One of the good things about tracking my money so closely is the opportunity to learn about my habits.
One thing I’ve discovered is that I make very bad decisions when I don’t have time to think about them.
Time is non-negotiable when it comes to financial decision-making for me.
When I have the time to think through an expense before making it, I am able to:
- put it into the wider context of my long term goals;
- check my budget first;
- allow myself to decide whether the trade off I’m considering making is a good one.
Without time, I make terrible financial decisions, I spend without thinking, and there is almost always a more cost effective to have achieved what I wanted without spending what I spent.
To prevent myself consistently getting into the red every month, I need time to do the following about each significant expense
- think about the expense
- put it into context with my longer term goal
- find the money first i.e. plan and be consciously aware of where I am taking the money from and what I’m giving up to accept this expense.
Here are some examples of bad decisions I have made which I must learn from: