Money Mistakes to Avoid – Procrastination

August 13, 2007

Why do today what you can put off until tomorrow? If that is your motto then this post is for you!

Time is Money
Even if you’re not a procrastinator by nature, you’ve probably had a time or two where putting something off cost you money.  Whether it’s paying money you shouldn’t be because you forgot to cancel a subscription or missing out on compound growth because you haven’t setup a savings or investment plan, procrastination can be expensive!

In our busy lives, time goes by faster than you can blink. Each birthday and tax season seems to come sooner than the last one.  Those months and years add up when you’re talking about paying higher expenses or earning lower returns on your money.

Make a Decision
The reason we procrastinate is often because we don’t know how to take the next step or don’t know what to do.  We decide we need more information or want to “think about it” for a little while.  Before we know it, a little while turns into a long while and we still haven’t made a decision.

A great example of this is not signing up for a 401k plan because you’re not sure which funds to choose.  Smart Money magazine reported that procrastination is one reason almost half of employees don’t participate in their 401k plan or contribute enough to get the company match.  I’ve seen this in action myself. 

Our 401k administrator offered a seminar on our plan and its options several years ago.  I was already investing and knew the plan options but attended to see if I could learn anything new.  Not much came out of the meeting other than the revelation one of my co-workers hadn’t been putting any money into his 401k ever since he started working there because he didn’t know which funds to invest with!

Live & Learn
We got my co-worker putting at least enough to earn the company match into some index funds.  I pointed him towards a few personal finance websites and recommended a few good books on money to help him get more comfortable with his investing decisions.  Later on we talked about how he was glad he finally got started even though he didn’t know what he was doing.  A lot of times just taking some action is what it takes to get over the indecision that leads to procrastination.  You might not make the best decision possible but you learn from your choices and make changes accordingly.

Make Time for Your Money
If you have some financial decisions or actions you’ve been putting off now is the time to take care of them.  I find what works for me is to make a prioritized list of the things I need to do and carry it around with me until I’ve completed it.  You probably won’t have time to get them all done at once but if you write them down and stay on top of it you should finish sooner rather than later.

Money Mistakes to Avoid
Read about other money mistakes to avoid:

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Ben

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Ben
Ben Edwards, the founder of Money Smart Life, saved up enough to buy a Nintendo back when he was 12 years old. When he used the money to buy shares of Wal-Mart stock instead, he knew he wasn't like the other kids... His addiction to personal finance has paid off for his family and now he's helping you to afford the life that you want. Check him out on the web at Google Plus, Twitter and Facebook.

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3 Responses to Money Mistakes to Avoid – Procrastination

  • Ben

    Aaron, I agree that organization is key to beating procrastination. For people who aren’t as organized, like me, I think the key is to focus on the things that make the most impact so you get the biggest reward for your effort. That way even if you do put off a few small items the consequences will be much less.

  • Aaron

    Time is most certainly money. There has never been a more true statement. Procrastination that causes people to lose money is inexcusable. These same people that lose money because they don’t take the time of the day to do something, are the ones wondering why they don’t have enough money. Organization and planning goes into this.

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