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Financial Indecision Won't Kill You, But It Will Take Your Money
Financial Indecision Won't Kill You, But It Will Take Your Money
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Money Psychology

Financial Indecision Won't Kill You, But It Will Take Your Money

Njenga Hakeenah
December 14, 2021

Time is money and there are times when making simple decisions like what to eat, gift to buy, what to wear for a party etc. might take much longer than should.

The delay to make such decisions, however simple, comes at a cost. The first is time and as people say, time wasted can never be recovered. The second is financial.

It is always important to ask yourself what the cost to your finances will be if you take too long to make a decision.

While being indecisive may seem harmless on many occasions, the reality is that there is a price to pay for this habit. In this article, we look at what the cost of indecisiveness could be and how to make the most out of every situation for the better of your finances.

An indecisive person is someone who has a hard time making decisions - this does not necessarily mean that they are always indecisive in every situation - but rather, look at indecision as an event where someone is unable to make a clear and definite choice.

Indecisiveness extends beyond the moment of making the decision - where when a decision is made, one may not be very confident with it and could change their mind.

What Causes Indecisiveness?

We have all experienced indecisiveness at some point in our lives. The causes vary from person to person and from a situation to another. The feeling of "being stuck" can be best addressed by confronting the root cause of your indecision.

It is easy to tackle your indecisiveness only if you identify the root causes of your problem since this being stuck can be due to a variety of factors.

1. Are You A Perfectionist?

If you are one of those who fear making mistakes, then this may drive you to be indecisive. Being a perfectionist means that everything has to be done perfectly, always. When a perfect outcome is not assured, then there is fear that one will fail. It does not have to be like this, though.

Loosening up and giving room to learn through mistakes is one of the ways that you can deal with perfectionism that causes you to be indecisive. By waiting for a perfect moment to do something or for the perfect sign, then you may just be losing valuable time waiting. With time being a scarce resource, don’t wait until indecisiveness wreaks havoc on all aspects of your life to start doing what needs to be done whether the outcome will be perfect or not.

2. The Fear of Failure

Failure drives fear even in the bravest but victory is dependent on whether we succumb to fear or if we take whatever challenge we fear head-on.

Making mistakes is the best way to learn but for someone who hates failing, then the mere thought of it can cause indecisiveness. When you get stuck because you are scared, then this can lead to indecision. Do not be stuck in one place because of fear. Confront your fears and see the reality of your dreams unfold right before your eyes.

3. Procrastination

When it comes to indecisiveness, procrastination is almost always a culprit. By consistently keeping pushing what can be done today to tomorrow, indecision takes root. There are those who think that procrastination and laziness are joined at the hip. This is not always the case. If you are a habitual procrastinator, do not feel bad about yourself since the primary cause is anxiety.

Procrastination is largely driven by fear of the unknown which leads to indecisiveness.

Since they may lack confidence and certainty in their choices, those who procrastinate worry about the future and put off making key decisions. Learn more about procrastination here.

4.   Lacking Confidence

If you are not confident about your abilities, then you might not be sure of making choices. Lack of confidence comes when one feels like they are not knowledgeable enough. It also can be if they feel that they cannot make decisions from either an informed position or that they are not the right ones to call the shots. However, it is not always that we know enough to make choices so we have to bite the bullet.

Up until we make up our minds, the lack of confidence leads to indecisiveness and we remain with the same challenge. Lacks of confidence in one-self is related to the concept of financial self-efficacy - read on self-efficacy here.

5.   Spoilt for Choice

At times we know so much and we suffer from information overload which can be overwhelming.

When we are spoilt for choice, then it becomes more difficult to make decisions. If for instance, you have to watch a movie, you already have information of where the screening is happening and at what times but settling on one may be hard if they all are offering something you’d want to have or experience at a movie theatre.

This is unlike if you just had one movie theatre to go to.

Too many choices can leave you with indecisiveness.

While all these causes may not affect all of us the same way, the reality is that being unable to make choices and decisions has a financial implication.

How Does Indecisiveness Affect Your Finances? 

1. The Procrastinator and Their Financial Goals

If you are in the habit of procrastinating, then you need a plan for your finances. By having a plan you’re able to pursue your financial goals by following a laid-out schedule.

A plan will have you offsetting your debt, start on a saving plan, and even an emergency savings fund.

By procrastinating on your financial goals, indecisiveness may cause stress and leave you feeling out of control.

2.   The Missed Opportunities

When we are indecisive, we miss opportunities.

Big or small, missed opportunities mean that we suffer the consequences. For instance, if we’re to start making savings by cutting down on expenditure, then not making this change means a missed opportunity in case an investment opportunity comes up and you don’t have the finances you could have got from the avoided expenses.

3.   The Cost of Accumulated Indecisiveness

The many small instances of indecisiveness add up and they impact your finances.

For example, are you leaving others to make decisions on your behalf? If they are financial, they will make them based on who they are and not your financial wellbeing.

The flip side is that choosing what you want is based on your own finances which helps with making better decisions.

4.   Lack of Future Planning

Being indecisive can lead you to be stuck in the moment. This leads to ignoring what matters for the future like saving for retirement.

Indecision and not planning for the future puts you at a disadvantage when old age comes calling.

5.   Inability to Seek Financial Help

In the case of financial problems, indecisiveness may prevent one from seeking help.

Help could be from professionals, friends, or family. Indecisiveness could prevent one from seeking help.

Wrapping Up

To stop being indecisive, one has to make the choice to be different in order to improve their lot.

Let go of being a perfectionist and embrace change with all its challenges. Also, take action that leads to changing positively like making a plan towards your financial wellbeing.

If spoilt for choice, it’s good to narrow down the options while also starting to practice making small decisions.

Then, keep learning. There is always something new to learn when it comes to financial wellbeing.

Njenga has over 8 years experience in multimedia and business journalism both as a writer, editor and producer. He has over 5 years of experience in radio broadcasting as a news reader, reporter and presenter. He is also a 2012 Earth Journalism Network-EJN Fellow.

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