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The Biking as an Effective Means of Transportation series will continue; now, I'd like to talk about margins.

In lots of parts of life, from our schedules to our finances to our health, we have limits. We've all pushed our limits in one way or another, and that's a good thing. (Among other reasons, it's useful to have an idea of where they are.)

The thing about living at the limit is that there's no margin there for error, for mishap, for emergency. And, eventually, one of those is going to come up.

A break-even budget, meticulously followed, will still break as soon as an unanticipated expense comes up. Break-even isn't good enough. You want to be saving.

If you fill every waking hour with commitments to family, work, and other projects, then there's no room to deal with a surprise demand on your time. Cut your schedule some slack, and cut yourself some slack. A little relaxation will do you good.

Burning the candle at both ends puts a strain on your body. It will take its toll.

I know all this is easy to say, and that sometimes you don't have a choice. Which is exactly why I'm talking about it... when you do have a choice, choose to leave a margin. Because that's what'll leave you prepared for the situation where you don't.

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