Honestly, a lot of “detail” decisions don’t matter in the long run. What matters is that you actually make a decision. 

There are so many small details that go into financial planning. You might debate and research the tiny differences into oblivion, leaving yourself without the time and energy needed to actually enact the decision.  

This is a form of decision fatigue. 

Here is what I think about the “small stuff”:

Wealth is created in broad strokes.

  1. Do you have a target for how much to save each year and are you meeting it?
  2. Can your portfolio support your spending levels in retirement?
  3. Is your overall asset allocation (balance between stocks and bonds) correct for you?
  4. Do you have proper insurances in place? 

Addressing these broad questions and decisions carries the bulk of the responsibility for a successful (or failed) financial future. 

Do you know what things don’t generally have lasting impact on building real wealth? 

Getting your Roth conversion number exactly right, picking just the right international mutual fund in your 401(k), choosing between a 529 or UTMA account, finding the absolute cheapest insurance policies… 

Mentally laboring over decision like that often does you no good; it leads to zero action and it doesn’t often have meaningful impact on your wealth. 

The only time you should truly sweat the small stuff is when it brings you satisfaction and motivation. What do I mean by that? 

Sometimes when you complete something small, it inspires you to keep rolling and tackle more! Like when you find a great coupon for the grocery store. That $2 coupon does not affect your lasting wealth, but it feels rewarding when you use it! You don’t avoid going to the grocery store or stop eating if you can’t find a coupon… you do it anyways because you need to. However, if you happen to have ease finding and using the coupon – do it – because it makes you *feel* accomplished. 


I hope this analogy carried over. 😄 

All in all, don’t get bogged down over the little things. If you’re feeling overwhelmed by a financial decision, be sure to discuss it with your advisor! She can help you weigh the benefits of your options to make the best choice for you.  

Overall, create good spending and saving habits, get a plan in place with your financial advisor, and just stick with it. Most of the rest should fall into place – don’t sweat the small stuff.