Trusting your financial instincts


Have there been times in your life when you have done something financially which deep down inside you knew you shouldn’t have done? Maybe it was buying that new car that stretched your budget to breaking point. Perhaps you got caught up in the hype surrounding a certain investment which you knew wasn’t really the sure thing it was being made out to be, leaving you out of pocket as a result. Or you might even have bought a house that you knew really needed A LOT of work but you wanted it so bad that you convinced yourself that the improvements were just cosmetic – can you tell that is a mistake that I made in the past? Thankfully it all turned out OK in the end but looking back I really should have just listened to my gut.

The above are just a few examples of the literally endless amount of financial decisions we make throughout our lifetime. Each time we make a big decision we usually have a little voice in our head or sometimes a feeling in the pit of our stomach which is trying desperately to guide us into making the right call. When you’re looking at that new car that is just over budget for example the voice in your head is probably whispering things like ‘you know you’ll regret it’ or ‘you’re a family man now, be practical’. This voice is that of your own inner financial instinct and I’m sure we all have one. I just think that some people are more inclined than others to silence that voice rather than listen to it.

Tuning them and trusting them

The fact that you are reading this blog post and others like it on similar personal finance blogs shows that you are already making the effort to try and tune your financial instincts and improve your financial future. You are making a conscious effort to amplify that nagging voice inside of your head rather than silence it. You are seeking to trade that feeling of excitement you get inside when you are buying something shiny, stylish and new for a feeling of caution as you consider the consequences of that purchase. You are actively tuning your financial instincts, but do you trust and obey them?

Let’s use future financial planning as one example. When it comes to investing or saving for your future you may have felt for a while now that you are not doing enough in this area and that if you don’t take action soon it may be too late. Again educating ourselves financially is a great start but it isn’t enough in itself, is it? At some point we have to allow that inner voice, those financial instincts to be put to work, trusting that they will lead us in the right direction so that we are not sat here in 5 or 10 years asking ourselves the same questions, making the same financial mistakes or living with big financial regrets because we did not allow ourselves to be guided by our own individual financial instinct.

Have you ever ignored your financial instincts only to regret it later?  

9 Responses to Trusting your financial instincts

  1. Nicola says:

    I’ve bought clothes before which were more than my budget and knew it, and probably only wore them once! Likewise with bags/purses/wallets. In my teenage years I was a bit of a shop-o-holic but thankfully grew out of it pretty quickly 🙂 just pains me to think about how much money I wasted! And I knew it at the time too, just ignored that feeling…

  2. I’ve definitely ignored my financial instincts before and it has cost me. I moved into a more expensive place while not making more money, and I also left my job to go to grad school. I did think it was worth it at the time, but I think deep down I knew it wasn’t a great decision. I think the best thing is to learn from these situations and really hone your financial instinct and trust it the next time!

    • Adam Buller says:

      That’s what it’s all about Melanie, listening to that voice deep down and then obeying it. Like you say, at least there’s always a next time to make the right call.

  3. I have done this many times – actually the car payment one rang too true to me! I knew in my gut it really wasn’t the right decision, but I did it anyways. Well, I let The Big Guy talk me into it. But, with that being said, when a decision feels right, there’s nothing like it!

    • Adam Buller says:

      Yeah I think most of us have been tempted by an out of budget car! I’ve managed to resist that one so far but I have done other things I wish I hadn’t in retrospect.

  4. Kathy says:

    One time we financed a vehicle by putting it on the home equity line of credit. It seemed to make sense because we could deduct the interest paid off our tax return. However, we traded the vehicle in before it was paid off and had to roll the remaining amount on to a new loan. Well you know how that works out. I think we were still paying off that mistake several years later.

  5. YES, hubby and I have definitely ignored our financial instincts and regretted it later! As we get older, we are definitely learning to be in tune with our instincts! 🙂

  6. Oh yes! I invested in my own dying business. Every penny I had because I couldn’t let it go, couldn’t face the reality that times and technologies had changed and that a business that had once yielded over $150,000 a year, was not lucky to produce $12,000. And there is nothing I can do to change that. All the money is gone. I am starting over, But I don’t feel I could have made any other choice.

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