|GAINESVILLE, Ga. (BP) -- Ants aren't known for having big brains and yet sometimes they act smarter than people. The Bible actually calls ants "wise" because they store up food for the winter.
"Go to the ant, O sluggard; consider her ways, and be wise. Without having any chief, officer, or ruler, she prepares her bread in summer and gathers her food in harvest" (Proverbs 6:7-8).
So what is it that ants have figured out -- that some people just don't get?
It's called short-term planning. True, ants operate more out of instinct than intellect, but they still manage to put food aside during good times. Too often, people fail to take the same precaution.
For example, do you have cash "shortages" that force you to use credit cards? Short-term planning helps you avoid that problem and keeps you from going into debt.
Take utility bills, for example. Check with your gas or electric company to see if you're allowed to pay an average, constant amount each month. That way, huge bills won't overwhelm you in peak usage months.
You also can plan for clothing, medical and dental costs. If you set aside a monthly average for these needs, you won't get caught off guard, having to use a credit card to pay for a doctor visit or new shoes for the kids.
You can plan your vacations the same way. Set up a vacation category in your budget and make monthly contributions so that when it's time to hit the road, you can pay for your annual getaway with cash. Continued...