A Measure of Control
Maybe the last year has taught us to be ready for things to fall apart at any moment. So just when some parts of our lives feel like they are getting back to normal, other parts of the world feel like they remain on the brink of disaster. Everyone is seeing it a little bit at the gas pumps, reading it in stories of rising inflation, and wondering if the crypto bubble has burst. These are interesting times we have been living through and they appear bound to continue being so.
As we closed tax season, I know we have written a bit about looking to the future. Filing taxes, though, kind of forces you to look at your previous financial year, offering the type of longer view that can be difficult to achieve in your day-to-day life, thus making it a good time to make some changes Those changes can help you take control of the things you can control and gaining that control can help ease the pain that pops up when the world starts to feel wacky.
The COVID-19 pandemic definitely taught us that we cannot plan for everything. That was a novel time unlike anything the world had seen in a century, back when it was a very different world. These latest stories, though, are ones that did not quite come as much out of nowhere and have easier causes to understand. The chances for inflation were understood before the country and its economy started opening up. Add in a malware attack on a pipeline ahead of heavy traveling dates and we can at least understand why we are paying more at pump. As for those investing in crypto, it is like any investment where your returns are not guaranteed and investments that feel so ‘new’ probably come with a little more risk.
Note that all those forces are ones that are out of our individual hands. We know why they are happening but there is little we can do on our own to turn the tide. And that is why it is important to make good plans for the things you can control. Are you paying off debt at a rate you are comfortable with? Are you saving at a rate you are comfortable with? Are you confident that you know what your tax picture will look like when it comes to file again next year? Not only are those the questions you have greater power over, but when you answer them in satisfactory ways, you will be better equipped to handle the things that come up which you had less control over.
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