You constantly make financial decisions. That’s just a fact. Some of them are seemingly simple and unimportant like where you’re having lunch today when you are out and about. Or whether you should buy that new pair of shoes you saw online today or just wait until the next big sale.
But then there are the other decisions you make: the really significant ones like taking on a new job or buying an expensive car. Those decisions can have a major impact on your financial future.
And here’s the problem with all of that: You can’t always tell how your decisions will work out and affect you in the long run. You just don’t know if any decision you make will mean more success for you or looming failure because of it. So then the question is: “Are your best financial decisions still ahead of you?”
Looking Backwards May Help You Know Your Future
As you grow up, financially speaking, it’s only later on in your life that you can actually tell when looking back at your past which choices and decisions you have made were the good ones. Unfortunately, by the time you get to that point in life, it’s usually too late to change what has happened. If you’re stuck with a financial mistake that you’ve made, then try to at least learn a lesson from it. That also means learn it and never make that mistake again!
But if you ask yourself the tough questions about decisions you have made in your life, you may not like some of the answers you will find.
It’s practically a given that when you are younger and making big decisions on your own, there’s a more likely chance you will make a mistake. You tend to be waaaaay more optimistic with money decisions when you are young, thinking that your finances are bound to improve as you move along in your life and career. That has been the case for many people. It’s also the “great dream” for just about everyone. So even when you discover that a mistake was made, you might just brush it off as a one-off.
What Are Some of the “Bad” Financial Decisions We Make?
Not every bad decision you make means you can’t ever improve on it or recover from it. What seems like a disaster at age 18 or 21 may just be a financial bump in the road you look back on at age 25 or 30.
However, there is one way to learn how any of your choices and decisions could turn out: You look at what happened to other people who made those same choices and see what happened.
The worst financial decisions people have made are things like not saving enough money, racking up huge debt, simply wasting money in their twenties, and not investing enough for wealth building. Use this information to know what to avoid when you’re making the same kinds of decisions in your life.
When you look at your younger self, you can identify and answer the basic questions about your decisions and the “why did I do it?” answers that go with it. If you are still in that younger age group, then look at others and evaluate what you see before you make your choices.
What Are the “Best” Financial Decisions You Can and Should Make?
Whenever people are asked the magic question about good decisions they have made, some of the answers given run along the same thread. When you look at it, don’t eliminate their choices without some careful evaluations.
It’s important to consider how it can affect you in the long run and can help aid in your making better financial decisions. There are decisions you will want to think about to get to financial security. One of these is the decision to pursue a higher education.
Get an Education
No matter what kind of education you get, it can help build your financial future. You can get it in a classroom, on the job itself, or just learn from “street smarts”, whichever way works best for you.
Is college a possibility for you? Is a trade school a better choice? How about an internship? The point here is that learning is important and makes a difference when it comes to building a good financial future.
It doesn’t have to be at age 18, but the sooner you begin a regimen of educating yourself, the better off you will be.
Of all the financial choices, the one most people were happy about was the decision to get a college degree according to a 2016 Claris Finance study. More than 40% of those people who went said they were. But that’s not 100% so college is not for everyone.
Costs and Alternatives
The problem is that college is just so damn expensive (unless it’s a community college) that the years spent getting a degree costs many thousands of dollars. Tuition and fees for four years of college can run into the hundreds of thousands of dollars! And that doesn’t even include the cost of room, board, and books.
The result of getting that education will probably mean starting off post-graduate life in major debt. Hopefully, the investment in your education will pay dividends in the income made in your career.
Student loan debt is a major problem and it can take years before you get out from under it. Those years, despite improving your chances of earning more, may be the most difficult financial years of your life. But there are other educational opportunities.
Some fields, trades such as plumbing or automotive repair, don’t require a college degree, yet can provide a high income. If you’re interested in this type of career, determine if there’s an alternate path of education such as a trade school before you apply to college.
How to Better Your Financial Decision Making
In the end, every person is different and any financial decision that you make could be a winner or a loser, you just don’t know. Things like going to college, buying a big house, and traveling all over the world are all great choices for some people, but only you can decide whether those financial decisions are the right ones for you.
It makes sense whenever you make any big financial decisions to do so carefully and cautiously. If you weigh the decision out and look all of the possibilities from it before you commit yourself, you will more than likely have a leg up on a good decision.
You can learn from others’ experiences, but your gut feelings count as well. Do you feel your best days financially speaking are still ahead of you? What are you doing to make that happen?
Have you learned from past mistakes and are you on course for the financial future you want now? What’s the best financial decision you’ve ever made?