TaraCrooksUSAA's avatarTaraCrooksUSAAMoney Matters Blog | ‎02-03-2014 06:53 AM

A Lesson from a Groundhog

shutterstock_145825472.jpgEvery year on February 2nd many of us celebrate a well-known tradition of “Ground hog Day”. According to folklore, if it is cloudy when a groundhog emerges from its burrow on this day, then spring will come early; if it is sunny, the groundhog will supposedly see its shadow and retreat back into its burrow, and the winter weather will continue for six more weeks.

 

In 1993 modern pop-culture highlighted this folklore by creating a movie about Punxsutawney Phil. In the movie, actor Bill Murray plays a television weatherman who finds himself in a time loop where he replays the same day again and again. The repeating day challenges his sanity and eventually he begins to re-examine his life and priorities.

 

Have you ever had a money problem that made you feel like you were waking up to Groundhog Day? Perhaps it’s not even a problem but a behavior that could lead to a problem that you have yet to learn your lesson on that keeps plaguing your money matters?

 

There are common money mistakes that anyone can make like carrying a credit card balance, not updating our insurance coverage, mistakenly not recording a transaction, paying too much (or making too many) for ATM withdrawals, even not setting aside enough money for retirement.

 

It’s not that any one of these little mistakes is a big deal it’s when they add up or when they start to cause problems and you end up in …well, a repeat of yesterday.

 

This year it’s time to break the cycle of Groundhog Day. Time for spring to come early and you to learn your lesson. Whatever little money mistake it is that you’re making, fix it.

 

Make a plan today to ensure that you have a solid emergency fund in place with at least 3-6 months’ worth of committed expenses. In addition, look at paying down (or paying off) your credit card balance. Call and update your insurance coverage and get your financial house in order. Sit down with your spouse and create a workable plan for recording transactions and budgeting to ensure you’re getting the available cash you need in fewer transactions. Create a savings and retirement plan even if it means sitting down with an advisor.

 

You’re not the only one making these common money mistakes. You’re not the only one who is currently caught in the time loop of repetition. But, you are the only one that can break free of your shadow.