How many of us have an emergency fund for our money? We have one, and
it comes in handy. But how many of us have transferred the idea of an
emergency fund to time? For me, it is still a work in progress. My
goal is a home (and schedule) that practically runs itself when I need it
to. Impossible, you say? Well, I am halfway there, and I already see
Start a simple routine that will be easy to stick to. My most helpful
routine is gathering all of the laundry from upstairs and carrying it
down with me on my first trip downstairs in the morning. I then put in
a load and go about my other business. If I donít do it then, it could
be ten oíclock before I realize that the laundry is not started.
Stock up. Toilet paper, diapers, shampoo, canned foods, cereals,
anything that is storable is a candidate. This practice is a life saver
when you donít have a lot of money, but it also helps when you donít have
a lot of time. You do not want to have to run the convenience store to
buy diapers on your way to the emergency room to visit a relative.
Get the kids in on the game. Attach chores to mealtimes. No matter
what happens, we still have to eat. After each meal, my middle boy has
to clean the family room. I just assigned the chore a few months ago
when we moved into our new house, and he already does his chore most of
the time without a reminder! My oldest takes out the trash after dinner
every night. Those are things that keep the household running smoothly
without too much effort from me.
And speaking of attaching chores, what are the things that you do
without fail every day? If you brush your teeth in the morning, you can
attach straightening the bathroom to that task. Once a chore is a habit,
you can do it without thinking, even during tough times.
Keep a checklist of your weekly chores, so there is no decision-making
involved. You just pick the next chore on the list and do it.
Keep your belongings to a minimum. This step is very, very important.
With too many belongings to care for, we can never concentrate on the
things (and people) that are important in our lives. You can reduce
your housework by 50% by simply getting rid of ALL the things that you do
not love and are not useful.
Organize your home so that you can find anything in it in one minute or
less. This is done very easily by decluttering and then assigning a
home to every object that you own.
Keep up your grooming at all times. And Iím not talking about just a
shower. A simple pedicure and manicure, done at home or at a salon. A
haircut. Are you ready for this one? Shave your legs every day. Why?
Because not all events requiring an emergency fund involve hospitals.
Your husband may surprise you with a loverís getaway. You may see your
college sweetheart. If youíre single, you may meet the man of your
dreams. You donít know what is going to happen tomorrow. Imagine the
possibilities and plan for them. And if there is no emergency? Youíll
just look gorgeous.
Begin instilling good habits. Look at your biggest weaknesses, and see
if there may be a positive habit that could prevent the weakness from
ruining your schedule. Good habits, like good routines, become second
nature. When we can accomplish half of our responsibilities through
habit, the other half will not seem so bad. Would you rather tackle a
sink full of dishes or have the habit of washing as you go? Would you
rather do laundry all day on Saturday or have the habit of doing a load
or two every morning? When an emergency, or an opportunity, arises, it
will be so much easier to handle with good habits already in place.
No matter how you choose to set up your emergency fund, do it. You can
take all of these ideas or none of them, but setting up this fund is
essential to navigating the times when life throws you off balance.
Those times will come, I can guarantee that. So how are you going to face
them, in chaos or with assurance that your mind is on the things that
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