It’s natural to want to help people you care about—especially when they’re going through a hard time. Your friends and family are no different. When they see you going through a transition, they will naturally try to help. But it can be challenging enough to navigate these types of situations without all the different voices in your head. Here are a few ideas to help you make the best decisions for you.
- Keep perspective
Your friends mean well and want to be helpful. However, what worked for them in a given situation may not be what will work best for you. Remember that you can listen to the advice, but you do not need to take it. Above all, trust your instincts.
- Make a list
Sometimes it’s helpful to put the options down in black and white. Make a list of:
- Your income (salary, Social Security, alimony, interest and other income you receive on a regular basis)
- What you own (assets like your home, art, jewelry, cars)
- What you owe (liabilities like your mortgage, debt payments, utilities and more)
- The potential options you have
- The pros and cons of each course of action
Often simply seeing things in black and white will help make it clarify the right course of action for you.
- Use the 10, 10, 10 rule
Another idea is to make consider each option from the perspective of the future using the 10, 10, 10 rule—which simply has you consider how you might feel about each option 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?
- Consult a professional
Sometimes the best idea is to get the advice of an objective professional that you trust. While friends and family are helpful, their advice may be driven by emotions. Your trusted advisors can help you see things more objectively and may have some potential solutions you may not even be aware of.
Gasber Financial is here to help you to make informed, thoughtful decisions through even the most stressful of life’s transitions.