Posted by Tim Stobbs on August 17, 2009
Perfect. It sounds like an innocent word, but in reality it can be evil incarnate for some people. The pursuit of perfection had driven a few people outright mad and others it just keeps busy while getting nothing really important done.
In personal finance perfect has it’s own particular issues. Some people try for the perfect budget that leave just enough money for living and your enjoyment while still having a great savings rate. Others try for the perfect investment plan which hedges six different types of risks and requires daily analysis to ensure it is still working.
The simple reality of it all is: perfect doesn’t exist. It’s an illusion or mirage or perhaps a sadistic goal. Yet in the end it is impossible to achieve since it doesn’t exist except in some part of your mind. It is also a waste of time to go after since it will turn to sand when you get near it.
People get stuck in habits investigating meaningless savings methods or researching topics on an obscure tax clause that will save them a dollar of tax. Instead of facing the truth that ever artist in existence knows: you never finish anything, you just release them into the world. At some point you have to stop investigating certain things and say to yourself “It’s good enough for now” and then move onto something else.
I think I’ve been stuck trying to get to perfect and didn’t realize it. There might be more saving to be had in my life, but other than going for a couple of major ones I’m not going to bother hunting down those last few dimes anymore. I’m now too busy with other interests to waste anymore time on those dimes. I’m letting go of trying to hit perfect and accepting it’s good enough for now. If I find something new I can look at it, but I won’t spend too much time on it. It’s time to move forward instead of endless circles.
My name is Tim and I’m a recovering personal finance perfectionist.