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Semi-Retired

The Cat Food Plan

Posted by kdadmin on January 23rd, 2014.

Years ago I had a client who was struggling with a financial transition after an unpleasant divorce. We talked about her finances, the way things were going, and her fear about engaging and tackling her financial agenda head on. I was on my soapbox for a bit but could see I was getting nowhere. She finally asked if it was really that important that she stay on top of her finances.

“No,” I said.

She was amazed. “Really?” She asked.

I repeated, “No, it’s not; as long as you’re happy being on The Cat Food Plan.”

“The What? What’s a Cat Food Plan?” She asked.

“The plan where you do nothing, avoid addressing your financial issues, spend all your money, and end up so poor in retirement that you are forced to eat cat food. The Cat Food Plan.”

She went white, “Um …”

I kept going, “Right. So, the nice thing will be that shopping will be easy and making dinner will be a snap. No more complicated recipes, just one aisle, with Iams or Friskies, chicken or fish.”

(Long pause)

“So,” she began, “this is the monthly budget that I came up with. Obviously, I need to make more money to not only get by, but do be able to eat that organic cat food that’s all the rage nowadays …”

“How can you do that?” I asked.

“Well, I guess I could teach more classes, or I could get a better roommate, or, hmm… How long do I have to get my life in order and figure this all out before I’m definitely eating cat food?” She asked.

“I would say that at your current spending rate, you have a year to sort your head out, but in 12 months, you need to be earning your current monthly budget plus at least $500/month. In other words, if you want to move south, explore the world a bit, take a deep breath and find yourself, you have a year before you’re seriously jeopardizing your financial future. Can you work with that?”

She could. She did. And, I’m happy to report that several years later she is on the ball and moving in the right direction. No Cat Food Plan for her.

So, what’s my point? Face your financial fears. Take them head on.

If you’re terrified of something, admit it. Ask me for help. Follow my advice. Read my blog. No matter what it is, the chances are extremely high that I’ve seen it, done it, researched it and/or conquered it for/with a dozen other clients.

Most New Year’s resolutions fail by January 20th because people are too afraid to face their fears and DO what they know that they need to. The truth is, you don’t have forever. You have now. You may not have tomorrow. By facing your fears, you are free to “Live the Life You Love.”

Happy New Year!

Zurich

P.S. To be clear, I have nothing against The Cat Food Plan, if you’re Simon’s Cat (see below). His “Snow Business” video short is certainly perfect for today. Click here to watch it.
The Cat Food Plan

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