Six Stones – 1. (The Path to) Better

Welcome (back) to our Six Stones series. Our financial adviser, Jordan, is sharing as many tips, ideas and advice for people going through a divorce as a humble blog will allow. He’s staying away from specific financial advice – it’s all general advice over here, be sure to get personal financial advice before doing anything – but we hope you find some useful information in here as you navigate through/out of your divorce.

Time for a quick breather. So far we’ve:

–           Worked out what your Needs, Wants and Worries are;

–           Collected the data from your current situation to work out where your money’s going now;

–           Used that to help you set up a budgeting structure using your chosen ratios;

–           Outlined the difference between banking accidentally and deliberately;

–           Set up a clear banking structure to help automate your ideal Money Management plan.

It’s a pretty full-on list of jobs – so well done!

We’re nearly finished too.

These last few parts are all about how to maintain your progress into the future.

And why gradual improvement – not instant transformation – is the aim.

I can, happily, report that you’ve done the bulk of the hard work by this stage though. But it’s this last ten percent is what will graduate you into real Cash Confidence.

In this post I’m going to talk about some of the challenges you’ll hit as you work towards Cash Confidence – and how you can push past them.

The Grind of Improvement

As I write this, the 2019 Rugby World Cup is in its early stages. I don’t watch much rugby anymore but have been reveling in all the broadcasts so far.

I bring this up because, at its core, rugby is a game about grinding for centimetres, then sprinting for metres.

Anybody broadly familiar with the game will recognise the pattern of a forward smashing the ball into the defensive line and falling into a ruck.

The next forward will then pick up the ball (‘clean out’) and drive forward another metre into another tackle, twist and roll into the next ruck.

Clean out.




It’s a tussle for mere inches of territory as the offensive team pushes ever forward toward the try line.

Then, whoosh, the ball is whipped out to the speeding backs, through the team and into the hands of its fastest member – the winger.

And off they go, sprinting down the field, chewing up the metres as they dodge, weave and step around the defenders.

As I said – they grind forward for centimetres, then sprint for metres. 

What you’ll also notice is the huge smile they have on their face afterwards.

No Quick Wins Left

Rather than a tacky attempt to force a reference to the one sport I can tolerate watching anymore, I bring this up because it neatly lines up with the forced effort and challenge of improving your finances from this point on.

A lot of the quick, easy gains have been made.

You’re in charge of your budget, your banking and – ultimately – your money.

But the next successes you’ll have will be a little more difficult.

You’ll feel like you’re running into wall of frustration and falling to the ground, only to have to pick up the ball and drive forward again for another metre.

If that.

Yet as you do it, each time you get frustrated or stymied or irritated, the second half of the game will get a bit closer.

That point where you’re on top of everything.

The water cycle is flowing how it should.

The Joy account is so close to covering one of your big goals.

Your Smile account has money left in it at the end of the month.

You’ve built your Buffer and now you’re wondering where to direct your Safety stream.

And suddenly the ball is in your hands and you’re off, floating down the sideline, easily stepping around life’s problems and frustrations, confident in your ability to keep going, faster, towards the try line – with a big smile on your face.

The wind’s in your hair, you’ve tucked the ball under your arm and you’re off

I also bring it up because I don’t want to leave you with the impression that this is an easy project, an endless stream of simple victories.

You will have frustrations.

You will run out of money unexpectedly.

You will have to say no to things you really want to do.

You will have to make compromises in your life.

You will spend more money on things than you can afford – often things you don’t need and very quickly don’t even like.

Your Choice

And each time you hit one of these obstructions, you’ll be faced with a stark choice:

Keep going, or give up?

The easy option is to say “ah, stuff it” and pack it in.

“Near enough is good enough”, as they say. “That’ll do”.

Break out of the habit of making deliberate financial decisions, of categorising expenses, or keeping an eye on your numbers.

Because it’s not easy, and often it ain’t fun either.

Just lay there on the ground as the ball is carried forward to the next contest.

Hey, you tried, right?

“Ah, nuts.”

The harder option, the one you’ll have to choose consistently as you work through these challenges, in the face of frustration, irritation, the odd bit of envy even, is to get up again.

To say instead “ah, nuts… Oh well, what’s next?”

“I can do better”, as too few say. “I know where I went wrong there.”

“Give me that bloody ball,” in other words.

To get up, brush that dirt off your legs, blink away the pain, lift your head and run – not walk, but run – into the next challenge, the next tackle, the next frustration.

Why Bother?

But why? Why make the hard choice? Nobody else is, it seems.

That’s why. Well, it’s one reason why.

Managing your money under the barrage of noise, nonsense and Instagram is an exceedingly odd thing to do.

It’s old-fashioned, boring, difficult – all those things that we’ve talked about already.

But you know what else it is?







Because having control over your money translates to confidence in your life.

And in my next post I’ll show you a few of the challenges you can expect to run into – and what you can do to overcome them.

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