Financial decisions are those money decisions we make, they are basically what we decide to spend our money on. I have wanted to write this post for soooooo long because since the year began, I have been thinking and planning out my financial goals. Save x amount, invest y amount of money but what bothered me most while planning is the fact that I also want to do lots of things this year, like try out new restaurants and visit new places etc. which of course will require me spending money. So therefore how do I get everything I want and also save and invest? Well, it all starts from making better daily financial decisions.
Making better financial decisions mean ensuring that you are making the most of your money. I know it is easier said than done but there are some everyday tips or tricks that you can employ to ensure that you are making better daily decisions financially, and I am sharing 5 below:
1. Prioritize: one of the first things you are taught in college economics is the trick of scale of preference, it is a very simple concept but very effective when making financial decisions. The concept of the scale of preference defines your wants from your needs and how does this help you make better financial decisions you may ask?
Let’s say I want to buy some clothes, shoes, makeup, foundation, concealer etc, change my medicated glasses and also have to pay my house rent, light and water bill which is due next month and I have N100,000 ($274). Now this money is obviously not enough to satisfy everything I want, this is where the scale of preference comes to help with prioritizing your needs from your wants. You will agree with me that paying for my housing, light and water is very important but getting new medicated glasses is also very important. However, getting some makeup, clothes and shoes pales in comparison. Therefore, when I writing my bills to pay, the scale of presence concept demands I write them in order of importance and necessity. I will write my house rent, light and water bills first because they are the most important and most pressing, because I probably can still manage my glasses for some time before changing it, my medicated glasses comes next on the list. After paying for my house rent, light and water bills, any money I have left will go into purchasing the glasses and if it’s not enough to purchase the glasses, the glasses automatically becomes my most pressing need IE topping the scale of preference list as the house rent has been paid off.
When making a financial decision the question Is this a need or a want? should always come into play. Your needs are your priorities and your wants are less of priorities. I mean why buy a load of makeup, shoes and dresses now and be kicked out next month?
2. Discuss with yourself and others: this involves those conversations you have in your head when you see something and you suddenly want to purchase.
Ask yourself how does this benefit me? Do I need this? Do I really need an extra pair of black shoes? Do I really need an extra television in my apartment? Do I need four different shades of highlighter? Also creating a list of possible outcomes of your money decision and asking professionals (accountants, financial analyst) for advice is also another way to make sure you are clear on what you are spending your money on.
3. Never buy on instinct or impulse : yes we may trust our instincts when choosing relationships and so many other things but buying on instinct is the easiest way to get bankrupt. Why? Because you obviously want the best things for yourself which includes that new model of smart watch that is being advertised on TV. You already have a watch. You obviously don’t need it, so why does your heart keep telling you you deserve it? Well because the heart wants what it wants and this may lead to the worse financial decisions of your life.
Now think about your last impulsive buy, was it worth it? I know mine wasn’t, not because I didn’t want what I bought but simply because I didn’t wait and think about how that decision will affect me in the long run and trust me it did. So therefore, make sure you stay away from impulsive buys and one of the tricks to attain this is to stay away from those shopping sites you love to “window shop” at because sometimes it all starts from I just want to look not buying anything and you end up with a whole cart of things and a dent on your bank account. No and don’t do any sort of “shopping therapy” no no no.
4. Have a working budget:
I know living on a budget may sound corny and very impossible but it is very important and helps you make wiser choices and better financial decisions, especially if you have a daily, weekly and monthly limit. You won’t find yourself overspending and even when you do you will know how much you have gone overboard. When purchasing remember to compare prices and policies for the best one that suits your budget.
5. Stay away from flashy discount sales:
I once saw something somewhere that said when you purchase something of $1000 for $750 you didn’t save $250 you spent $750. The ultimate question now is your $750 worth the buy or did you just buy it because you saw the big shiny bold letters in red print that said SAVE $250! Although discounts are great I mean we should always buy things on discount whenever possible, just don’t go overboard buying what you don’t actually need all in the name of discount.
Remember that goal to visit a new city? Buy a car? Send your child to college? Remember all those your financial goals you have written down for the year? Well, they can’t be achieved if you don’t make the right daily financial decisions. These little tricks help you save extra and ensure that you are making the most of the cash at your disposal. No one gets the hang of their finances perfectly or overnight, we will all make mistakes and wrong decisions but we can also come out of those mistakes and make better financial decisions that will lead to a better life in the long run so start today.
What are you those little things you are currently doing to make better financial decisions? How have your finances been fairing since you started them? If you haven’t started making better financial decisions would you like to?
Have a wonderful week ahead. Love D. A.