How does procrastination save money? It sounds like a pretty absurd concept compared to the question of how procrastination costs money. And it’s true that in many cases, looking to procrastination to help you save is a truly dumb idea unless you are not talking about blowing off your financial commitments in favor of staying liquid in a financial sense.
How Procrastination Can Help You Save
No-spend tactics are key to saving money for some people. And with that in mind, there is one good way being a procrastinator can help you save, and that’s in the area of your impulse spending. Impulse buys, late-night Amazon.com shopping (especially after a glass of wine), and other unplanned purchases can take the momentum off your spending plans at best, and put you in a financial hole, worst-case.
So how can you use procrastination to help you save money in this area? One way is to plan in advance NOT to purchase at the time you do your initial window-shopping online or in person.
Build in some cooling-down time after the initial excitement of finding a new item to buy, and plan ahead to make that cooling-off period your personal shopping policy. Procrastination can help you not to buy things when you first shop for them.
Commit to this ahead of your late-night browsing or weekend retail therapy sessions and you will have a much easier time ignoring the urge to buy RIGHT NOW. It takes some time to get into the habit and EVERYBODY falls off the wagon, so to speak, in the earliest days of this strategy.
But when that happens, just pick up where you left off and vow to do much better next time.
How Procrastination Costs You Money
Let’s not discuss the most obvious issues here–we ALL KNOW you rack up late fees for not paying your bills on time and we all know that not paying your bills on time has a direct negative effect on your credit rating. Other, less thoughtful personal finance blogs may hammer these issues to death, but here, let’s look at a much less-discussed aspect of how procrastination can cost you money.
Go take a look at the fine print on ANY of your credit cards. Many credit agreements include a provision that allows the credit card company to jack up your interest rates in response to late or missed payments. Ask yourself if you know how much interest you are paying NOW. Then ask yourself how much those payments could increase if you procrastinate and make late/missed payments.
If you don’t know, you may already be costing yourself money.
And that is the key to understanding how to avoid losing money due to the foibles of life, human nature, and the tyranny of the urgent; you need to know exactly how and when you will be penalized for late or missed payments on your credit accounts. If you don’t know, the credit card company has a HUGE advantage over you. One you should take aggressive steps to eliminate.
Procrastinating on your monthly payments directly affects your FICO score--on-time payments are the leading issue. Payment issues are responsible for 35% of the factors that affect your credit score according to multiple sources including the credit reporting agencies themselves.
Joe Wallace is a writer and editor from Illinois. He was an editor and producer for Air Force Television News for 13 years, and has served as Managing Editor for publications including Gearwire.com, and Associate Editor for FHANewsBlog.com. He is also an experienced book and script editor specializing in non-fiction and documentary filmmaking.