By Porsche Miles-Grant
If you can believe it, you can achieve it, but achieving financial success is reliant on the financial decisions you make. There is no magical solution to increasing your finances besides making the right decisions. Your finances, financial goals, and financial performance can play an integral role in the strategic planning and decision-making process. What you value, your upbringing, and the way you view life can alter the way you make financial choices. Therefore, it is best to consider all factors before making a major financial decision. You need to ask yourself, “Who will your decision affect?”, and “What is the outcome of your decision?” As you may know, what you do today has the potential to affect tomorrow. Subsequently, you must learn from your mistakes and become very strategic when making financial decisions.
How many times have you had the opportunity to pay off a bill in its entirety, but chose otherwise? How many times have you been presented with extra funds that you could have put up towards your savings account but opted to spend it on something that you really wanted? How often have you decided to take a risk and play the lottery in the hopes of receiving a financial increase but ended up losing more than you could bear? And how many times will you continue to make poor financial decisions and reap the consequences? Enough is enough, and fortunately for you, I will give you some tips on how to make sound financial decisions.
So what are financial decisions? They are major decisions that impact an individual’s or family’s well-being. Making wise financial decisions contributes to your success. When making a conscious effort to practice responsible financial decisions, they become habits, and can be made without thinking. Saving for a family vacation, spending money wisely, setting up automatic payments, making payment arrangements on bills that are overdue, or saving for retirement are examples of good financial decisions. Learning the decision making process guides you to think about all components of making a sound financial decision. When making your next financial decision, consider the following steps:
• Identify the problem: It is paramount that we know the problem or question before searching for an answer. Most importantly, it is critical that we are honest with ourselves and ready to deal with the issues head on.
• List the alternatives: brainstorm pros and cons for all the possible choices. This step helps with identifying which decision is best.
• Decided: make the best choice after thinking about all of the consequences
• Evaluate the results: doing so will help in making better decisions in the future. Understand what worked and what went wrong, and learn from your experience. Ask yourself, “Did I make the right choice?
Decisions are often guided by individual’s values, or fundamental beliefs or practices about what is desirable, worthwhile, and important. As a result of all people having different values that influence the decisions they make, in many situations there is not a definite right or wrong solution to the problem. The key is that you make the decision that will permit good money management skills and financial responsibility. After identifying various alternatives and brainstorming the pros and cons for all possible choices, wiser decisions influenced by values can result in better use of time, money, and other resources.
Porsche Miles-Grant is the Community Engagement Coordinator at
CASE Credit Union. Contact her at 517.367.1001 or send an email to Pmilesgrant@casecu.org. Log on to www.casecu.org for more information.
This column was printed in the May 29, 2016 - June 11, 2016 edition.