Making wise financial decisions is necessary. However, it has been a continuous struggle for many people, and their outstanding debts can probably attest to it. Although different reasons might have put them in varying levels of debt loads, the majority of them are most likely tied to poor financial decisions.
With too many choices to pick and factors to consider, it’s often easier to decide on impulse. But note that every small and big decision you make can either help or hurt your financial health. The things you buy and don’t buy at a grocery or a shopping store are probably tiny matters, but they are significant.
There are many ways to handle your money better or make better decisions on your finances. But economics is one of the most overlooked disciplines affecting almost everyone’s financial lives. In fact, its concepts are powerful tools that can help you improve your financial decision-making. That’s why we’re discussing them below.
The Discipline of Economics In A Nutshell
Economics is a broad discipline that can be defined in several ways. It straddles different areas, such as arts and science, theory, and policy. As a social science, it deals with the production, distribution, and consumption of goods and services. You can visit en.wikipedia.org Simon Posen to get an idea of what an economist can do.
But to put it simply, a practitioner of economics may study how people use the resources available to them. Moreover, the field of economics is divided into the following categories:
- Macroeconomics: Focusing on the larger picture of the economy, macroeconomics studies factors like growth, inflation, interest rates, unemployment, taxes. Typically, it looks at the decisions that influence society as a whole. Someone working in this field is likely to analyze why a country entered a recession or a depression.
- Microeconomics: Looking at smaller and more specific economic issues, microeconomics studies how households and businesses make decisions about purchasing, saving, or setting prices. People in this field are inclined to examine debts at an individual level.
In a nutshell, economics aims to learn more about the choices people make to get what they want in the face of scarcity. Such choices can be individual, family, business, or social level. But regardless of, economic philosophy certainly operates in your daily lives whether you realize it or not.
Economic Concepts You Need To Know As Consumers
Most people don’t yet perceive the importance of understanding economics’s basic concepts. But without being aware of it, economics has been trying to give us an idea of how and why we make the financial decisions as we do.
Please take a look at the following concepts and discover how they influence your decision to a varying degree.
- Scarcity: refers to the basic economic problem that there are limited or scarce resources to meet consumers’ seemingly unlimited wants and needs. Such scarcities ultimately drive you to decide how to allocate available resources to satisfy all your wants and needs.
- Supply and Demand: Supply and demand control the market system. It’s basically the reason behind price fluctuation. When the demand is high, the price goes up, and there is more supply as manufacturers increase their revenue on average. But when there is too much supply, and the demands lessen, prices also drop.
- Costs and Benefits: People use costs and benefits to analyze which decisions to make and which ones to cut out. To do this, consumers tend to compare the benefits they will get from a product or service and assess if those benefits override the cost. If you behave rationally, you will always try to maximize the ratio of benefits to costs in their decisions.
- In economics, these are financial motivations that drive people to behave in a certain way. When the economy is down, tax incentives encourage you to spend on particular items or activities. A rise in any product’s cost is also an incentive for you to back off from buying it as much you used to.
- Purchasing Power. It refers to the number of products or services that your money can buy at a given period. Purchasing power changes over time at different rates in different economies. It decreases if inflation continues to grow or prices keep going up.
Improving Your Financial Decision-Making With Economics
The study of economics may help you make wiser financial decisions. By understanding the basic economic concepts, you may save money, increase your income, and improve your overall financial health.
To make that possible, here’s how you can use economics to better your financial decision-making.
Prioritize Scarce Resources
By knowing that there are not enough resources for your needs and wants, you can plan for them accordingly. Whether it’s time, money, or natural resources, you must learn how to allocate them properly. Make sure to have a flexible budget, prioritizing basic needs over your wants.
Anticipate Price Changes
Your knowledge about supply and demand can help you anticipate price changes and make adjustments to your budget. If you know that a certain product you don’t urgently need will be marked down at a particular time of the year, waiting to make your purchase will allow you to save money.
Practice Rational Spending
Considering the costs and benefits of a product or service can lead to rational spending. However, many of the decisions that consumers make are unfortunately emotional. You are doing emotional expenditures if you’re buying products that you don’t actually need. But rational purchases are often supported by extensive research and comparisons of different products.
Use Incentives Appropriately
Economic incentives are beneficial if you know how to use them appropriately. First, you have to understand that the government provides incentives to motivate you to take specific actions. It can be encouraging you to spend or conserve scarce resources. As a consumer, you have to learn to discern whether a particular incentive can make or break your finances.
Preserve Purchasing Power
Everything you buy will cost more than it did the year before. You have to remember that your purchasing power may change, and wealth is relative to how much you can buy it with. But you can preserve it by making your money grow. Try to invest in things that can outpace inflation, such as real estate, commodities, or precious metals.
Apply Economics In Your Financial Decisions
Like most things, the more informed you are, the more you’ll be able to make wiser decisions. Thus, be updated with the economic issues that impact your financial decisions every day. Make use of every economic knowledge to manage your money, make smart purchasing choices, explore investment options, and understand the economy’s conditions.