It's been awhile since we've posted. Part of that is spring travel schedules, and other personal / professional responsibilities, but part of it has to do with procrastination.
Even though we haven't posted, it doesn't mean personal finances have been put aside!
Today's topic is about procrastination. Molley Triffin wrote an interesting piece regarding the cost of procrastination.
In our FiClub seminars we touch upon habits. We discuss various barriers to creating 'healthy' ones and strategies to make those healthy habits stick and how to correct 'unhealthy' ones.
We all know some habits are hard to break. It turns out procrastinating is one of them,.says Shari McGuire, a time-management expert and author of"Take Back Your Time: 101 Simple Tips to Shrink Your Work-Week and Conquer the Chaos in Your Life."
Some people get caught up in what’s called analysis paralysis, in which they overthink something and never get around to taking action. Another one to add would be Self-Sabotage - the belief you don't have the expertise to complete a certain task, so you keep putting it off.
How can procrastination cost you actual money?
You Pay your credit cards late.
Late fees aren't the only thing that will cost you if you are consistently late with your monthly payments. If you get behind more than 30 days, your credit score will be negatively affected - thus potentially costing you more money in higher interest rates in the future.
You Don't plan ahead when you travel.
It's common knowledge that you can get better deals on flights if you book well in advance. Many travel professionals recommend booking your flights three months out, and your hotel at least 2 months out. While taking a spontaneous trip is exciting and rewarding in its own right - try to plan out your major trips and book ahead accordingly.
You delay opening a retirement account.
Investing for retirement is one topic that always comes up during our seminars. FiClub makes no investing recommendations and never offers tax advice - we do recommend our participants discuss investments and tax planning with their own tax / investment advisor.
That being said, we find people put off setting up or even speaking with an advisor due primarily to analysis paralysis and self-sabotage. By putting off making inroads to your retirement planning - you could be missing out on some tax savings advantages and potential employer matched contributions
So, how can you break the habit of procrastination?
One simple strategy is to SIMPLY START a PROJECT
Take for example - investing - You want to invest - You want to start putting money aside - You know you should start - but you keep putting it off. Why is that?
Identify the triggers that hold you back - lack of knowledge? risk of loss?
Take for instance you are afraid of making the wrong decision and losing money - this can fall into lack of knowledge - so, the strategy is simple - START READING and RESEARCHING. Make a declaration, preferably in written form, that can help hold you accountable. An example may be - I commit to reading 2 chapters a night of David Ramsey, (or some other personal financial author). If your project feels overwhelming - keep the declaration simple to start. You can build upon your commitment over time.