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How to Trust Your Gut When It Comes to Spending Money

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September 27, 2019

Having the ability to trust your gut can often feel like this elusive thing that simply shows up whenever you need it to. Having the ability to trust your gut stems from how in-tune you are with your emotions and how confident you are in trusting your intuition. After all, trusting your gut really comes down to how you grasp your immediate understanding of something. 

Perhaps the more complicated part of trusting your gut is the confusion around knowing “if” you should trust your gut. The real question you need to ask yourself is “when” you should trust your gut. Nobel prize-winning psychologist, Daniel Kahneman challenges those who are skeptical of intuition in his book Thinking, Fast and Slow. In his book, Kahneman spends time describing the ways in which context can help us feel better equipped to trust our gut. He proves this theory by presenting three specific questions that can help us determine whether or not we are successfully grasping the concept.

Can you say “yes” to the questions below? If so, it’s time to start trusting your gut!

1. Is there some regularity in this area you can pick up and learn?

Reliable trends and patterns need to exist before you can rely on your intuition’s experience. Only then will your gut truly be able to spot the trends and patterns in your life. If you are unsure of where your intuitive patterns are settling into, ask yourself, what areas of life have sufficient regularity for your brain to develop accurate intuitions?

2. Have you had a lot of practice in this area? 

You’ve heard the term practice makes perfect and that can be incredibly true when it comes to honing your intuition. In addition to patterns and regularity of thought, your intuition is built out of years of observing your environment and understanding exactly how you should navigate it.  

3. Do you receive immediate feedback in the area? 

It’s not just about practicing something over and over again. In order to make the art of practice effective, you will need to welcome some feedback. It can’t just be any old kind of feedback; it has to be immediate and concrete feedback, according to psychology. 

Why you should trust your gut. 

When it comes to decision-making, we often lean on the idea of trusting our gut, but what does that really mean? Building experience in various domains can help you accurately access your intuition and make the most optimal decision for yourself. Your past experiences shape your gut instinct, and the knowledge you gained from those experiences will act as your north star for decision-making. The more you begin to listen to your gut, the more trust you will build within yourself, which will allow your intuition to take over naturally. 

How Wellspent can help you trust your gut and improve your spending habits

When it comes to spending money, knowing when to trust your gut can play a huge role in how you improve your habits. Wellspent allows you to reflect on each of your transactions by encouraging you to ask yourself if what you purchased was worth it or not. By asking yourself this question, you will eventually begin to determine what is bringing you to value, and isn't, when it comes to your spending habits. If you think back to Daniel Kahneman’s three trust-building questions, you’ll remember that practice is everything. Forming a positive pattern with daily reflection will often provide the most benefits. Another crucial part of reflecting in Wellspent comes from trusting your emotions and paying attention to how your purchases are making you feel. Building this practice will also help Wellspent accumulate insights based on your reflections. As your individual reflections begin to add up, data will populate to present the most recurring spending patterns. When you review your patterns in the app, you will be able to clearly see where you are getting value in your spending, and where things may be falling a bit short. Use this data to spark change and avoid regretful spending so you can begin to trust your gut each time you make a new purchase. 

Learn more about building better spending habits with Wellspent

This article offers general information only and is not intended as legal, financial or other professional advice. A professional advisor should be consulted regarding your specific situation. While information presented is believed to be factual and current, its accuracy is not guaranteed and it should not be regarded as a complete analysis of the subjects discussed. All expressions of opinion reflect the judgment of the author(s) as of the date of publication and are subject to change.  No endorsement of any third parties or their advice, opinions, information, products or services is expressly given or implied by Royal Bank of Canada or its affiliates.