What could an Everest expedition teach you about managing your money?
You are just a few hundred metres from the summit of Mt Everest. Your oxygen is running low. You have made it to the south summit, but nearly 4 hours later than planned. You would almost definitely make it to the top, but it would mean descending in the dark with no oxygen.
You have been doing nothing but training for this moment for last six years. You have invested so much time and money into this expedition.
Do you keep going?
Last night I watched John Taske described himself in this very situation. It turned out to be one of the deadliest Everest expeditions.
But sticking to his plan is what brought him home safely.
This meant not allowing his emotions drive his decision.
He focused on the boundaries of his team’s plan: it required them to turn around if they didn’t see themselves summiting by 2pm.
He didn’t think about the years of training, the financial investment or the damage to his ego. He had a plan and he stuck to it. What an incredible story to illustrate the power of a plan.
It might be helpful to think about this story before you make your next purchase.
Ask yourself “Did I plan to buy this?” And if the answer is no then turn around and walk away just like Taske did.
Be like an Everest explorer and make a money plan, set spending limits for your discretionary spending (food, clothes, entertainment etc.) each week and stick to your limits by using cash.
Cash is a bit like oxygen to your Everest adventure, it is a necessary tool to achieve your goals. It is important to keep track of it so you can make informed and conscious decisions about how and when it is best to use it.
If you go shopping with no plan and a credit card you are just exposing yourself to unnecessary risks, just like Taske would have if he ignored his plan and continued on.
I get that it can be so hard to keep to our money plans, we see a pair of shoes we have been admiring for months on sale or we want to delight our children with the latest toy. The temptation to spend more can be so hard to resist. Our emotions are constantly manipulated by advertisers making us feel like we need ‘more’ and ‘the latest and greatest’.
But having a spending plan and being committed to it will help you to ride through the storms of temptation!
I know that this might seem like a pretty extreme comparison but if we are reckless with our money decisions the outcomes can be catastrophic. For our own well-being and for the good of our loved ones and our community we should improve our relationship with money.
I would love you hear if this was helpful, so please leave a comment below.