My first law of financial management is extra money generates new bills. For instance, get an extra couple of hundred in the bank and you can predict the future. The car battery will die on the freeway, the tooth you’ve been babying will turn on you like a wet cat, you’ll find that your boss looking at you with an unhealthy speculation, or you’ll find that you added wrong in your check book.
There seems to be some magic point, say about $500, and if you can get over that hurdle without have a major expense, you’re okay for a while. About a year ago I had extra income for a while. I knew that this wouldn’t last but I learned how it felt to be wealthy. That giddiness was not enough to prompt me, however, into making more money because if I made more money, I’d generate more bills and that is not the way to the black side of the ledger.
Now, my second law of financial management is closely related to the above and is this: no matter how much you make it’s never enough. This has something to do with the cost of living. In other words, the more you make the less you can afford. Now, this does not mean if you make less money, you can buy more. It means that no matter what you make your bills are higher. I think that this law is so self-evident it doesn’t require a lot of explanation.
My third law of financial management is: the faster you spend it the further it goes. I derived this law by careful observation and a little Aristotelian logic. Here is how it came about: I noticed long ago that when I was driving and ran low on gas, a natural tendency arose within me to drive quickly to a gas station.
“What ho!” I thought. What I discovered was this. When I am low on gas and drive quickly, I use less gas and therefore make it to the gas station. If, for example, I kind of dilly dallied, do you think I’d get there without a tow? Not likely! Need more proof?
Pay close attention. This next part is unproven but relying on my mostly infallible intuition I can attest to the following observation: when adrenaline surges within our bodies, an adrenaline of another kind is created within our psychic body in the metaphysical world. It is this astral adrenaline that gets sucked up in the gas tank and gives the car the extra push it needs to get to the station. If you drive slowly and meander along the way you’ve just short-circuited a sure thing.
Applying this same scientific principle to the world of finance and I think that you’ll quickly see the obvious correlation. If you’re running short of money what you’ve got to do is go out and spend some fast. This is an unwavering rule in the in-and-out box of my life. When a check comes in I pay all of the most urgent and abrasive bills and then I go out.
With check book in hand, I pick up a few treats to keep my money-producing engine oiled– a book here, a cd there, a trip to Victoria’s Secret somewhere else. This not only raising my spirits considerably, it makes me feel rich which then obviously feeds that psychic energy reserve in my astral organ and it’s away we go.
That’s enough financial insight for one day. Let me leave you with these final words of wisdom:
“Let us all be happy and live within our means, even if we have to borrow money to do it.”
Artemus Ward, “Science & Natural History”
(From the Archives @ 1999)