The Six-P Formula

Peter Piper Picked a Peck of Pickled Peppers

Just kidding.

Proper Prior Planning Prevents Poor Performance

I read this saying in Eat That Frog!, by Brian Tracy, a book about conquering procrastination and accomplishing more in less time. This saying can be applied to every aspect of your life; work, health, home, and MONEY!

These past few weeks, I admit to performing poorly due to my lack of proper prior planning. Two weeks ago I packed last minute for a business trip, and forgot my headphones. I’m one of those girls who can sleep through an entire flight if I want (and I want!), so my noise-canceling headphones are mandatory on flights. When I was about to board and realized I’d forgot them, I ran to purchase a $20 pair of (the most painful) earbuds for my flights. I planned poorly for that trip, and as a result I spent an unnecessary $20.

Then, a week ago I came down with strep throat and it knocked me right off my feet. Talk about poor performance; I didn’t even look at our bank accounts once. I typically look/check our accounts every few days, but when I mustered up the strength to log in to our online banking, I was shocked. Our account balance was a lot lower than I expected it to be. After digging, I realized that hubby had purchased quite a few (budgeted) items for the home that week and I forgot all about transferring money to cover the items. A few more days of poor performance and a bill may have bounced! Sheesh!

As I write this, I am now on another business trip and guess who forgot her airplane pillow this round (remember, sleeping on planes is vital). You guessed it. Since I didn’t properly plan out my packing again (what am I, a procrastinator or something?), I purchased another airplane pillow. Another $20 unnecessarily spent.

So yes, I have not properly planned lately and I am performing poorly. However, I do need to credit my past self for properly planning in other areas that saved my butt these last few weeks. Planning ahead lets us have a plan to fall back on when the going gets rough. And I know that the going can get a lot more rough than strep throat!

Our bank accounts are probably 75% automatic. We have savings being transferred each week into our different accounts, we have our allowances being automatically given to us each paycheque, and all of our bills are set up for automatic withdrawals. So all I ever really need to do is watch the accounts. Because of this awesome prior planning, even though I was sick and it felt like I was swallowing razor blades, I prevented some really poor performance.

Another major prevention of poor performance was our $1000 “reserve fund”. Had it not been for this reserve fund, we would have found ourselves back in debt every now and again. I’d like to high-five my past self for that one!

Come to think of it, the fact that we created a budget and actually stick to it is preventing poor performance the most! We’ve been living on a budget for so long that it’s just normal to us now, and we can easily forget how big of a life change that was for us. By making sure our expenses aren’t higher than our incomes, and by ensuring that the budget is balanced in a financially healthy way, we are preventing poor performance big time!

Proper prior planning prevents poor performance. It’s really true. Don’t trust your future self to do it, just get it done now so it’s in place when you need it to be. What can you do today to prevent poor performance in the future? I, for one, need to stop procrastinating (hence why I read the book in the first place) because not only will it save me unnecessary stress and arguments, but it will save me money as well!


Originally posted on

Christi Posner is a Credit Counsellor for the Credit Counselling Society, a non-profit, charitable organization. Born and raised in Winnipeg, Christi is a newlywed, a new homeowner, and with the exception of car loans and a mortgage, she is newly debt-free. Her goal is not merely to survive, but to financially thrive; and to do so with some passion, empathy, humour, and a smile.