Baseball season is here, hotdogs are grilling, and stadiums are filled with optimistic fans. Each season with new players and maybe coaches there is hope, this year could be THE year. How many times have we seen a team rally mid-season, break curses, and even underdogs make it to the World Series? We cross our fingers, cheer the new pitcher and buy the latest jersey design.
So what does baseball have to do with your money? I’m teaching basic money steps using baseball terms…..so batter up!!
Proceed One Base at a Time
When a home run happens there is electricity in the air, but typically games are won by singles and doubles to put runners in scoring position. One base at a time takes focus and discipline, something you can apply to everyday money decisions. What are your financial goals? Do you know how much money comes in and goes out each month? Are you saving regularly for the future? Knowing the answers will help you understand where you are now and help you decide where you want to go. First base or home run?
Cover Your Bases
The players must be prepared and positioned to make a play at the base they’re at. They have no idea if it will be a catch for the final out or tagging someone trying to steal. They have practiced hundreds of scenarios and reacted without even thinking much of the time. So, what can you do to help your financial future in case life throws you a curveball without overreacting? Do you have an emergency fund in place for those “sinkers”? Or sufficient insurance coverage to make sure your family is protected?
Expect to Strike Out
What? As fans, we don’t like seeing the players strike out, but every player knows it’s part of the game. In fact, striking out is more common than getting hits, bummer.
So how does this apply to your money? “Failure is a part of success”, said Hank Aaron. If you’re prepared for the misses as well as the hits, you can avoid reacting emotionally. Think about it this way. If you’re investing, you have no control over how the market will perform at any given moment. What you can control is how much you can afford to invest, what to invest in and when to buy and sell according to what is important to you. Remember, don’t swing at every pitch.
Look at Every Day as a New Ball Game
We’re trailing behind the other team and then it happens, the score is tied, excitement is building and the announcer says, “it’s a whole new ball game now.” Now we’re excited and on our feet.
Whether you haven’t saved enough, or spent too much over the years, or began saving later in life and you’re behind (so you feel), it’s ok. There is always hope if you’re willing to stop and learn from what you’ve done right and yes even the not-so rights. When players are not in a game, they’re practicing to become better and learn new techniques. Every day is a new opportunity to change the course. You can build on yesterday’s success, put the failures behind and start again. Maybe it’s setting up automatic withdrawals to begin saving money for the future. Maybe it’s looking back at your prior month’s spending and learning where your money is going.
It’s the way life is, we wake up to a new game every day, and that’s the way baseball is.
Line Item in the Budget
If you’re a baseball fan like I am remember to add a line item to your budget for attending a home game with all the hotdogs and pretzels you want. Even if it’s only 1 game this season, budget for it and enjoy!