Real Life Example: I’m stuck away from home during the Covid-19 pandemic, states are starting to lockdown and air travel is iffy at best. If I don’t fly home, I’ll blow my budget for a month or more on hotel and other costs. If I do fly home, I could get sick or make others sick.
How do we balance our personal financial goals and plans when life gets in the way? The tradeoff in the example is stark, but the general situation happens all the time.
Disruptions come in many forms, our current pandemic example is (hopefully) the biggest one any of us will experience in our lifetime. More common ones are job loss, unexpected home or auto repair, a big market swing at the wrong time, or an unexpected family event (hundreds of possibilities, there, don’t you think?).
Let them come. Let them smash the short-term progress on your goals.
Do not let the tail (your plan to reach that goal) wag the dog (your life).
Sometimes we need to accept disruption – or make choices – that thrash or delay the goal we knew and loved. And that’s ok. A disruption comes along and we need to be flexible. A lot will change across the span of a financial goal or a full plan. Many things will go right, some things will go astray. Take a breath, put your life first, then return and make adjustments as needed. Ideally your plan informs your choices and increases your confidence.