Weekend Reading: The Paralyzing Effects of Financial Perfectionism (and a Better Way)

This article appears as part of Casey Weade's Weekend Reading for Retirees series. Every Friday, Casey highlights four hand-picked articles on trending retirement topics and delivers them straight to your email inbox. Get on the list here.
Weekend reading paralyzing effects financial perfectionism Weekend reading paralyzing effects financial perfectionism
Weekend Reading

One of the biggest culprits of inaction is analysis paralysis. You don’t make a move because you’re afraid it will be the wrong one or that it won’t pan out perfectly, but often, all you need to do is take that first step.


Start small: If anything in your financial life overwhelms you, whether that’s paying off debt, building a retirement plan, allowing yourself to spend money in retirement, etc., “pick the financial issue that bothers you the most, and start there.” This might even go against what the money gurus tell you, but when you let go of the mindset that everything must be “perfect”, you can focus more on what is best for you.

Take baby steps and chip away at your goal one step at a time, all the while recognizing that mistakes will be made along the way – and that’s OK. Learning to trust yourself and feel confident in your decisions takes time. It requires learning to forgive yourself when things don’t go the way you planned.

Keep in mind: Not thinking about your finances is a risk, but so is putting in too much thought. Overanalyzing the what-ifs and letting perfectionism get in the way of your decisions can ultimately be the most damaging financial behavior of all.