Should You Buy That New Laptop? Here’s How to Decide.

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Think back to your last difficult financial decision. Your hand might have been shaking signing that car lease, or maybe you were skipping out of a store with a new pair of jeans. Were you able to remain objective or were you stuck thinking about the emotional here and now? Thanks to business writer Suzy Welch, there’s an approach we can take to change our focus and make better decisions.

As a recent Fast Company article suggests, the 10/10/10 rule can help us take the long view by asking ourselves how we will feel about a decision in three different time frames:

How will you feel about this decision: 10 minutes from now? 10 months from now? 10 years from now?

Broaden Your Perspective with the 10/10/10 Rule

This approach gives perspective and helps calculate the long-range impact of financial decisions big and small. If you are jonesing for new clothes, chances are tomorrow you’ll forget you were even craving them. By delaying, you’re in a better position to make a good decision.

Discover New Options

Let’s say you’re considering making a major purchase, such as buying a new car. Maybe the idea of driving off the lot with a new set of wheels excites you, but how are you going to feel in 10 months when you’re still paying off your car loan? And in 10 years, when it might be time to buy a new car? Asking these questions will help you come up with alternatives, like buying a used car or using Zipcar or Uber to get around.

Move Past Your Emotions

Sleeping on these major purchases will help you become aware of your emotions and gain clarity about your decisions. Ultimately it comes down to what you think is best, but using 10/10/10 rule will put you in the mindset to make good decisions about your financial future.

Big financial decisions are never easy. The next time you’re on the fence, use the 10/10/10 rule to stay the course and create the life you’ve always wanted.