What does procrastination cost? As any credit advisor can tell you, it can cost hundreds or thousands. Especially when it comes to expected costs and costs that increase dramatically because you fail to plan, or address a situation in due time.
There are lots of inevitable expenses in life that if unaddressed will come back much bigger and way nastier to bite you in the you-know-where.
Procrastination cost me $175!
Years ago, I was driving an old junk car, and had bad tires. I knew they were bad, but kept putting off buying new ones. I thought I was saving money by driving them as far as I could, as long as they still had tread on them. (I guess way back then I did not have enough respect for safety inspection stickers!)
Well, at lunch break a couple of coworkers and I went to lunch in my car. Surprise, surprise – I did not get a flat (you might have guessed that…. It was worse. WAY worse… relax, not an accident either…)
Coming around the corner, around a half mile from the factory, a policeman pulled me over – stating that he had actually seen my bald tires. Making a long story short, I got a $100 ticket for bad tires, another $100 for no inspection sticker, and I needed to get it towed (another $75). Gee, I could have gotten a full set of tires back then for around $100. I knew I needed them, I had the money in my checking account, but I my procrastination habit kept me from dealing with it. And of course I had the added bonus of having two of my work buddies moaning and groaning (I could have used the B word, but there maybe kids reading along…) about the half mile walk, and all three of us getting our pay docked for being late back from lunch.
Avoidable expenses like that can be a real budget killer. You may not drive around with bad tires like I did (yep, I was a teenager at the time) but how many times have you been faced with a bill or circumstance that can cost you a little at the time, or a whole lot more if you don’t address it immediately? Procrastination can be expensive!
It could be as simple as a payment due – when you have the money, but file the bill away to do later, then forget?
How about a parking ticket that you just threw in the back seat with disgust? Those little suckers will follow you forever! And the penalties add up quickly.
Perhaps some library books that will go back when you get around to it? Those fees can add up to more than the cost of buying the book! (That reminds me, as soon as I log off, return that book!)
How about having a generous rebate coupon that needs to be mailed back, but you don’t mail it out in time, because you put it down to later? Geez, if you bought the item because of a rebate, and don’t mail it in, guess who wins that retail game?
The next time you pick up a bill, make a commitment, or are faced with any action with a time limit and a subsequent cost, take a few seconds or even a minute or two and decide right then and there EXACTLY WHEN you will address the issue.
“Later” is the wrong answer. If you cannot decide when, you must do it at that moment. As the saying goes, “If not now, then when?”
Or as Larry the Cable guy would say… “Git’er done!”
Thinking like this can help you save an awful lot of needless expenses, especially if you are forgetful, or a natural procrastinator. Why scrimp and save, just to give it all away in penalty bucks?