A couple of years ago, Nancy and I had put aside some savings so we could go to the lake with the children for a holiday. Being the economist that I am, I booked for one of the cheapest holiday resorts, ordered some of the cheapest meals on the menu, had no boat cruise, told the children they could only have two ice-creams per day.
I remember my wife asking “Kodi kuno tikuzatani? Tikuzalira maliro a ndani?[Whay are we here? Who are we mourning?]” It was a stinging couple of questions but they jet me into reality. The truth was that everybody (including myself) was indeed looking miserable. She then moved the children to a better lodge and spoiled them with anything they needed.
The children were so excited and wanted to go again, but without me. I felt bad but learnt my lesson. From then on, it has been either we canÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t go if we donÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t have the money or we go and enjoy ourselves to the limit when we can afford.
I am sure it has happened to you as well but perhaps in a different context where you overdo something and just regret it. Today, I want us to share a few areas where overdoing can cause you misery.
First, saving too much of your earnings. Is it possible to save too much earnings? Absolutely. You could sometimes be saving too much depriving yourself a lot of happiness in the present in the name of “zabwino zili mtsogolo. [ Good things are yet to come]” But whatÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s the point of living a financially miserable life saving every penny only to end up dying with millions of Kwachas in the bank?
Second is on making product comparisons. More often than not, perfect is the enemy of good Ã¢â‚¬â€ even when it comes to matters of personal finance. This is often displayed when it comes to evaluating products. Many folks are simply not content to investigate a handful of options, instead wanting to vet every possible choice for fear of missing out on the best possible available price.
For most people, however, too many choices can be too much of a good thing; the end result is often a type of cerebral overload that leads to wasted time, unnecessary stress, and paralysis by analysis.
Trying to find the optimal solution can often be counterproductive simply because many decisions donÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t require extensive research. Typically, a modest survey of three to five samples is all thatÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s necessary before enough information is available to make an enlightened decision.
Last, is negotiating for goods and services. Many years ago, I took a hard line negotiating position with a mechanic who was to overhaul my car engine. Eventually, despite his protestations, I got the mechanic to agree to some extremely favourable terms on my part. I have to admit at the time I was quite pleased with myself.
However, that negotiation ended up being one of the biggest money mistakes of my life. Yes, I got a great price, but I paid dearly for it in the end. With my over-negotiating, I got a shoddy service as the mechanic cut so many corners.
Trust me, taking a hard-line negotiation approach that exploits others is absolutely counterproductive because you could unwittingly end up with an inferior product or service that costs you more in the long run.