Have you ever noticed how tough it is to make decisions when we attach money consequences to them? The entire decision-making process gets clouded by the money. Instead of analyzing a nice long list of pros and cons, we end up with just one factor – money. And so, the ultimate decision comes down to money and we forget the really important things to consider – family, friends, time, beliefs, non-monetary values, and so on.

For me, and a lot of others, we lose sight of these other considerations because of fear – the fear of not having enough. Just the thought of decreased earnings, savings, investments or things, instills fear and we are paralyzed. Sometimes we’re not even aware of the fear and even if we are, we don’t really know why. Is this fear growing in the pit of our stomach because of today’s circumstance? Or, is it a learned reaction to past experiences – either our own or experiences of others, like our parents, our society, our media?

The way I deal with this is to begin by quantifying the fear. Many of the individuals and couples I work with come in with huge fear and anxiety about where they think they are. But when we take the time to analyze the real numbers – quantify the fear – we discover it is not as big or as bad as they had imagined it to be. The money piece of the decision can be put to rest.

Then we can ask ourselves, is this my fear or someone else’s? And, if it’s someone else’s, why am I letting it make decisions for me? It’s the first step to living a financially conscious life. It’s putting money in its place – behind all the important things in our lives – those real things no one can take away from us!

Instead of decisions, decisions, decisions – it should be quantify, quantify, quantify! Spoken like a true accountant.

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