Smart money decisions require careful consideration. But there's such a thing as decision fatigue, too, even when it comes to personal finance. Overthinking a small money decision could end up costing more than it's worth.
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It's easy to over-analyse money. You want to put your money to use in the best possible way. But your time and effort are valuable, too. Your brain only has so much willpower, and using it to mull over spending decisions can waste a lot of energy and time.
I learned this the hard way. Years ago, when I first started video editing for work, I was too cheap to buy a new computer, so I did everything on a small laptop that constantly crashed. I spent months frustrated with the thing, constantly wondering if I should just buy a new one. I'd crunch the numbers, I'd look at deals, I'd hesitate, and then my computer would crash and I'd go through the whole stupid process again. In the end, I finally upgraded, and my work was immensely easier and faster. But I wasted a lot time and effort over-thinking the choice.
Yes, you should put some thought into your financial decisions. But your time is valuable, too. Debating your choices too much can end up costing you more than money.
Writer Carl Richards talks about this concept. He reminds us to consider this cost — energy and time — when deciding on a purchase. In doing this, it helps to remember that you're not always going to make the perfect decision. He puts it this way:
We need to accept that we can't always make the best decisions, but we can make good ones. Generally, good decisions will make the most of our resources and free us to move on to other important things.
We're not telling you to impulse buy. But next time you find yourself over-thinking a small decision, consider all of your resources, not just the money.
The full post is worth a read. Check it out at the link below.
Getting Over Cold Feet: The Case for Impulse Buying [The New York Times]