Procrastination: The money-management killer

By: Kristina Hall, Quizzle.com

Today while searching the web, I came across a list of "The Best Procrastination Quotes." The list has a wide variety of quotes; some tailored to the seriousness of putting things off until the last minute and others taking the results of a carefree life a little more light-heartedly.

Procrastination has always been a personal battle of mine. Homework, laundry, plans for Friday night… I always find a way to wait until the last minute to do everything. This summer I caught an episode of the popular AMC show "Mad Men." I really enjoyed the show and decided I would work it in to my fall television schedule. It's the second week of November and I have not watched another episode of the show. Mad Men's season finale has already come and gone.


Waiting until tomorrow to do something you could do today can make a big difference. This applies to making sure you have clean underwear, but more importantly, it pertains to personal finance. Staying on top of your money habits is imperative to having an accurate picture of your overall financial health.

Budgeting

Keeping track of every transaction seems tedious and time consuming, but it doesn't have to be! Doing your budgeting in a timely fashion really helps when it comes to overall money management.

A lot of people blindly trust their bank's records for all of their transactions. Most of the time, this is an ok practice, but there is usually a delay between when a transaction happens and when it appears on your statement. Having a hard copy of all of your purchases and withdrawals will keep you on top of your spending and possibly even help you catch an error on your bank's statement.

Evaluating expenses


Review your habits and go over expenses frequently. Save receipts and actually look at them at the end of the month. Separate the items you bought that were necessities from the items that were luxuries. Add up the cost of those late night pizza runs and impulse candy bars, and try to eliminate the things you don't really need.

If you make a point to schedule time to review your smaller purchases every month, you will end up catching your unhealthy spending behaviors before they get out of control.

Paying bills


I consider late fees an arch-nemesis. Who wants to pay an extra $25 because you forgot about that utilities bill you got two weeks before it was due?! If at all possible pay bills off as soon as you get them, even if there is a grace period between the time you receive it and the due date. If you can't pay it off just yet, make sure to pin it on a bulletin board or stick it to the refrigerator so you don't forget.

Buying gifts for birthdays and the holidays


The holidays are coming up. Waiting around until the last minute to purchase gifts could mean having to buy a more expensive model or spending more than you initially wanted to in order to compensate for not being able to get the perfect gift for that special someone.

In addition, unless you plan ahead or save up for the holidays, you could find yourself in a pretty big hole if you don't take the excess spending into account when updating your personal budget.

Plan ahead for who you are shopping for and what you need to buy, even if that means buying gifts right now. This will leave more time for learning how to wrap gifts with only three pieces of tape, and truly enjoy the most important part of the holiday season: cookies.

Learning to overcome procrastination is something that could take years to do. However, the best way to defeat the habit is to start making changes today. Sally Berger once said, "The secret of getting ahead is getting started." With the help of money management tips and tools at Quizzle.com, I have started practicing better money management that will ultimately help me save in the long run.

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Photo credit: https://www.flickr.com/photos/rwjensen/