People always seem to amaze me once in a while. In my other job, as a school board trustee, we had a difficult decision last night regarding a school closure and I was surprised that the board actually voted unanimously in favour of a hard choice. It wasn’t an easy choice, but it was the right one. This got me thinking about people and their spending habits. Do people overspend just because it’s the easy choice and they are avoiding a hard choice?
If you really think about it, if you are making good money and you have access to credit, it isn’t a big deal if you overspend in one month. Then perhaps you have a few odd events in another month and you get some more debt. So slowly over time you get used to spending more than you make and then before you know it your up to $30,000 in debt and wondering where the hell it came from. Getting into debt is an easy choice. Staying out of it or even paying it off is a hard choice.
I won’t lie and say that saving up for what you want before you buy it is easy. The reality is it is hard to wait when you are so used to getting things NOW regardless of price thanks to credit. Saving is the harder road but the payoffs can be bigger as well. That is the point of hard choices, they are not easy ones, but doing what is right in the long run can produce amazing results. In my case it is reducing my mortgage at a huge rate and allowing me to dream doing what ever I want all day long in just over a decade.
So how do you make a right choice even when it is hard? To me there is no set formula on decisions. Some times I look at the math involved and use that to decide. Other times the decision is mainly emotional and I have to feel my way to a solution. Regardless of how you come to a choice you need to decide how much do you want your dream. If it is important enough you will find a way to make it happen even with all the hard choices to get there.
So what hard choices have you faced lately and you did the right thing? In my case, I’m proud I decided to pay off the mortgage in the next few years. It would have been easier to just spend more, but my wife and I choose a bigger hill to climb and we are looking forward to the view from the top.