Many times in this space I have mentioned how difficult it is to be able to accurately predict everything that could affect your life and your business. That is why staying on top of where you stand financially is so crucial to being able to move when surprising things do occur. When it comes to unpredictability, just think of sports betting as we look toward the Super Bowl later this month. When guessing what teams would be there in the conference championship games it was difficult to know just how much a preexisting injury would affect one quarterback (yet Patrick Mahomes still made it to the big game) and impossible to know just how much as-yet non-existing quarterback injuries would prevent the 49ers from being able to join him there.
More from the “you couldn’t really predict this” file surprisingly came up in this article about Super Bowl parties. For example, after a year when we have all had to come to terms with new norms about what we have to pay for groceries (and have you bought eggs lately!?!?!), it turns out that the price of chicken wings are down over 20% from last year. Also on this list of cheaper buys are steak, bacon, shrimp, and avocadoes. And all of this is kind of due to that’s just where things went for the last year for whatever reasons.
And then there is the fact that beer prices are 11% higher this year than last, but wine and spirits have just gone up a more reasonable 4 and 2%, respectively. Now there is no telling where this article got these numbers from, but it is possible that this could reflect the ongoing entry of more (and more expensive) craft beers into the market. So does this really mean that a case of Bud Light costs over 10% more than it did last year? Well, that isn’t really clear there.
So here we are where not only are proper predictions difficult to make, but understanding exactly what is happening in any market takes a little more study than latching onto one simple number. If you want an answer to a specific question, then you need to be able to look at that precise situation. This then brings us back to how important it is to be able to know what is going on with your own personal numbers. It is one thing to know about trends, it is another to know about where you personally stand – and maybe sometimes some more light-hearted examples can help this look clearer.
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