Much of my philosophy on decision-making was largely a product of the video games I played during my childhood. In one of these games, you needed to send your minions to do certain tasks for you in order to progress in the game and become more powerful. Before you were given the option to initiate an operation, and after the minions were assigned, you were shown the exact percentage of success, ranging from 0 to 100. The higher the chance for you to succeed, the more you should begin the operation, and worry less about unfortunate consequences with your current resources (money, manpower, and so on).
And indeed, whenever I anticipate a higher possibility for something beneficial to be done, I tend to convince myself more that I should do it, and when I anticipate lower chances of success, with significantly counter-intuitive results, I tend to avoid making that possibility a reality.
The same logic especially applies to finance. Would you do something that you cannot afford to do? Would you afford to do something that might require you to take out a loan? Would you be easily tempted by financial offerings by people through the phone or through the internet that are likely to deceive you?
In all of these cases, it is important to weigh the risks and rewards carefully before making a decision. If the potential rewards are high enough, it may be worth taking on some risk. However, if the risks are too high, it is best to err on the side of caution.
It is also important to remember that not all information is created equal. When making financial decisions, it is important to get information from reliable sources. You have no reason to hesitate to ask questions and do your own research.
I avoid gambling completely and make sure that any purchase I make has a significant benefit to my life. I am not fond of wasting resources that can be allocated for better benefit. By "benefit" I refer to anything that is meaningful for either myself or others. Why would you allocate a lot of money for something that is small in importance? You can use that money to generate greater value that goes beyond things such as the pleasure of smartphone games.
As an example, I found a good remastered video game for the PS4 that had very good reviews. However, one reviewer said that the entire game could be completed in 4 hours. Given this information, I measured the overall benefit. Should I buy something that, even if it’s a good product, will only keep me busy for 4 hours?
Given the fact that I can easily pass 4 hours of my free time without buying this game, I declined the possibility of buying it, since the benefit of the content’s quality is not proportionate with the benefit of its chronological quantity.
It does not have to be mathematically-exact in order for one to weigh the different benefit they are either getting or generating. All one needs to do is to contemplate the worthiness of whatever they spend their money on. Consider different elements such as: Time, product durability, product usefulness and so on. One of the reasons I don't buy jewelry is because it is delicate and can easily break. I don't exactly want to see my investment break so easily.
Another example: Should one buy an expensive online course that only lasts an hour? You can surely learn from it, but is an hour of your time and money worth it when you can buy a course that lasts longer and thus, has more content, and be cheaper at the same time?
Balance of proportion, reason, and benefit are thus the key to a healthy decision-making process. Thankfully, my decision-making philosophy has proven to be good and practical, with little loss of resources overall.
It can be summed up in a few sentences: When a procedure has a chance of over 50% to bring good results, more than it might bring bad results, that action should be at least considered. The higher the chance it has to give you greater benefit, the more you should recommend it to either yourself or others.
On the contrary, options that have a narrow chance of becoming successful should be less considered, especially when the loss of failure is bigger than the chance of reward. This is why, for example, it is better to have a job than trying to make a living from gambling, even if the latter can theoretically give you far more money. The same goes for crime.