You might even be one of them.
But while this practice seems innocuous enough, it’s actually costing you an embarrassing amount of money. Here are six ways your procrastination is hitting you where it hurts — right in the wallet:
I work from home, and I get distracted. If I’m not taking care of the dog, I’m doing laundry. If I’m not washing dishes, I’m vacuuming. The problem with this practice, however, is that every minute I waste doing something that’s not making me money, I’m losing money. If you’re a freelancer or telecommuter and have a similar problem, then leave your home and find a place where you can fully concentrate on making money. I bop around from the local library to the local hotel lobby to neighborhood cafes, but sometimes I also check into a co-working office because I’m motivated by the other entrepreneurs around me. The latter is a bit of investment — co-working prices vary by area; you can rent a desk by the day or month — but it may make more financial sense in the long run.
Many professionals complain that they’re too busy to take on new projects, but is that really the case? Maybe you’re just tired and need more sleep. Or maybe you’re just making excuses to be lazy. Either way, you’ve gotta snap out of it. If you want to make more money, you have to cultivate new contacts at networking events, and actively pursue new business opportunities by making cold calls or working your connections.
Unnecessary payment penalties
Procrastination in paying your bills can significantly impact your finances.
“Added credit card interest charges can add up if not paid on time,” says Randall Yates, founder and CEO of The Lenders Network. “You should pay all of your bills on time to ensure you avoid penalties. Most creditors these days have auto-pay features you should take advantage of. With credit cards you can set up the minimum payment to be paid on the due date. And if you want to pay more than the minimum, you can always make an additional payment anytime you wish.”
More expensive travel
Planning ahead pays off by reducing your stress; it can also save you money. This is especially important to remember when booking travel and accommodations for vacations. Prices will almost always be more affordable far in advance, as opposed to booking late, or at the last minute. This isn’t a hard-and-fast rule — great deals on impromptu getaways are often available — but you’ll have the best chance of saving the most money if you do your planning as early as possible.
Your sedentary lifestyle may not impact on your finances now, but it will catch up with you eventually. According to the American Heart Association, those who are physically inactive experience between 1.5 and 2.4 times the risk of developing coronary heart disease than those with high blood cholesterol, high blood pressure or who smoke cigarettes. A life of little to no physical activity also increases the risk of developing diabetes, hypertension, colon cancer, depression and anxiety, obesity, and weak muscles and bones. The decision to remain seated most of your life is a costly one — not only money-wise, but also because it could be cutting your life unnecessary short.
A paltry retirement nest egg
Mitchell Walker, author of the recently released book The PouchPlan Budget and the former CFO of a Berkshire Hathaway company for 15 years, explains in laymen’s terms how putting off saving for retirement is a real punch to the gut.
“Jane, age 20, saves $100 per month for 10 years and averages 7% return,” he says. “She quits saving when she’s 30. Jack starts saving when he is 30 and he, too, puts back $100 per month and averages 7%. How long does it take Jack to pass Jane in total dollars accumulated? He never will! When they both turn 70, Jane will have $265,000 and Jack will have only $246,000. And keep in mind that Jane only contributed $12,000 — while Jack put in $48,000.”
This is the reason that Albert Einstein called compounding interest the most powerful force in the universe. If your retirement savings is lacking, get it in gear. Now.
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