Robbing Peter to pay Paul is a time-honoured money management strategy. The fact that it does not work has not stopped most of us from trying it, in some cases, over and over.
But there is a way to make this system work: Tell A Helpless Friend.
I know, I know, who wants to reveal something this complex and dodgy to another human being, especially a friend? But note the adjective helpless. The friend you chose has to be someone who also has money issues. They will understand you. They will sympathize with your desperation, and your embarrassment. Even your shame.
But, here’s the amazing part. Just the act of telling a helpless friend about what you are planning to do will bring you some sanity, some clarity of mind, maybe even a better idea.
If nothing else, once you tell, you will not feel as much shame about it. Shame lives in secrecy, silence and judgement. Your helpless friend won’t judge you, boy-o. S/he’ll empathize, having been there. Interestingly, you will not feel as badly, either. If you have to do this thing, you will do it with a more peaceful heart. Very important in avoiding shame.
Now, say, for argument’s sake, all your friends and family are mavens of perfect money management. Of course that is impossible, but let’s just entertain this fantasy. So, you don’t have a single soul to whine to. What to do?
Whine to God. Write it all out. [You know you can call God whatever name you want as long as it is a benevolent concept, like Love or Nature, or even Reality] Then ask for Help. Leave things, un-raided for just 3 days. It’s a long time when you’re in a panic, yes, but try it. I guarantee you will have a better solution by Day 4. And will feel calm.
Now, add to this a long-term solution. Identify which category was short and decide if this is a recurring problem. If so, determine to put more money into it from now on. Shave off a little from several other needs and wants, and deposit the money into an envelope, or a separate savings account, or a hidden wallet or purse. Ask God to help you do this since you probably won’t want to.
This is a great way to stop future financial frenzy , and prepare for the same emergency not happening again in a few months.