Here’s the play by play: I’m sitting at the computer about to write my next blog entry when I hear my fiancé Andrew yell out loud from the kitchen:
“We’ve got 11 tortillas in our package instead of 10, I thought I was going crazy!”
Now, why was this phrase so momentous? You’re about to find out how 1 additional tortilla from a 10 count package applies to personal finance (did a tortilla really just inspire me to write)?
Life can surprise us with a multitude of unexpected opportunities that lead us to choices (a free ticket to an event as a gift, an unsuspected parking ticket, a random act of gratitude or kindness passed on by a stranger…). Finding an additional 11th tortilla in your 10 count package is surely one of those experiences. What are some choices that we have for that surprise 11th tortilla?! There are a several things we could do:
A. Give to someone who is more in need of food to suppress their hunger for the evening (and hopefully more than just that tortilla)
B. Place that additional tortilla in the freezer and thaw when a last minute meal situation calls
C. Cut out random shapes in the tortilla (like a homemade DIY paper snowflake) to create a mask (hello, Jim Carey)
D. Pretend like there were never 11 tortillas in the 10 count bag
E. Insert choice here: __________
Now, what does this have to do with money? I was unaware your blog turned into a foodie blog…
Here is my point:
Life can also surprise us with unexpected cash flow that provides us with a series of choices.
Just like discovering that 11th tortilla in our 10 count bag…
i.e.: You just received a raise at work and/or landed a new client for your business with great compensation (congratulations!), you just won the lottery (are you one of those people who has won not just once, but twice?!), you were unexpectedly reimbursed for a time you over paid for an appointment co-pay (“honey, we just received a $5.00 check in the mail from the doctor…”), you were notified via mail that a class action lawsuit was filed against a local gas station for debit card transaction fees between a certain time frame and you will be reimbursed in the future (could be a hoax until you realize your colleagues got the same notice, too), or a cost you prepared for was actually less than what you anticipated and you now have additional cash $$$ (what do I do?!).
Let’s take the first, less ridiculous & potentially more realistic example:
You just received a raise at work and/or landed a new client for your business with great compensation.
Here are options complementing stated options for discovering 11th tortilla in 10 count bag above:
A. Donate to charity, local organization you support, or non-profit that helps those in need
B. Place additional income in emergency fund, or pay down debt
C. Create artwork with dollar bills such as origami swans
D. Pretend like you never received a raise or additional income, and do nothing
E. TAKE ACTION – Insert choice here:__________
As you can see, unexpected cash flow can lead us to a plethora of ideas bombarding & competing in our mind (options that can even seem just a little bit ridiculous). With an incredible amount of options, we may be left in a stand-still to not even do anything. The thing is, the longer you wait and let the unexpected cash flow sit in your standard checking account – the less time it has to increase it’s value (i.e. through investing), or the more temptation that wells up inside you to spend it. One of the most important options I can nudge you to do is to take action. Any action that you feel applicable to your personal finance circumstance. Whether it’s reaching a financial goal, investing it, or beefing up that emergency fund, you’re putting that additional cash flow to use.
Don’t take the reactive approach (option D)…
Take action & reach your financial goals.