Fail to prepare, prepare to fail

Jemima Thomas
June 2023  •  3 min read

Fail to prepare, prepare to fail

There are so many things about moving house that I loathe; but one of the biggest is ‘the admin’ … changing personal banking details, setting up new accounts, changing names on bills, being on hold to a new broadband service, contacting the DVLA and ordering a new driving licence etc.

For the past four years I’ve been living in London and have become accustomed to moving roughly once a year due to landlords hiking rents or wanting to sell their property; or simply moving elsewhere due to problems that have occurred in the property – in the past I have shared various rental homes with bats, rats, and mice … so I think it’s understandable that I have needed to move so often (despite my loathing of the process)!

Last weekend I moved into a basement flat with my partner, and although having years of experience as a renter (with really good checklists in place that have been created due to problems in the past causing huge stress!), it still ended up being less than idyllic when I thought it would be a breeze, having done this so many times before.

I am fully aware that the majority of you will not have to experience such problems; many of you have lived in the same property for many years; but ensuring that your details are kept up to date is still absolutely vital (for you and us).

We want to remind you about the 10-minute challenge series on our website, something we created during lockdown when it became apparent that many of our clients don’t know where certain important documents are stored.  We simply want to help you ensure that whatever you are trying to do or find is made that much easier and less stressful, because you have good record-keeping systems in place.  We don’t want ‘future you’ to endure the struggle of some relatively basic tasks; being organised about this is key.

I would encourage you to set some time aside to prepare well for whatever life scenarios you can think of that might require decent and advanced planning … fail to prepare, prepare to fail.

Fail to prepare, prepare to fail2023-12-01T12:12:31+00:00

Who said ”watching paint dry is as dull as financial planning”?

Debbie Harris
May 2023  •  5 min read

Who said ”financial planning is as dull as watching paint dry”?

I’m sure lots of people have actually said/thought that … and in many ways, financial planning done well is indeed a lot like the painting process.

I spent most of last weekend with a paint brush in one hand and a roller in the other and I had a lot of time to bemoan my utter loathing of anything ‘DIY’ whilst I cracked on and did what was necessary.

It occurred to me after I stepped back and examined the end result of my frustrating (and frankly downright painful at my age) labours, that financial planning is A LOT like painting a room …

You first have to admit the need to make a change; then you have to make some decisions about what you want to do and when you want to do it; then it’s time for organising your equipment (I have discovered that a telescopic pole to extend one’s roller is a MUST); and then it’s the big one … pick a day and just ‘start’ – the preparation is the slog … I was taught well by my father though – sugar soap the walls, fill any blemishes, do the cutting in – and most importantly (like a mantra!) “let the roller do the work”.

There are obstacles in the way, literally and metaphorically – the family dog kept wanting to ‘help’ and I slightly under-estimated my paint quantity requirements (spotting this before it became a problem; meant I only had to make a small adjustment to my plan and simply ended up using a slightly different shade on one wall).

The bulk of the time you are painting ceilings and walls, it is dull, unglamorous, tedious, painstaking and seems to go on forever.  But … that moment when you know you are loading the roller for the last time … pure joy!  Until you look back at what you’ve done and it looks patchy because it’s wet – which is totally normal but gut wrenchingly soul-destroying.

So you shuffle off to spend what feels like another lifetime cleaning paint out of the brushes, rollers, trays etc; you remove stray paint from your hair, your glasses and your elbow and you get cleaned up.

You avoid looking at the room for a good hour or two (read what it says on the paint tin) – and then you tentatively go back in and check … and lo and behold – it’s glorious.  It’s a thing of beauty – you send pictures of it to your friends and tell them how wonderful it looks (they say the right things in response of course – but how excited can you get about a ceiling and four walls?!).

And you pat yourself on the back (rightly so – but gently because that aches too) – the preparation, the planning, the hard graft, the mental effort, the tedium, the waiting – all absolutely worth it.

Who said ”watching paint dry is as dull as financial planning”?2023-12-01T12:12:32+00:00
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