Life always teaches you the oddest things at the oddest times, and this weekend I got reinforced the notion that you “… can’t always get what you want …” to quote Mick Jagger, but sometimes you really do get what you need. I watched my youngest daughter’s basketball team play very hard but just not reach where they’d hope to, and saw that young girls are quite resilient but also quite passionate about things they do.
What does this have to do with your Personal Finances? The same kind of things happen to me on occasion financially, where I have worked hard and am sure I will be rewarded for my hard work, but sometimes circumstances come into play and things just do not happen the way you expected.
What do I mean?
- You or your spouse were expecting a raise or a bonus at work, yet when your boss calls you into his/her office you get told no raise is coming.
- You thought you were a shoo-in for a promotion, yet it did not transpire.
- Your tax rebate turns into taxes owing due to an arithmetic mistake you have made.
All 3 of those disappointments have happened to me (and to people I know).
What do you do about it? Well, a short intense pity parade is fine (with a few drinks), however, you can’t let this stop you from your eventual goals. Short setbacks and battles lost do not mean the end to a war, keep fighting and use this to invigorate your actions. Maybe you have become complacent? Maybe you need to examine why this happened and put in an action plan to make sure it doesn’t happen again (making the same mistakes over and over is a bad thing in life).
Some ways to deal with disappointments financially:
- Do a “Root Cause Analysis” of what happened. If you don’t understand why something went wrong, what is stopping you from doing it again? Understanding financial failures or setbacks is the key to any financial planning.
- Give yourself a chance to recover, and don’t panic. If you feel like the steps you are taking are “reactive” (i.e. you are simply doing something because you think you should), step back and think about it, or ask someone you trust if something is a good idea. Don’t go off “half cocked”.
- Remember financial planning and financial success is a long term thing, you can’t sprint the entire time, sometimes you might have to walk. As long as you aren’t going backwards, you are succeeding.