Allowing for Inflation
I have a big bag of balloons. When it gets down to a quarter full I order another one. I need two balloons for my show but I carry six in my pocket so if one bursts, no problem.
I also carry a bulk pack of playing cards in my car and two spare packs in my performance case. If an audience member drops the cards in his beer, no worries, I am covered.
Have you got margin built in to your resources? And into your finances?
It is so annoying when someone uses up the toilet roll and doesn’t replace it, especially when you only realise too late! I try to overcome this problem by always aiming to have three spare toilet rolls by the toilet. They have to be raised up on a shelf these days because we have a puppy who like to play with them, but you get my point. We never run short at the critical moment.
The lesson of the toilet rolls applies across the board to your resources management, both at home and at work.
What happens if you run out of something? Do you have enough on hand to continue seamlessly or do you have to stop and wait to re-order?
Maintain a healthy and realistic margin so that life can continue smoothly and without resulting stress. Obviously, the frequency of re-ordering and the required size of your back-up store will depend on the ease of re-ordering and the speed of delivery. You have to do a risk-assessment in each case – “how likely and how quickly are we likely to run out” and “how soon can we get more”, balanced against, “how much can we store?”
Seizing Credit Control
Having financial margin seemed beyond my grasp for a very long time. Granted, I was on a low income and was in debt so it was not straightforward, but I also came to realise that it there was a mindset element to it all. To some extent I had control over the amount I paid back on the debts each month and I certainly had control over some items of monthly expenditure.
Obviously everyone’s situation is different and it will much harder for some than for others, but check your mindset and your intentions. Impose a discipline on yourself and it can only get better than it is now. Recognise your progress periodically and pat yourself on the back.
I now have a discipline of saving a bit every time I get paid. I also have a credit card that I rarely use. So I have an emergency fund when things are tight and the credit limit for real emergencies.
Scouting for Joys
I was once in the Scouts, “Be prepared!” was the motto.
It is a magic motto.