Why Problem-Solving is Overrated: The Case for Prevention

Bookmark’s Journal
5 min readJun 23, 2023

Although problem-solving skills are undoubtedly some of the most important skills to learn, too much emphasis is often placed on them.

Personally, I have never been a fan of problem-solving… because it often comes as a step too late when it could have been prevented from the beginning.

Problem-solving skills are often praised in society, but what if we told you that preventing financial problems is a better strategy than solving them? In this article, we make the case for prevention over problem-solving in financial planning.

Prevention is Cost-Effective

Problem-solving in financial planning often involves reactive measures to issues that have already occurred. This means that the costs associated with solving the problem can be quite high. On the other hand, prevention is a proactive approach that seeks to identify potential issues before they occur. By fixing the root cause of the problem, the need for problem-solving is eliminated altogether. This not only saves time but also significantly reduces the costs associated with fixing the problem.

Prevention is a proactive approach that seeks to identify potential issues before they occur.

For instance,

an individual who applied a budgeting tactic to their finances was able to avoid unnecessary expenditures, thus lowering their debts. Moreover, this allowed them to save a substantial amount of money and enhance their monetary status. Another benefit of following a budget is that it can help individuals become more mindful of their spending habits, enabling them to identify areas where they can cut back on expenses and redirect those funds towards other important areas, such as emergency savings or investing early to prevent future financial problems.

Prevention Saves Time

Problem-solving can be a time-consuming process in financial planning. It may take weeks, months, or even years to find a solution to a complex problem. Prevention, on the other hand, involves taking simple steps to avoid the problem altogether. This saves time and allows individuals to focus on other important tasks.

For instance,

an individual who implemented automatic bill payments prevented late fees and improved their credit score. This saved them time that would have been spent managing bills and allowed them to focus on other financial responsibilities.

Prevention Improves Quality of Life

Financial stress is a common issue that can impact an individual’s quality of life. Problem-solving often involves high-pressure situations and requires individuals to think on their feet. Prevention, on the other hand, allows individuals to avoid the stress associated with problem-solving. This improves their quality of life and allows them to focus on other important aspects of their lives.

For example,

an individual who implemented automatic savings contributions prevented financial stress and improved their overall financial well-being. This not only improved their quality of life but also allowed them to pursue other goals and interests.

Prevention is Proactive

Problem-solving is a reactive approach to financial issues. It requires individuals to identify the problem and then find a solution. However, as we discussed earlier in the article, prevention is a proactive approach that seeks to avoid the problem altogether. To better understand this concept, let’s take a closer look at an example.

The example

of an individual who implemented a retirement savings plan highlights the significance of proactive measures in preventing financial hardships. By starting early and making consistent contributions to a retirement savings plan, individuals can secure their financial future and avoid the stress associated with financial insecurity in their retirement years. Additionally, starting early allows individuals to take advantage of the power of compounding, which can significantly increase their retirement savings over time. By making small contributions over a long period, individuals can accumulate a significant amount of wealth, allowing them to enjoy their retirement without worrying about financial constraints. In summary, implementing a retirement savings plan is a proactive measure that can help individuals prevent financial hardships and secure their financial future.

So “How” Do I Prevent?

While problem-solving skills are important, prevention is a better strategy for financial planning. If you’re reading this, you may be wondering how to prevent a financial disaster. Although there are thousands of ways to do so, there is no single solution that fits everyone’s unique scenario.

Allow me to provide an analogy to help explain this concept: “A healthy financial plan works similarly to a healthy body. Disease can rarely be eliminated through early diagnosis or good treatment, but prevention through a healthy and nutritious environment can help eliminate disease.”

Diseases are often caused by an unhealthy environment. Consuming fried and sugary foods and lack of exercise can create an environment that leads to multiple malfunctions in the body, which can eventually lead to various chronic diseases.

Creating a healthy environment for the body is crucial in preventing diseases. Adopting healthy habits such as eating a balanced diet, regular exercise, and maintaining a healthy weight can help reduce the risk of developing diseases and promote overall well-being. Engaging in regular physical activity, such as working out, is an essential part of maintaining a healthy weight and preventing the development of chronic diseases.

There is a saying that people often blame their genetics for their illnesses.

However, the truth is that genetics may load the gun, but lifestyle pulls the trigger.

Did you notice the resemblance here?

The key to successful financial planning lies in the environment you create. Start by noticing unhealthy behaviors that promote an unhealthy environment. Signs of an unhealthy environment include:

  • Many uncleared debts
  • Impulsive buying
  • Lack of financial structure and boundaries
  • Lack of self-discipline in expenses
  • Over-investing and being greedy in an attempt to get rich quick
  • Lack of financial literacy that leads to falling victim to financial scams that promise quick wealth
  • Failure to pay credit card bills on time
  • Using money to show off and gain external validation
  • Saving too much and not making your money work for you
  • Lack of financial protection

I hope this advice helps you create a healthy environment for your finances. By noticing unhealthy behaviors and taking proactive steps to improve your financial situation, you can set yourself up for long-term financial success and security. Consider creating a budget, investing in your education or career, and seeking professional advice. Explore financial products and services that can help you reach your goals. Remember, small steps today can make a big difference in your financial future!


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Bookmark’s Journal

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