Behavior Finance

How to Make Hard Money Decision the Right Way

The real truth about how we make money decisions

When you think about it, several times each day you are faced with making decisions involving money. We ponder saving more and spending less, paying off debts, and increasing our savings account.

 

Most people are famous for having these thoughts and goals firmly in their minds.

But when it comes to taking action on these decisions to reach goals, many people battle internal thoughts. My internal thoughts changes frequently, as a result, I may talk myself into something or out of something.

photo by vladislav-babienko

Usually, there are two voices playing in our head during decision making. Typically, one voice outshouts the other, making it the winner of our decision-making process. One voice might be pushing you to spend on something fun or frivolous, while the other tells you that your utility bill has not been paid.

 

 

I think we could make better decisions if only we understood why we make certain choices and in turn what can be done to improve those choices.

 

Maybe you have used some of these thought options to make your decisions:

 

The default option

When we avoid making a choice, we are actually choosing to do nothing. Most of us often choose what is familiar as opposed to thoughtfully considering alternatives.

 

Therefore we often procrastinate, get confused or are simply reluctant to make decisions so the default option becomes our most common choice.

 

An example of a default option is going to a different city and sticking with a popular business that you know well e.g. McDonald’s, Best Buy. When we travel, we can rely on minimum standards of service if we go to these brands we know.

 

You are what you are today

Because of the choices you made

Yesterday and the choices you make

Today will make you

What you are tomorrow

Michael Josephson

 

Too many choices

We are told by the media over and over that more choices are always better. It has become part of our culture that we demand choices. The most choices tend to increase the time it requires to make a decision.

 

However, when we are faced with too many alternatives, some experts say 7 or more, we become overwhelmed or confused. Typically this triggers the default option.

 

Avoiding Loss

We tend to make choices which avoid a potential loss rather than those which possibly create an improvement. This behavior is at work when we make choices that include both the possibility of a loss or gain. I would rather not lose $20 than to find $20.

 

Have you ever made a purchase that wasn’t quite right and then spent more money trying to recover from your mistake? That’s one-way loss aversion decision making behavior works.

Avoiding loss decision making is not always dreadful to have, often times it is beneficial to our lifestyle. A benefit of loss aversion within managing your money is its ability to help you shy away from overspending.

 

Knowing that this bias exists and how it affects our decision making is our ultimate goal.

color shades

 

Hassle Factors

If we have to walk from the back of the parking lot, search for a text or email address it is likely we just will not follow through. This explains why convenience stores, fast food restaurants, and online shopping are popular choices – parking close to the door, quick in and out, open longer hours and hassle-free shopping. We will pay more to avoid even a small inconvenience or hassle.

 

Fortunately, most of our decisions are not major, one way to tackle the decision-making problem is to become more comfortable with the idea of “good enough”.

 

“All my life,

whenever it comes

to make a

decision,

I make it and

forget about it”

Harry S. Truman

 

Here are some ways to improve your decision making thoughts.

 

 

We can overcome the default option by writing goals to adjust our behavior that will lead to a positive decision, saving for the future as opposed to immediate gratification for instance.

 

You can diminish the number of choices in front of you by taking a few minutes to filter out all of the choices which do not apply to your circumstances. As a result, have fewer to choose and simplify the decision.

 

You can overcome loss aversion by educating yourself about goods and services thus gaining comfort and a sense of control over financial decisions. Re-visiting your goal can help to diminish the hassle factor that enables you to stay focused and not return to old decision-making habits.

 

 

Three Choices

For anyone problem,

three choices are clear.

Make it worse.

Make it better.

Leave it the same.

Again and again

we are faced with

these three.

Learning to live is like

playing a game.

 Mary LV

In conclusion, have faith in your ability to make the best decisions that will elevate your financial wellness.

 

I would love to read your thoughts on your decision-making behavior. Send me an email to bobby@clarkonmoney.com 

 

 Tweets

When we avoid making a choice, you are actually choosing to do nothing.

Fewer choices simplify decision making.

We will pay more to avoid even a small inconvenience or hassle.

 

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