Avoid Financial Freakouts: Leave Yourself Some Wiggle Room
No matter what you’ve set out to accomplish — whether it’s funding a big purchase, getting out of debt, or just moving things along in your day to day financial life — consider making it a point to build in some wiggle room when laying out what you want to do.
Because life doesn’t go according to plan
The reason for this is simple: nothing ever goes according to plan. Now sometimes things go better than originally planned, but oftentimes we hit a few snags. Maybe an old debt we’d forgotten about surfaces, we suddenly need some expensive medical attention, or we’re offered a fantastic opportunity that takes a little funding.
On a smaller level, this kind of thing happens on a daily basis for me in terms of scheduling. I start out each day with concrete plans and the best of intentions, but somehow I always end up moving things to the next day that I’d hoped to do today. Things just constantly come up, and I don’t get everything done.
If we don’t have any wiggle room built in, we’re likely to panic or get depressed. At the very least it’s frustrating. (Like with scheduling.) Worse, we may make decisions that are unwise if we can’t easily see other options. But when we do leave ourselves some wiggle room, we’re better off.
What it means
Building in some wiggle room can take many forms. It could mean building up a larger emergency fund, or building in extra time to accomplish our plans. (This is especially true if you’re doing something that you’ve never done before.)
Cut yourself a little slack up front, and you’ll be more likely to follow through with your plan as a whole. Life doesn’t have to be lived down to the wire. By allowing for unexpected events, you’re more likely to reach your goals and stay in good shape financially. And if things do go exactly as hoped? Well, that’s even better.