Sunday, 13 May 2012

How much of an emergency is your life?

Save, save, save - yourself!

Sage financial advisors and good old-fashioned common sense tell us that saving and savings are useful and helpful.

Sometimes it’s called an emergency fund but I don’t like that term. It brings to mind a heap of discomforting images – death, floods, famine, job loss etc. There’s nothing pleasant about an emergency!

I’m happy to be a regular saver since I think saving is a life skill worthy of cultivation – not just for the financial comfort zone it affords but saving money reminds me of the importance of saving myself too – me and my money need taking care of!

 Saving yourself is perhaps the first step in unblocking the flow of money and other good things in life – a new car, bigger house, an exotic vacation, courage, honesty and clarity. A commitment to saving is the first step in combating money non-sense and it channels your potential.

I need a little tender care too
Financial advisors and personal finance websites write about emergency funds as if they know your budget and balance sheet. It’s hard enough to maintain a budget let alone an emergency fund.

I've had savings but they never seem to last ….my savings cup never runneth over….and am always dipping into them – I have at least two “emergencies” per month!

I'm not a hare or tortoise in the money race. I'm an inbetweener. The slow path is for the steadfast  but there's a money bunny inside me that's playful so if I can speed things up with a little risk-taking then I'm game. 

What if my investment doesn't deliver a high enough yield? Money goes up and down, in and out of my life...I have wonderful money-led experiences and the day-to-day toil....but I look back with gratitude. I learn more about myself during the lean times.
How much money does it take to gain self-knowledge? Zero!

Saving yourself means to stop the self-destruction that - starts in the mind, trickles to your heart,  and seeps through your rationale until you are a full blown addict to all manner of things that don’t serve you.  The belief that you've had no luck with money is one to eradicate fast.

Money is attracted to me (and I to it)  so I've accepted that ours is a long courtship!
It's not unrequited love just a gentle suitor that needs a few nudges in my direction now and then.

 Creative work saves my soul
Caring what other people think and comparing yourself to them is your first introduction to the slippery slope.  So what if Sally’s got caramel high lights that catch the sunlight or if your neighbour’s son has the best grades? So what if your window frames are rotting and need a fresh lick of paint or your hedge is a tad overgrown? 

Money doesn't have all the answers so don't give it that responsibility. Engage your grey matter in problem-solving and you may be surprised to discover that money is not needed.

Count your money and your blessings. If the latter tips the scales then you know you've hit the mark. Prosperity is inner work and the reflection is plain to see.

Never apologise for not having enough so long as you are being enough.
Fill your mind and soul before you look over your budget; things will never seem as bad.

Other people’s opinions belong to them.
You may feel the weight of their stares but you don’t have to carry the baggage. Their thoughts are theirs too so use your mental boomerang and send them back! 

Thin skins are in need of a heavy sealant. I’ve found that developing self esteem is the most water-tight option. You may have to layer with confidence and a touch of courage but make it strong and it’ll stem negative ideas.

Saving yourself means also pairing and pruning your social circle. Quality over quantity is the criteria. You may know dozens of people but how many of them really know (and understand) you. How many of them would you want to share your innermost musings  with? I’ll bet not many!

Horse shaped childhood dream
To save yourself you have to give up the idea that you've lost so much time. Time is never lost to those who want to improve. Cut out the flotsam and jetsam  and you’ll find that your time was stolen. Reclaim it and guard it religiously. 

In the time you have,  ask yourself discomforting questions…..”why does my life suck”?
Go deep and find out what’s weighing you down.

Did your wishes get lost amongst dirty dishes?
Why do tears spring to your eyes as the sun sets on another 24 hours?
Has guilt turned you into an emotional wreck?
Do you talk yourself out of trying something new?

Save yourself by remembering the person you used to be. 
What was your soul’s delight before responsibility and duty took it hostage?
It’s never too late...for're just an overgrown teenager anyway.

Did you dream about a white picket fence and roses around the door? A loving partner to come home to? A career that fulfills? A hobby that could become a business? Supportive siblings?  Travelling the world? Bungee jumping? Going back to study?

Design your interiors - mind and soul
Well, there’s nothing on that list that’s out of your reach….though I’ll warn you to lower your expectations when it comes to the human elements to avoid trouble and disappointment.

Save yourself in all the ways you want to be saved. Once you know how, you can move on to maximising your money. Like Eckhart Tolle, live in the now because it’s all you have. Money forces you into the world of tomorrow but you are strong enough to resist.

There are people who’ve paid off their mortgage, have no debt or liabilities, a retirement and emergency fund but they’ve lost themselves. They’re prepared for all that life throws at them but when life throws them an opportunity they drop the ball.
They think they have it all but they don't know what "it" is??! Be aspirational not complacent.

If it doesn’t kindle the fires in your heart then move on to what does.
Perhaps that’s what an emergency fund is best used for.
Smart emergency funder!
Save what you can and save yourself too. Show generosity and kindness to yourself and others.

Don’t get smug and arrogant. It’s your duty to save yourself and repair any damage.

Being whole will stop you from making a hole in your emergency fund.

How do you save yourself?



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