There once was a farmer looking for a your 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 of 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 night got a phone call from neighbor:
“There’s a big storm suddenly coming in with lots of wind, 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’ve run into this story twice in the past month, but have yet to find it with any attribution. I love what it teaches us about managing our money. The time to prepare for that big bill, for that unexpected expense, is before it strikes.
Make 2013 count. Look back at your prior year’s “big financial events” and see if there aren’t some you could plan and prepare for. I promise you’ll sleep soundly at night.