4 ways procrastination drains your wallet
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Sep 22, 2015  |  Vote 0    0

4 ways procrastination drains your wallet

Metroland Media

There is no one reason why people procrastinate. In some cases, individuals enjoy the rush of completing a task by the skin of their teeth. Others procrastinate to avoid the potential feeling of failure, adopting the ‘if you don’t do it, you can’t fail’ ethos.

No matter the reason, procrastination is a terrible habit to develop and a difficult one to break. The following are four ways procrastination quickly catches up with you:

Late fees and penalties

Being perpetually late when meeting your friends may cost you a favourable reputation. But tardiness in other areas of your life will damage more than your good name – you will start noticing significant financial losses. 

Dilatory behaviour – whether it be with library books, tuition enrolment, parking infractions and bill payments – comes with a fee. Credit cards are typically strict with late fees, often reaching $35 or more for each delayed payment. Consistently neglecting that bill will add up quickly, (never mind the interest accruing each bill period).

Paying the bill in full every month isn’t always an option, but keeping up with the minimum suggested payment is crucial to avoiding a late fee. 

Late payments don’t just hurt your finances, but they bruise your credit score. 

Set up automatic payments that cover at least the minimum required from your credit card company, or create alerts on your computer and mobile phone calendar.

Last minute gifts = more expensive gifts

Christmas comes, without fail, the same time each year. Yet, on the eve of the holiday, malls are packed with frenzied shoppers trying to fill stockings and spread yuletide joy. The same goes for a parent, spouse or child’s birthday. These occasions don’t rotate and never creep up by surprise.

The primary factor leading to last minute shopping is lack of foresight. The lack of time doesn’t allow the shopper to choose an ideal gift and search for a bargain. Instead, frantic consumers are more concerned with time than price.

This is especially true when shopping from a registry. Early bird buyers will scoop up the affordable items, leaving the procrastinators left with larger ticket items.

As soon as you get a party invitation, shop for that occasion. If you can’t make it out to the mall, at least hit up your computer where you are likely to find a great online deal while allowing plenty of time for standard delivery.

Taxi versus public transport

Sure, the bus doesn’t scream glamour, but it definitely cries savings.

Similar to last minute shopping, the failure to plan ahead will cost you. Typical public transit cash fare prices range from $3:00-$4.00 per ride, whereas a taxi will cost you an average of $4.50 for the first 150 metres and an additional  $0.25 each 130 metres. In other words, an eight kilometre trip in a taxi will cost approximately $20.00 plus tip, but only $3.00 on the bus.

Plan ahead, stay on schedule and spend twenty extra minutes in transit and pocket $17.00, not including a tip, next time you are heading out of your house.

Delayed retirement savings

One of the follies of youth is ignoring inevitable old age. If you have a mangled self-portrait in your closet à la Dorian Gray, perhaps aging isn’t a preoccupation. But for the rest of us not living the Faustian dream, we need to plan for our old age and that means contributing to an RRSP or alternate retirement savings plan.

Each time “next year” is uttered, it costs you hundreds, if not thousands of dollars in savings.

By contributing a modest $25 bi-weekly, in five years with a seven per cent rate of return, $3885 has been added to your retirement savings.

In some cases, employers will also match your contributions up to a certain percentage of your annual salary. Simply putting off the paperwork of a registered retirement savings plan takes away from your retirement, so why wait to take money from your employer and squirrel it away for your golden years?

Originally published on OurWindsor.ca on July 16, 2015

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