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  • Writer's pictureKel Galavan

Your paycheck isn't enough: why assumptions can drown you.

Don't just survive - thrive.

A wilting sunflower
Photo by Ifir Endahl on Unsplash

Don't assume that money will keep coming just because you're willing to work.

Also, don't assume you will always want to work or even be able to do so.

Assumptions can be misleading. They are based on the rules of the game staying the same, and consistency is a given. Rules do not stay the same; they change, and when they do, they change fast.

Past performance is no guarantee of future results.

With recessions appearing every 8-10 years, a job for life is a thing of the past, with most of us living longer lives. There will inevitably be bumps in the road along the way. Some are so major they can throw everything off in an instant.

These life curve balls are most likely beyond our control. It could be illness, divorce, job loss, the economy, or health. Any number of factors can throw a spanner in the flow of money.

As those investing adverts profess, past income does not guarantee future income.

There is rain coming.

That is how you need to think about your day-to-day life. You might be good at your job. Heck, you could be great at your job. But that means damn all if a recession swoops in or life throws you a massive curve ball. Leaving you to pay for childcare and mortgage service loans.

Just like we all know it will rain, we don't know when it will rain, how heavy it will be, or how long it will last. But you can bet your last euro that it's on its way.

So, are you going to grab an umbrella or take your chances?

I didn't grab an umbrella - I didn't even know I needed one - so I was caught out royally.

Caught in the rain

I love to work, and I genuinely do. I do not have any intention of ever not working on some level. But in the 2000s, I followed the crowd and bought a house. The atmosphere in Ireland was electric. We were all going to be real estate moguls, house prices were going to the moon, and a new era was dawning. What could go wrong?

I was a young, naive professional just starting out, with a young family on the way and a mortgage 7.5 times my income.

It was a brave new world, and we would make it.

In the blink of an eye, the downpour began.

We were only a matter of months in our new home. We were back renting, still paying a six-figure mortgage for a house we couldn't live in. We were down to only my income from a job that was going through 'restructuring', two cars, kids in creche, and all the expenses that come with that.

No safety net, no umbrella, nothing.

We knew nothing about money. We had no savings, plans, or ideas about what to do next. The life we knew was blown apart, and we were scrambling to make ends meet.

It took us a long decade of heavy frugality to recover.

My story is not your story.

I want you to have a different, better story. I want you to have the time and space to create more fun, less life-limiting stories. To do that, please use my story as a cautionary tale and shortcut your path.

The biggest lesson I learned was never to assume money will keep coming.

What if the economy is downturned and your job is at risk? What happens if you don't have family or friends to help you?

Mind your own GAP!

The key to surviving these unexpected changes is having a "gap." The gap is your safety net - the cushion allowing you to dust yourself off and keep going when life blindsides you.

The Gap is the space between your income and expenses. The wider the Gap, the more powerful you can become. The gap is where your savings, investments, and absolute security can be found.

Nurture this Gap like your life depended on it.

I'm not saying it's easy; I'm saying suck it up.

The Gap is essential because it gives you independence and control over your future. It protects you from relying on others or external circumstances for financial stability. You create your own.

When you have a Gap, you can navigate life's surprises without falling into financial ruin. Finding the Gap can be tough at first, but it is the only proven way to ensure success in this increasingly volatile world.

If you must throw your pity party, then do. Once you're finished, put the item back on the shelf, dust yourself down and jog on.

You have to do it if you want to burst through surviving and get thriving.

Level up to freedom.

Learning to live within our means has never been harder. Everything is vying for a slice of your money. Everyone wants a taste. There will be moments when you want to give up and shout at me and get me out of your head. This is the only way to regain and keep control over your money.

It was only when I realised I had to stop playing the victim. Blaming others for a situation wouldn't fix anything. Only when I took the reins of my own life did I give myself the chance to move forward. I was to take responsibility and make better financial decisions.

Over to you.

That recession was my wake-up call to stop assuming that I am the only factor in my future. There are always macro things at play; sometimes, even with the best work ethic and intentions, the money will stop coming.

When that happens, what is your plan of action?

Final Thoughts

If you don't manage your money today, when will you? Playing the victim backfires because it keeps you stuck in a cycle of dependency and helplessness. You need to take charge of your money and widen the Gap to allow you the space to level up and be prepared for whatever comes your way.

Without it, you're at the mercy of others' kindness, government handouts and an economy that may not always thrive. A safety net, an emergency fund, and a clear financial plan are the best ways to protect yourself from the unexpected.

All of these are found in the Gap.

Because when you nurture the Gap, you're not just surviving—you're thriving.


If you're ready to level up your money game make sure to grab my FREE eBook from out of control to cruise control, 20 simple things to transform your money life here.

If you want to find the money you never knew you had and save thousands this year and every year check out The No Spend Revolution.


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