Welcome to the final piece of homework in GB 911. You’ve come so far, and you’ll benefit from the hard work you’ve been putting in for many years to come.
Last time you joined us, we saw how Josh & Ashley were thinking and preparing for their next normal. Now it’s your turn to think of a few different scenarios and make plans that will help guide you through what’s to come.
Create your ABC Plans
Be sure to include the people you share money with in this planning process so you can give input together.
Work on your Plan A:
The cool thing about creating your Plan A is that you can be as imaginative as you’d like. (It’s part of the “thriving.”) That means your Plan A doesn’t have to look like your life did prior to your emergency. Of course, it should still be reasonable and achievable.
So maybe you want to get a similar job with a similar salary, but maybe your hope is to get a similarly paying job that’s different from the one you had before. It’s up to you.
No matter what you decide, think about how you’ll make this plan a reality. In Josh’s case, he knew he wanted a similar job with similar pay, and he had already started looking for jobs in his field even before he and Ashley came up with their Plan A. He knew that he’d need time to work on his resume and apply for jobs, so that was built into their planning.
Here are some questions to help you create your Plan A:
- What’s your Plan A? Are you hoping to get a similar job with a similar salary?
- What steps do you need to take to help make it happen?
- What steps can you take today? This week?
And here’s where things can get even more exciting! If Plan A works out, you’ll eventually achieve the financial repair goal that you started working on in Stage 2, which means you can start thinking of another goal to work towards. What will it be? Paying down debt? Saving up for a dream vacation? The options are endless.
Define your Plan B:
You’ll need to have a backup plan in place in case Plan A doesn’t work out. Josh & Ashley decided that they’d be willing to take a pay cut if Josh couldn’t land a job with similar pay. That meant they also needed to have a Plan B budget ready to go in the event that Josh needed to take a lower paying job. They talked about cuts they’d make if that were to happen.
Here are some questions to help you plan:
- What kinds of expenses will you cut if your Plan A doesn’t work out?
- How will you make up or backfill part of your income so that you can stay afloat?
Thinking about these things now means that you’ll have less to worry about if Plan A doesn’t fall into place.
Acknowledge Plan C:
Plan C for Josh and Ashley meant that they’d be a family of four with only one income. That’s not impossible, but it’s a far cry from what they’re used to and they’d need to make some drastic cuts to their budget and a few lifestyle changes in order to make this work. They decided that, in the event that Plans A and B didn’t work, they’d consider making further cuts to their budget and also consider taking on a housemate to help supplement their income.
Because you’re only acknowledging Plan C, you don’t have to work out all the details.
Here are some questions to help guide your thinking:
- How will you cope and make changes if Plans A and B don’t work out for you?
- What kinds of changes will you make to your budget? For most people, the biggest expenses tend to be housing, transportation, childcare, and food. Are you able and willing to drastically reduce some of these? Are you considering using your emergency fund?
- How will you backfill some of your income? If you have friends or family members you can ask for help, name them for future reference. What kinds of government programs would you be willing to apply for? Some government programs include SNAP and Section 8.
Acknowledging Plan C doesn’t mean you’re setting yourself up to fail. It means that you’ll have done some thinking ahead of time that might help you navigate life a little more smoothly if you do end up hitting a bump in the road.
With these things in mind, you’ll be more prepared for a wide range of situations that you might find yourself in… and you’ll be giving yourself the best chance of thriving.
Comment below and let us know
- What’s your Plan A, Plan B, and Plan C?
- How do you feel about your ABC plan?
- Did you consider things that surprised you? I.e. did you consider things like renting a room, even though you never thought you’d never do that?
P.S. If you’re ready and looking to strengthen your budgeting skills, we’ve got you covered. Or, if you’re looking to start putting your dollars towards things that are important to you, we’d love to go on that journey with you. Take another Goodbudget Course.