Mastering your personal finances requires that you begin to make effective decisions. Many people struggle with making effective and timely decisions. This maybe because we are afraid of FAILURE and taking RESPONSIBILITY for our actions. It may also be because we have built the bad habit of PROCRASTINATION.
Here are some strategies I use to make effective financial decisions:
1. Is everyone doing this? I usually try to do the direct opposite of what everyone is doing. So if all my friends have loans I try not to have one;
2. Is this in line with my overall objectives? If YES then I act immediately; For instance I don’t hesitate to invest additional capital in my businesses;
3. Will this make me happy in one year? If yes then I immediately do it. For instance it is easy for me to buy a one year Treasury Bill because it will make me happy in one year;
4. I automate most financial decisions. Trying to save and invest manually is a difficult and emotionally draining task. So I simply make the decision in advance and set up automated standing orders and instructions;
5. Forward Planning. I reduce ambiguity in my finances by planning at least 3 years in advance. I have to justify any changes to my 3 year financial plan;
6. Will my future self be proud of me? I try to imagine myself having a conversation with myself 10 years in the future. I try to imagine if my future self would thank me for making his life easier by making wise decisions today;
7. We don’t have a lot of time left to be indecisive. We can’t really know when our creator will call us. So each day could be the last and the decision needs to be made TODAY because tomorrow may not come around;
8. I rarely consult other people with my finances. I realized many people are not very good with money and often give conflicting advice. So I try to THINK independently and make my own decisions. I don’t need to explain to anyone why I am living a certain lifestyle and saving all this money;
9. Will I have to make this decision tomorrow? If YES then I would rather do it TODAY and get over with it;
10. Is someone trying to INFLUENCE me to make this decision. If YES then I delay the decision until I am personally convinced. You don’t have to act on other people’s opinions and suggestions. We are all capable of rational thought.