Kristen Hafner – Founder of Financial Moxie
Decisions, we make them every day. From what we’re having for breakfast to what credit card to use to buy that amazing new pair of heels, the consequences of our choices can make a big splash or barely cause a ripple. But no matter how small or big the decision is, you can never predict what may come of it in the near or distant future.
There’s an important advantage to keep in mind when approaching a decision: “Saying yes to one thing means saying no to another.” For example, if you have a fitness plan in place and decide to skip a day, you may have to say “no” to an activity further in the future. The underlying issue with decision-making is commitment; if you’ve committed to a diet, fitness, or financial plan, sticking to it will allow you to say “yes” to things in the future. Check out our Health, Wealth, and Finding Balance article for more on this. If, however, you decide to stray from your plan, you will likely suffer consequences that could set you back. The thing to remember is this: make your decisions wisely. Don’t rush into something that could have negative consequences in the future, no matter how tempting it may seem in the moment.
Emotional wealth is also an important thing to consider when making a decision. Financial Moxie founder Kristen Hafner gives an example: “If I have a client who chooses to move out of state to be closer to family, but on paper it’s not the best situation for her during retirement, the emotional wealth of her being near family long-term actually outweighs the numbers I see on the page nine times out of ten. As that person ages, and they have their family close by, there’s other things down the road that will help them more than just the numbers I see on the page.” Making financial decisions can influence your emotional well-being, so it’s important to evaluate your emotional wealth alongside your finances.
So, in a way, the golden rule of decision making when it comes to finances is to look at more than one factor. How will this decision affect me over time? What might the consequences be later in my life? Does this decision bring me momentary happiness? Or will it bring me happiness in the long run? Considering all these factors is an essential part of the decision-making process. Don’t be afraid to ask yourself the difficult questions, your future self will be grateful that you took time to make the most positive, beneficial choice.