Times When You Shouldn’t Make Any Financial Decisions

Last Friday was an honest-to-God awful day for me. It started with a totally unnecessarily long wait at the local women’s hospital for one of my pregnancy bloodwork tests which caused me to be late for work, annoying enough when your day is scheduled with booked patients. Me being 30 minutes late doesn’t affect just me, it can affect my entire patient load for the day so it’s a huge annoyance. I did manage to park in the parkade by work for free though (normally a cost of $18 for the day) thanks to a pass given by another employee. Just as my day was turning around, it went even worse. As I was pulling into the underground parkade, another dumb driver wasn’t paying attention and almost went ‘’out’’ the ‘’in’’ causing me to swerve (my car is basically in park that’s how slow I was moving) but I was forced to move the wheels enough that my mirror hit the card pass meter and break off the whole back-end of my mirror. To make matters worse, before I even realized what happened, he had left the parkade.

My day just kept going like that. Patients not showing up. One who did show up had to be cut short because she was clearly under the influence of something, construction not allowing me to leave after work…you get my drift. Bad. Day.

I’m pretty good at not letting things get to me. I’m good at finding positives and moving on but I couldn’t concentrate at work and quite honestly for the first time in a long time wanted to leave work and get away from basically all of humanity. I was in a serious funk.

On my drive home I felt something I hadn’t felt in a long time. The feeling of not caring. Not giving a crap and acting on my impulses. This leads me to my first point of when you should never make a financial decision.

During an Emotional High or Low

As I was driving home I was thinking about my sister-in-law’s upcoming wedding and things that need to be done. The night before I had done a quick search about finding maternity pantyhose for my dress. I wasn’t surprised to find out the cheapest I could buy locally were $17 plus tax, per pair. A cost I couldn’t justify when I’ll wear them literally one day and normal pantyhose can be purchased at basically any drug store for like $5.00. I was annoyed at the cost but accepted no one would care if my pale bare legs were on display.

However on my drive home I had a ‘’screw it’’ moment. I actually changed lanes and almost drove to the mall to spend the cash on the pantyhose. Not because I now wanted them or had changed my mind but because part of me wanted to satisfy that ‘’I don’t care anymore’’ feeling. I had one full red light to realize I was just being irrational and opted to buy a $2.00 ice cream instead, still an emotional purchase but less damaging.

When you’re going through an emotional high or low, anything from a simple bad day to an exciting new marriage, do not make any immediate financial decisions. Some decisions may be permanent and much more damaging than an ice cream. Take time to sort through all emotion before deciding anything.

When Money Is New

Some of you will be fortunate enough to come into a sum of money. Gifts, inheritances, whatever. If you do, even if you have thought and dreamt about what you’d do with it- wait. Give yourself some time to really think about things and get advice. Talk to trustworthy friends, family and ideally professionals about how to best execute your plan. If we came into money my quick response would be ‘pay off debt’ but upon talking to someone else they may point out reasons why investing might be a better option. Get good advice, then decide.

When You’re Distracted

There are many, many distractions in life. Everything from technology, to our jobs, to family, if you don’t have time set aside time to think about your financial decision, wait until you do. It’s only fair to you and your money that you make all decisions with a clear mind and away from all other noise.

Money can be a stressful thought, even a good kind of stress, and I think some people are quick to make decisions so they no longer have to think about it but there are definitely times when taking a pause is always a good idea.

For more on making good choices even at bad times read these other great articles.

10 Financial Considerations You Should Ponder
Don’t Rob Peter to Pay Paul

Have you ever experienced a regret in a financial decision because of one of these reasons?

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  1. Kathy from CT says

    Oh, yes, many times! And I never made the correlation between bad decisions and emotional state of mind. Well, for myself anyway. Of course I saw it in others. LOL. What arrogance on my part! Your article is a wake up call for me re my own actions. Thanks!

  2. Wow, sorry to hear about your day – thanks rough! 🙁

    I remember how much of a mess I was when my father passed away. Same with my mom of course. That was a big time of not-caring where I packed on over 20 pounds eating whatever I wanted, and I wound up spending whatever felt good in the moment. Thankfully that period of time was short, I dropped the weight (because my doctor put a scare into me) and got back on financial track. Dealing with a stressful, emotional, whatever, situation like that can definitely cause a lot of related issues that often aren’t considered. It’s a time to be very careful – as careful as your mind/emotions will allow.

  3. Correct! That’s why I tend to pass for more days before making a decision on something or any purchases because I tend to waste money when I am emotionally distracted.


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