We know decision fatigue is an issue: Essentially it’s what happens when we are faced with too many choices, either over a period of time or all at once. And as studies have shown, when we are overwhelmed, we are unable to think through our decisions, and often act irrationally or impulsively.
This can lead to problems when it comes to how we deal with money. For instance, by stressing over all the little choices we make over money (say, like spending the extra $1 on guacamole), we’re actually exhausting ourselves in the long run. In the long run, this can result in a lot of anxiety when we have to make decisions that really matter. The good thing is there are ways to fix money-related decision fatigue. Here are 3 simple habits you can use to help you worry less about money.
First habit: start “front-loading.” It’s a simple concept: Every month or week, create a framework of how much you are comfortable spending—and on what. That last part is key as it will help ease decision making later. So, for example, if you know you are comfortable spending a bit more money on a workout class because it’s good for you and your mental health, then you won’t feel the stress when you actually have to put down the money for it.
Second habit: automate when possible. Whether it’s your rent or your phone bill, automate it if it’s possible. These things don’t need a decision, and you should save your financial mental space for things that you have control over such as how much you spend on vacations.
The third habit: don’t avoid decisions altogether. We should be clear: Limiting your decision making does not equal putting it off entirely. So, of course, you need to be self-aware about the choices you are making, and also the decisions you are not. When you are fully aware of how your money is being spent, you limit the need to worry.