You make endless decisions every day. In fact, you make so many of them, most of the time you’re not even aware of them. If you were, you wouldn’t have enough time to live. Brushing your teeth, combing your hair and getting dressed to make your way to work would fill up your entire day! All those unconscious decisions keep you moving through your day.
But when it comes to money, that kind of thinking doesn’t always serve you well because face it, every decision you make—conscious or not–has a money consequence. Case in point (a true confession about my own unconscious decision-making). Last week, I decided to have a spur of the moment, surprise birthday party for my husband at his favorite pizza joint. No big deal, his go-to choice is always Antonia’s for a pepperoni pizza and Coors Light. What could be easier? And, what a great way to throw a family party for 15!
So, when the waitress asked “how do you want to order,” I called out, “Everyone orders—just give me the bill.” Well, that off-hand comment cost me $415—not the gift I had in mind! A conscious decision would have been a few large pizzas at home for a quarter of that amount (and all the same fun)! What’s worse—that $415 bill keeps on giving each time it dampens my spirit when I think of the credit card bill to come!
Sure it was a special event but I unconsciously made decisions based on our favorite spot where old habits run supreme. But it’s those old habits and unconscious choices that get in our way. Coffee at home, coffee in the car; brown-bag lunch, lunch at the hot dog stand or lunch at the bistro—pretty easy to spot those money consequences but what about the decision over who picks up the kids today? Is it you, who loves to stop for a treat (or pick up dinner) or your partner who drives straight home in his gas-guzzling SUV? Different choices—different consequences. The real question is – do you know what they are?
Most of our choices these days hinge on convenience—logistical convenience and choice convenience. So, take some time to wake up a little, re-think them and uncover the dollar and cents consequences. You’ll be surprised how a little tweaking will put more money in your pocket. After all, a little awareness goes a long way!