Steps to Less Emotional Decision-Making

Segregating knowledge in our lives seems pretty natural. We don’t consistently apply great tools we have in business to our home life. Last night I tried something new at home.

My husband’s Jeep broke down this week. It is a 1996 and has over 200,000 miles. Breaking down isn’t an unusal thing at this point. My husband’s job is 30 miles across town and therefore a reliable car is a must!

Money handling seems to be a sticking point in most marriages and ours is no different. We have very different approaches to money and how to resolve issues. I knew the Jeep situation could lead to an unproductive argument. I was determined to break the cycle by taking the emotion out of it. How did I do that?

1. Brainstorming – first, we listed out every possible option, without placing judgment on the ideas. We listed them out, no matter how likely it was
to actually implement.

2. Decision-tree – Next, we built a decision tree which laid out all the options we were going to consider.

3. Quantified all the decisions – After building the decision tree, we took each solution and quantified what the costs and benefits in quantifiable terms
would be.

Solution Potential Mileage Cost
Overhaul – At Shop 200,000 5,000
Overhaul – Self 200,000 2,300 (3 months)
Minimum Repair – At Shop 6,000 2,400
Minimum Repair – Self 6,000 900
$2800 Loan ($5500 purchase) 100,000 5,900
Car for cash 30,000 – 100,000 2700

The ability to look at issues logically and critically while suspending emotion allows us to gain insights and see the bigger picture.


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