Procrastination is putting off doing something until the last minute. In some cases, people can thrive on procrastination, such as meeting a deadline for school or work. However, when it comes to finances, procrastinating can mean extra money out of your pocket. And for some, extra expenses can push their finances over the edge.
Being disorganized or having too much clutter in your home makes it hard to know what you actually have. Therefore, you might already own an item, but need to buy another because you can’t find it.
When you don’t take the time to grocery shop and plan meals, that leads to spending more on take out, delivery, or dining out.
Saving for Emergencies
If you have an income reduction or emergency vet trip, how will you cover that? Without emergency savings you’ll probably have to use credit, causing you to accrue debt. And that means an added on monthly payment that may not be affordable.
Saving for Periodic Expenses
It’s just as important to save for periodic expenses as it is for emergencies. If you’re planning to buy Christmas presents, but haven’t saved up money charging and debt can be the result – not to mention paying way more than the purchase price because of interest charges. Other examples of periodic expenses include clothes/jackets/shoes, vehicle tabs/maintenance, veterinary visits, and home maintenance.
Home or Vehicle Maintenance/Repairs
Ignoring or waiting to do maintenance/repairs on your home or vehicle may result in even more costly repairs down the road. For instance, if you hold off on fixing that leaky roof, that could lead to added on costs for water damage or mold in your home – and still needing fix the roof.
If you have an illness or injury and avoid the doctor, you may find yourself with worsening health and having to miss work. Depending on your benefits, that could be an extremely costly situation if you don’t have paid time off to cover those missed days.
Money and Budgeting
Never avoid opening up mail, checking your account balance, or reviewing your income and expenses. Putting this off may create even worse problems, like spending more than you make, NSF fees, late payments/late fees, lower credit score, and debt.
If you don’t want to work indefinitely, don’t put off saving for retirement until it’s too late. Save what you can when you can, for instance tax refunds and taking advantage of retirement plans/match programs from your employer.
We all procrastinate at times, but when it starts to create financial problems and cost you money, it’s time to stop procrastinating and start being proactive.
If you already have balances on your credit cards from previous purchases, there’s good news. LSS Financial Counseling offers FREE sessions with an experienced financial counselor who will work with you on creating a realistic budget and provide your best options for paying off those cards faster. Call us at 888.577.2227 for your free session or GET STARTED ONLINE at your convenience.
Author Elaina Johannessen is a Program Director with LSS Financial Counseling.