Personal finances are a lot like combat trainingMoney | December 29, 2010 at 12:05 am
My friends that have served in Iraq and returned tell me stories of their experiences, of how their Humvees felt like little more than tin cans and they felt like sardines in it. They tell me stories of violence, of camaraderie, of humanity. But in many ways, I see similarities in the way we manage our personal finances and the way in which soldiers have been trained to perform in combat situations. Both require you to be able to react swiftly when put under pressure and many times we find ourselves in situations that we never foresaw or don’t like. Now I’m not saying that enlisting in the army is exactly like managing personal finances, far from it. But I do feel lessons can be learned for the latter from the former.
Let me explain that further, soldiers do battle and combat drills to prepare for multiple scenarios. Similarly, you need to be able to ready for multiple scenarios. When an unexpected expense comes up, are you prepared for it? Doe sit throw you out of gear? Questions like these need to be asked. Similarly, what if you lose your job? For how long can you get by without finding a new job? A month? 3 months? 6 months? You need to know these answers so that you don’t become a rabbit in the headlights if something unexpected happens to you in a financial sense.
You have to be ready to face up to the unexpected because you never know when life doesn’t follow the script you gave it. When I switched jobs a few years back, I had contingency plans in place to tackle my personal finances if I were to be unemployed for 3 weeks, 3 months or even up to a year. My state of unemployment did not worry me since I knew that I was well taken care of and that I was going to be fine financially in any number of scenarios. You too need to take stock at some time or the other (preferably sooner rather than later) and know exactly where you stand with your personal finances, so that you can be ready when the unexpected strikes.