BLOG – Sh!t happens. Life changes – Money, Marriage, Moon Boots and Meltdowns (2 minute read)

I’m glad it’s July. June really was the month that was. A lot of sh!t happened in June.

  • My friend John is in an AirBnB because the bank rejected his mortgage a week before he was due to move
  • My Dad was admitted to hospital with sepsis
  • A friend’s friend quit her job and moved interstate. Her husband announced, after a day of bedlinen shopping, that he’d met someone else and was moving out. She can’t afford the rent, so she’s in Perth with her mum and dad.
  • My mate Tom ‘came out’ on LinkedIn about his depression. Three weeks later he lost his job.
  • Telstra announced that 8,000 employee/contractor positions would be cut in cost cutting
  • As for me, I’m hobbling around in a moon boot – a souvenir from my Kimberley trek!

All the while, celebrities and so called ‘influencers’ are constantly, and continually, posting ‘picture perfect’ photos across Instagram.

“You look on Instagram and you feel fat, ugly, poor, inferior, dull and boring’ said my friend Lucy “It perpetuates your anxiety about not being good enough and that your life isn’t perfect”.

Lucy is right.

Life isn’t perfect. Life is like a theme park—a rollercoaster ride of highs, lows, absolute terror and ecstatic joy. Just as we think things are levelling out, we turn the corner to face yet another twist and turn, another test of our nerves, another catastrophe or perhaps a shriek of joy.

So what can we do to be financially ready for sh!t happening?

1. Identify priorities – The first step is to implement Underspent Step 1. What are your priorities? If you’ve been reading this blog for a while you’ll know that I first observed redundancies in 2008. I spent over two years getting ready for redundancy. It was hard work. When I took my redundancy I had two years’ worth of salary in savings. Financial security is still one of my priorities.

2. Spend less – I get it. Everything is getting bigger and better. You want to get the LED, LCD, OLED, 3D, high-definition, super powered, extreme colour, snow-traction system, stability control, ultra-thin, giant-sized smart TV. You can’t afford it. But, it’s bigger and better than a mates TV. The best way to be financially ready for sh!t happening is simple – spend less than you earn.

3. 20% rule – I have a rule to save at least 20% of everything I earn. For me, saving a percentage of every dollar I earn is a nonnegotiable. Why? Because I don’t have a permanent job and no-one knows what the future holds. Life can change from sensational to sh!t in a heartbeat and so now really is the best time to start saving money.

4. Emergency Funds – Everyone’s circumstances and financial obligations are different. But, I reckon everyone should have some money in an ‘Emergency fund’. If you can – or could aim to – set aside anything from $100 to $2,000 into a savings account in case of an unexpected emergency or an unplanned financial expense I’m pretty confident that you’ll feel financially ready for sh!t happening.

Until next time…

I’m Rachel Smith and I’m Underspent. I didn’t buy anything new or 2nd hand in 2014 and saved $52,680 (38% of my salary). I quit impulse shopping and saved my money. I changed my spending and transformed my savings. It started as a lifestyle experiment, but it changed my life, so I kept on going. I’m the Author of Underspent and I’m teaching people like you how to break the habit of impulse shopping in 7 steps. Underspent book is available in paperback ($12.99 or £7.40) and e-book, iBook and kindle formats ($2.99 or £1.70 – it’s purposely affordable) in all online and high street/shopping centre book shops.