How to make major financial decisions in life?
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Money is an integral part of our lives and all of us are required to make decisions regarding it on a daily basis. Every day, we are faced with the choice of either spending our money for immediate gratification or saving it for eventual gain in the future.
Our ancestors in the past would have favored the here and now instead of the unforeseeable future, and that made sense for them at the time. However, evolution has changed a lot about human life over the years, the same kind of mindset towards finances is most likely to end up in disaster for us now.
Tackling a major financial decision is not an easy take as there are many variables and uncertainties. Even so, the right kind of approach can help you make much better financial decisions in life.
7 Valuable tips for making major financial decisions
Some financial decisions can be quite easy while others can be very challenging – deciding what to buy for lunch is much simpler than deciding which retirement account to invest your life savings in. The complex and abstract nature of personal finances renders it difficult to make decisions unless you are sure that you have all the information required to serve your best interests. However, having more information doesn’t always mean that you make a better decision.
Ultimately, making sound financial decisions might indeed be difficult, but a few good practices can help steer you towards better outcomes regarding your finances.
Here are some tips on how to make major financial decisions in your life.
1. Trust your gut instinct
While this may seem like an elementary tip for some, it is very important that you listen to your gut when making important financial decisions in life. Human instincts are something all of us are born with and they are very powerful indeed. If any financial decision doesn’t feel right, it’s not worth taking. Don’t make any decisions that have you overthinking things and second-guessing yourself. Ultimately, your gut is the first line of defense against possible financial blunders.
2. Conduct diligent research
While first impressions can help you steer clear of potential financial disasters, there is always a need to do some research before deciding what to do with your money. This especially holds true for big decisions that involve a lot of money, like buying a house, for instance. Your real estate agent might have convinced you that a certain house is the absolute best and the asking price can’t be beaten. However, you need to understand that this is exactly what the agent’s supposed to do – it’s their job. They might be giving you a hard sell, so you need to conduct further research before finalizing your decision.
3. Make a pros and cons list
Once you’ve done the required research and narrowed down your options to the best ones, it’s a good practice to examine the pros and cons of each option. This can help you in weighing the options against each other by determining which one gives you the most benefits. Making a pros and cons list is not just limited to the purchase of physical items such as a house or a car. Rather, it can apply to all kinds of financial decisions like how and where you should invest money or which is the best retirement account for your needs.
4. Be open to advice from loved ones
The implications of your financial decisions are not always limited to just you. These decisions may have a significant bearing on your family too. Considering this fact, it is a good idea to communicate with people you trust and consult with them before making major decisions regarding your money. If you are single, talk to your parents and friends to gain a different perspective on things. Once you’re married, involve your spouse in the decision-making process too. Listen to their advice – it might just be the defining factor between financial success and failure.
5. Give it time
Rarely will you ever face a situation when you need to make a major financial decision at the spur of the moment. Major financial decisions can, and probably should, take considerable time for research purposes. Accordingly, you should set aside a proportionate amount of time depending on the size and magnitude of the decision. For instance, if you want to buy a new cellphone that costs around $1000, maybe a few days of research is sufficient before arriving on a decision. However, if you’re thinking of buying a new car for $35,000, you need to invest more time towards necessary research before committing such a huge amount of money.
6. Make use of past knowledge and experience
If you are ever in doubt about a decision, go with what you know best. For instance, if you are faced with a choice of investing money in either a mutual fund or an investment bond, take a cue from past experiences before deciding which one to go for. Even if you don’t have any hands-on experience and have never invested in either of these options, surely you know of someone in your life who has. How did it work out for them? What do you know about either of the options? Which one do you know more about? These are some questions that you need to be asking yourself.
7. Take failures in your stride
As far as financial decisions are concerned, you can’t always be right. You can spend a lifetime researching, gaining experience and considering various possibilities only to end up making a wrong or unsuccessful decision. Take such failures in your stride and know that you’re not alone. Everyone makes some bad decisions in the course of their lives. You should learn from your mistakes when you can, but sometimes you also need to just roll with what you have decided.
To sum it up
In the end, it needs to be reiterated that financial decisions are tough and you are liable to make some bad ones in your life. However, by following the aforementioned tips, you will be able to keep such mistakes to a bare minimum.
If you want professional help making major financial decisions, consult some top financial advisors today.