How Do You Take the Stress Out of Financial Decisions?

Here’s how to create focus and use the 10-10-10 rule.

 Have you ever spent hours, days, or even weeks thinking about a decision, researching the options and maybe weighing the potential outcomes? Have you spent so much time doing research and then end up not making a decision? Whether due to perfectionism (which is really anxiety under cover), fear of missing out (FOMO is real) or any number of other concerns, you are definitely not alone.

 Consider that it is easy to get overwhelmed when making decisions about money, jobs, relationships—or really anything that you deem a “big” decision. And it can be just as easy to get overwhelmed even when making a small decision. In fact, the general tendency for many of us is to overthink any decision—especially when it’s a decision that involves your finances or investments or one that costs money.



Here are a few tips that might help:

1.    Think about what your time is worth. How much time (money) is this decision really worth? Saving $50 on a flight, for example, isn’t worth 10 hours of research because your time is worth more than $5 per hour.

2.    Consider that there truly is no perfect decision—how much better will one flight truly be than another? Probably not much.

3.    Focus on your goals—is the flight truly your goal, or is it the trip?

4.    Just make the decision—the truth is that simply having made the decision will often allay more stress than continuing to search for the “perfect flight.”

5.    Remember that almost any decision can be undone.

The 10, 10, 10 rule

Another idea is to make decisions from the perspective of the future using the 10, 10, 10 rule—which simply has you consider how you might feel about a decision in 10 weeks, 10 months and 10 years. Consider that in 10 days you may still be wondering if you made the right decision, or may still be pinched by the financial repercussions, but what about further down the line? Looking at each time frame, ask yourself:

·         What difference will this decision have made in your life?

·         Will the money matter anymore (if that’s part of the issue)?

·         Would you even remember this decision?

·         If you don’t do it, would you wish you had?

·         If you do it, will you be wondering why you were ever stressed about it?

 Using these tips can help put any decision into context and may be the key to helping you live without regret.