Hello YNABers. My name is Jesse Mecham and this is podcast number 63 for You Need A Budget, where we teach you four rules to help you stop living pay check to pay check, get out of debt and save more money.
Today I wanted to share with you a parable that I ran across, twice actually in the last month or so, and saw it as a sign that I should share with you guys.
There once was a farmer looking for a young man to help out at the farm. There were several young men who interviewed for the job, and as far as the farmer could tell they were about equally well-qualified. He then went and asked them each one final question. "Tell me," he would say, "why should I hire you above the others?"
Of all the applicants and their replies, there was one that was really different. One young man said, "Because I can sleep through anything." At first the farmer thought it was just strange; then the more he thought, the more he was intrigued and mystified by the response. So he figured, "Well, I will give this young man a chance," and he hired him.
Weeks went by and the farmer was pretty happy with the young man's work. He still wondered sometimes what the young man had meant by his strange reply, but he never got around to it. Then one night he was awakened in the middle of the night and got a phone call from a neighbor. "There's a big storm suddenly come in with lots of wind and maybe a tornado. Better get ready for it," was the quick message.
Indeed, as the farmer went and looked out the door, he found that the wind was strong and rising, and rain had started. He quickly ran and tried to wake the young man up to start getting everything ready for the blow, but try as he might the young man couldn't be stirred. Muttering to himself about what a stupid thing he had done in hiring a lazy boy who wouldn't wake up when he really needed him, the farmer went out to the farm.
He went out to tie down the hay, but discovered that the hay was already tied down securely. Next he went to the barn and the corrals, and every time he looked everything had already been prepared. After a while of just wandering around the farm, of discovering that there was nothing that needed to be done at the last minute because it had all been done before, the farmer returned to the house. But instead of muttering, he actually found himself singing the praises of this young man. He had realized, to his great joy, that the reason that the young man could sleep through anything was because before he went to bed each and every night, he had already prepared for the very worst.
And so the farmer followed the example of the young man, since everything was already prepared. He undressed and was soon fast asleep with a huge smile of peace on his face.
I shared that on the blog a little bit ago, posted it on our Facebook page – facebook.com/iYNAB, if you haven't caught us there yet. I like that. And at the turn of the year, which will happen tomorrow,* it's a great time to basically look back at the prior year and say, "Okay, what caught us off-guard? Where was there a financial tornado, so to speak? What could we have secured down – the barn, the corral, the hay?" And then look ahead to 2013 and say, "Okay, what would we do different? Were we surprised by this or that? Could we prep for it better?" to where you really can sleep well at night.
So, be like that farmhand. Be ready for the worst so that you can have financial peace.
Until next time, follow YNAB's four rules and you will win financially. You have not budgeted like this.
*This podcast aired December 31, 2012.