I was reading some sample chapters from a not-yet-published self-help book that pointed to these two things as being negative traits:
- Worrying too much about things that might or might not happen in the future
- Over-analyzing what you have done in the past
I'd argue that to achieve financial security, worrying about the future and analyzing the past are exactly what you MUST do! You have to think about how you're going to support your planned lifestyle in retirement and other financial goals, and I believe that tracking and analyzing your past expenses is a crucial part of planning for the future.
This got me thinking about whether the characteristics of good money management might somehow lead to bad life management, but doesn't it seem odd that that would be the case? Perhaps the "too much" and "over-" are the key factors here: doing anything to an extreme can be a problem, even if it's something that is good in moderation.
Also, there is no right answer to how to live your life or manage your money. Some people would argue that taking risks is an important part of living a fulfilling life. Taking risks can be dangerous financially-- but it's also necessary to some extent, as risk-free investments tend not to perform at a level that would protect the spending power of your savings from inflation. Some people might also argue that it is okay to spend money or even go into debt to do something that might be a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, something you'd feel regretful about for the rest of your life if you didn't do it. Other people believe that there is no such thing as a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, or not one worth going into debt for. And what about the age-old question of whether you should save for a rainy day, or live as if every day could be your last? Without having the ability to see into the future, who knows?
How do you feel about this issue? Do you ever make choices that seem like the right thing to do for your "life," i.e. your emotional or physical well-being, but the wrong thing to do for your finances? And is there anything you do that is a smart choice financially but somehow negative in other ways?