I'll think about it tomorrow
There are days when I don't want to think about my money. Or don't want to think at all.
Last week I finalized my taxes with my accountant and financial planner, Shannon Lee Simmons. On one hand, I owe a whack of Harmonized Sales Tax (HST), which is fine because I freelanced last year.
On the other hand, I’m getting a teeny refund, which usually doesn’t happen. The problem is, I don’t know what I want to do with it. I want the refund to look after itself.
I’m feeling a bit stuck on making a decision these days. There are the day-to-day ones around food, work, getting dressed, etc. but anything bigger than that feels overwhelming. I’m not quite sure if it’s decision fatigue or decision paralysis but it feels a little like one or the other.
I can’t even farm out some of these decisions because I live alone, so eventually, they all have to be made by me, which makes me even more tired. Like I-want-a-chaise-lounge-to-drape-myself-over tired.
I know why I’m feeling this way: it’s the second year anniversary of the pandemic, there’s inflation, I’m watching prices go up and my investments go down, my mortgage payments have gone up. I want to ignore everything.
Yet, I can’t. What I can do is get rid of some of the decision-making, so here’s what I’ve done.
Automate everything I can. Investments, savings, bill payments, money transfers from one account to another - all of these have been automated in the last two years. I set up the amounts and the cadence and I don’t think about them anymore. Yes, I’ll check on them once a month but other than that, nope.
I also have one credit card and I have automated payments set up.
I don’t make decisions when I’m having a bad day. I make the conscious decision of ‘I can’t deal with this right now but I will deal with it tomorrow’ and step away. Since my bills are automated, pretty much everything else can wait.
This is why I don’t make financial decisions on a Friday. I’m mentally exhausted by then and feeling a little emotionally frayed. Not in the best shape to decide anything bigger than what I’d like to have for dinner and what I want to watch on tv.
I stick to a routine or two. I’ve written before about my dislike of grocery shopping and my lack of desire to meal plan. That’s why I budgeted for food delivery. No thinking, just cooking and eating.
That’s also why I buy the same food basics. I like them and know I’ll eat them. No food waste.
Yes, I’m boring. These days I prefer boring.
I still haven’t decided what to do with my refund. Maybe I’ll put it towards my mortgage or maybe I’ll put it towards my emergency account.
I’ll think about it another day.
This week’s readings:
The rise of Canva, the $40 billion design juggernaut (Fast Company)
I wrote this a few months ago. The real cost of being single (MoneySense)
More than a third of Gen Z plan to co-own a home with family or friends, survey finds (Toronto Star, paywall)