Welcome to the first Finance Friday of 2018!
On the first Friday of each month, I’ll post about horses and finances. Sometimes I’ll write the post; sometimes I’ll invite guests to write. We’ll talk about strategies, challenges, successes, failures, and everything in between.
First, my philosophy. We’re horse people; we know that money is a) scarce and b) can actually buy happiness, in the form of horses. I believe strongly that managing your finances thoughtfully, efficiently, and carefully is an essential part of good horsemanship. The only thing predictable about equine emergencies is that they will happen at some point – and we need to be ready. Being able to cope with unexpected bills – vet, farrier, barn, equipment, training, you name it – is hugely important. It’s really hard! I’m not for a second pretending this is easy or simple. But it’s important.
In this first post, I’d like to set the groundwork for future posts. My hope is that people will participate in their own way. Maybe it’s just reading along; maybe it’s setting some private goals; maybe it’s setting some public goals and blogging on your own. Whatever works for you! I just want us all to come out of 2018 in better shape than we started it.
So, in January, this month of resolutions, I have two questions for you. Your answers will help guide me in planning future posts.
1. What is one financial goal that you want to accomplish in 2018? Do you want a new pair of tall boots? To change your boarding situation? To pay off vet bills? To keep better track of your expenses? To start or top off an emergency fund? No goal is too small or too large!
2. What is one obstacle in the way of achieving that goal? Is it a habit that you just can’t break? A mistake you keep making over and over again? An emotional block? A tool or strategy you’re lacking? Try to think beyond “not enough money.”
My answers are below; leave your answers in the comments and/or in your own blog. I’ll read through everything and start planning to try and address our shared goals and obstacles.
So, my answers.
- In 2018, I want to top off – and keep topped off – Tristan’s emergency fund at $1,500. Right now, it climbs and falls as bills appear. To keep it as a true, full emergency fund I’ll need to build it to $1,500, keep it there, and start building a cash reserve in my horse-specific checking account to cushion the semi-regular bills.
- My obstacle that I need to work past in 2018 is that I have a tendency to count my chickens before they hatch. I anticipate funds coming in, get excited, and have them committed in three different places before they arrive, which means I never quite get ahead. I need better patience, better follow-through, and better record-keeping.
What about you?