 16 year old drivers. Going to be an expensive year! Okay, I’m being slightly dramatic, but those sinking funds require some planning so I’m not caught off guard when that orthodontist sends me the bill.

First and foremost though – going to start mulling over those new years’ resolutions of doing more with less, being more intentional with all the things. Take a moment to just be. I want to think about my plan between now and my goals, all the things that might go wrong, and see what I can do to be ready.

Time to get ready.

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