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Four Ways To Put Out A Financial Fire

When I was a firefighter , I experienced both real fires and financial fires. As a firefighter I learned how to use different aspects of a real fire to put it out. Through my experience , I found a way to apply the four parts of a real fire to put out your financial fire.

Parts of a Fire

For a fire to ignite, there are four primary parts that must be present. All fires need heat, fuel, oxygen, and a chain reaction for the fire to start and continue burning. If you remove any of these requirements - the fire will go out. Your finances are very similar. If you're experiencing a financial fire there are four areas you need to focus on to put it out - income, spending, budget, and paying attention.

Heat

The typical way to remove heat from a fire is to cool it with water. The size of the fire determines the amount of water needed to provide sufficient cooling. The amount of water is controlled by the size of the fire hose and the nozzle. I have fought fires that only needed a garden hose and I have also fought fires that required multiple large hoses. Similarly, the size of your financial fire may require you to increase your income. The increased income may come from a garage sale, a part-time job, a new job, or numerous other ways.

Fuel

The fuel of a fire is what is being consumed by the fire. The fuel for a fire is typically wood, cloth, paper, gasoline, oil, etc... The fuel for your financial fire is spending your money on furniture, clothing, books, eating out, etc ... In order to bring your financial fire under control, you will need to limit spending and in some areas - completely stop spending  in order to remove the fuel from the fire.

Oxygen

When a fire is small enough you can often cover it up and let the fire consume all of the oxygen. An example would be putting the lid on a burning candle or covering a trash can fire with the lid. However, if the fire is bigger or more intense, more drastic measures may be used like using dynamite to use up all of the available oxygen to snuff out the fire. Since oxygen is everywhere and touches everything, this is where your budget can take control of your financial fire. Creating and using a budget will allow you to put out both the small and large fires. The most effective way to prevent a financial fire is to have a budget.

Chain Reaction

Even when all three parts of a fire are present - heat, fuel, and oxygen - a chain reaction must occur between these three components for a fire to ignite. Conversely, when you are paying attention to your income, spending, and budget - you have interrupted the main part of a financial fire - not paying attention. The most important part to implement is paying attention and it is required in order to identify the size and extent of your financial fire.

Just to be clear - if you have a real fire - call a professional firefighter.

If you have a financial fire - call a financial firefighter. Not sure if you have a financial fire? Call in a financial firefighter to assist you in your assessment at (850) 320-8739 for a free, 30 minute financial fire assessment, and we'll figure out which part of the financial fire to target.

I would like to hear from you. Have you ever experienced a real fire or a financial fire?

 

Photo courtesy of Flickr user: purpleslog

Views: 23

Tags: Budget, Financial, Fire, Spending

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Comment by Trey Smith on June 29, 2012 at 7:46am

Peter - Thanks for the comment & I'm glad you and your marriage survived the financial fire. 

Farnoosh - I appreciate your kind comment. I am glad you found the article helpful and learned about fires in the process. 

Comment by Farnoosh Brock on June 29, 2012 at 5:19am

Love every fire fighter out there - I think we all do. Thank you for what you did, Trey, it shows amazing heart and fortitude. And this was educational for me. I did not know all the parts to a FIRE :)!

Comment by Peter A Ferguson on June 28, 2012 at 5:26am

Great analogy. I lived through a financial fire that would have burnt down my house and my marriage had I not snuffed out the O2 with a budget. Thanks Trey.

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