Making decisions about money can be a tricky thing, and if you’re not always the most decisive person in the room, then financial decisions could send you spiralling into a panic. Trying to sort out what you want to do with your money, or making decisions which will affect your financial future can have a big impact on your life, so it’s no wonder that many of us shy away from making these big decisions.
You may find yourself at a cross roads at any point, needing to decide on the best course of action. While you may consult with friends and family, the final outcome is only really going to affect you and your finances. Financial turning points could include coming into a large amount of money (through a win or an inheritance), getting a pay-cut (through deciding to stay at home with children, losing a job or changing careers) or even simply having to decide whether to take out credit or not. Anything which is going to potentially change the way you do things money-wise should be considered carefully. Not being afraid to make the right decisions is very important.
Do Your Research – Knowledge is Power
When faced with a situation like the ones listed above, the thing that can help the most yet many people fail to do is research. Many will avoid looking into their options in great detail, not because they’re lazy or because they don’t care, but because they’re afraid of not understanding or over-complicating things.
There are many sites which break down financial terms and jargon so that it’s easy to understand. You may find options there that you hadn’t yet thought of. Well-established forums, like those on MoneySavingExpert.com can be a brilliant source of information when it comes to understanding the experiences of others in a similar situation. The more you know, the more it’s likely you’ll make the best decision for your circumstances and get the most out of whatever you decide.
It’s Not the Be-All-And-End-All
Making a big choice on your own can feel very daunting and can appear to be much more serious than it really is. Feeling that whatever decision you make will be ‘it’ and will mean that you have to live with the consequences – whatever they may be – is a common fear. Try to remember that very few decisions are ever final, and often you can go back on them if you want to.
For instance, there is a ‘cooling off’ period attached to credit contracts, so if you borrow money then decide you no longer want it, you can cancel and send the money back without penalty. Trusting your basic instincts and understanding that nothing is permanent can help to calm any worries, freeing you up to make a better decision.
Don’t be Afraid to Fail
Failure is something a lot of us are scared of, which isn’t always a bad thing, but it can mean that we sidestep certain situations. When things go wrong it can feel horrendous and if you’ve lost money or suffered worse consequences, then it’s no wonder that you don’t want to be put in that situation again.
Remember that failure (or what you deem to be a failure – remember that not everyone will have the same opinion and no one is a harsher critic than yourself) can be useful. It’s a learning tool. Don’t be afraid to make decisions in case you might fail, as it gives you an opportunity to learn and move on. Some failures may even open doors to a better situation than if you’d made the ‘right’ decision in the first place.
Not Making a Decision Can Be Worse Than a Bad One
Burying your head in the sand and pretending there’s no decision to be made can often be more damaging than making the wrong decision (see above). For instance, if you have come into some money and you let it sit in your bank account for months on end, then you could potentially be missing out on brilliant interest rates or low prices on something you’ve wanted or needed to buy for a long time. Ignoring the situation – whatever it is – and hoping that it goes away won’t help matters at all. Speak to friends and family, to an expert or simply to others who have had to make the same decision and find courage there to do what needs to be done.