By Alicia Kellebrew,
NFCC Certified Financial Professional, The Village FRC
In case you hadn’t realized it just yet, hockey season is once again upon us. Those who know me know that hockey is one of my very favorite things. And hockey, like every other sport, has its own unique lingo and terminology. So is there anything we can glean the terminology of the rink to apply to our financial lives? I think so.
- Power Play – When a team has one more man on the ice than their opponent due to a penalty. The idea is to give one team the advantage over the other one. Let others in on your goals so they can be your “extra man” on the ice. Having an extra person to offer encouragement and/or hold you accountable can go a long way. This may come in the form of a significant other, your family or friends, or even a professional.
- Interference – A penalty called when a player interferes with or impedes the progress of an opponent who doesn’t have the puck. In real life this could be any kind of “noise” that is affecting your ability to be successful with your personal finances such as behavioral issues (compulsive spending), thoughts or attitudes about money or your ability to handle it well, or people who encourage/enable the negative or discourage/block the positive.
- Deke – To draw your opponent out of position while maintaining possession and control of the puck. A fun fact is that it is an abbreviation of the word “decoy.” You can “outmaneuver” your bad money habits by recognizing them and staying in control in whatever way necessary to stay on track.
- Offsides – When a player on the attacking team enters the offensive zone before the puck. Similarly major expenses like to hit us when we aren’t prepared. The way to combat this is to be proactive and set aside even small amounts each month consistently so that “dark horses” like car maintenance won’t happen before we have a chance to set up our own plays.
- Plus/minus – A statistic used to measure a player’s impact on the game represented by the difference between one team’s total scoring versus their opponent’s. Players are awarded a plus when they are on the ice for a goal scored for their team and a minus when they are on the ice when their opponent scores. Personal financial management is much like a plus/minus rating because at times you will get to take credit for when things go right and sometimes you will have to own up to mistakes that are made along the way.
- Overtime – Additional time that players must play if the game is tied at the end of regulation. Anyone who has ever played sports (and even those who haven’t) can appreciate how tired players must be at the end of the game, and overtime means pushing themselves even further. Sometimes in life, as we work towards our goals, it takes much longer than expected. This requires us to dig in and put in whatever additional time or effort needed to be successful.
- Shorthanded – When one team has a one-man disadvantage because they have a player in the penalty box. The idea is that the team taking the penalty has to work harder to make up for the fact that they did something improper. Sometimes in life we find ourselves a little shorthanded whether it’s by way of reduced income or unexpected expenses. The key is to continue to stay on our game until the situation passes and not let it discourage us to the point that we give up. Just like a penalty eventually ends and the team returns to full strength, the events that set us back will pass. We just have to hang in there.
- Five-hole – The nickname for the space between a goalie’s leg pads. This particular space is vulnerable because the usual goalie stance leaves this area pretty open, and an opponent can shoot the puck through and into the net. In order to close this space off, the goalie often goes into the butterfly position (down to his knees) which then shifts the vulnerable area to above his shoulders. Finances are often like this in that as we cover our bases in one area, it could leave us lacking or vulnerable in another area. So we have to take careful inventory of the effects a single action may have on the big picture and proceed with caution.