Getting things done on time has always been a tall order for humans in general. Even the most punctual and most disciplined fall victim of this one habit called procrastination. We just have a tendency of postponing tasks.
Munnee in this scenario didn’t even take trouble to work on the task allocated, he was busy practicing his signature! It is true that we concentrate on the wrong tasks in our day to day lives.
Funny thing is there is always that small voice at the back of your mind reminding you what you are supposed to do. Sad thing is that you will devise means of ignoring or even pay less attention to that reminder. Thats just human nature. Procrastination could have caused Munnee his entire book project. This could also negatively reflects on Munnee’s finances in future, who knows what that book project was worth.
Unless a lesson is learnt, people still repeat the same mistake over and over again. There is a price to pay though. A task that could have been finished in a few minutes will require lots of time in future simply because it will fall at inappropriate time.
Just like smoking and any other bad habit, there are phases to stop financial procrastination. Whenever you hear that voice at the back of your mind, write it down on your to do list.
Here I’m going to share a few common financial procrastinations along with the solution:
Problem: Need to do the immediate.
You probably spend a big percentage of your time on tasks that affect you in that moment of time. Things like grocery shopping, doing laundry, paying bills, partying, getting your hair done, socialising. Fine, these things are important but they tend to overshadow the ones that will affect you positively in the long run.
Ensure that a Retirement Plan is high priority on your to do list. Spare 30 minutes of your planning day, envisioning the retirement plan in place. There are great resources to help you see you through your plan. There are lots of such websites that compute and calculate your rough retirement plan online. If need be, consult a financial adviser so that you get a well laid out plan basing your current income flow. This will enable you put aside a significant amount of money monthly which will accumulate over time.
Problem: A drained bank account.
There is nothing as sad as looking at zeros while checking the account balance. Such accounts cannot motivate you to start saving. Change in your spending behaviour would positively affect your bank account though. Those late night snacks, fast food and lattes would have to be stopped if that is considered lavish spending.
Applying frugal attitude ways would certainly come handy. Its a give and take world so giving up the luxuries could set you a comfortable retirement in future. A significant percentage will be rescued from your luxuries then added to your monthly savings. Make this a habit then your wealth can grow with time.
Problem: The Alpha in the relationship.
One of the major disagreements in marriages will arise from failure to come to a consensus regarding finances. One party will always try to assert themselves while the other would think that they are perhaps more frugal and financial savvy. So how can a retirement plan be drawn without either side throwing major tantrums?
First and foremost, negotiate about these issues and agree on it before tying the knot.
It is advisable to find a party nonpartisan to work on your financial plan together. This could be a financial adviser. Even one of you in the relationship is a financial professional, it is better to let experts conduct the session. Agree on achievable goals to get there. It is good to compromise and also acknowledge each other’s efforts.
In the effort to work together, open an account together. I cannot emphasise the need for a couple to open up a bank account dedicated to retirement. This can be done in various ways like setting up a payroll deduction, establishing a dedicated bank account, and opening an investment account. Try to involve even the stay at home moms so that they do not feel left out.
Have the phone calls made but before that, review the saving progress when both parties are around so that everyone is kept updated. Be it a bank or a financial advisor, the person on the end will be glad to help you. Always have all the information needed ready so as to ease tracking your records.
Problem: Investment Delays.
So it has been a successful year. Even after securing your savings and you still have a surplus, no investment has been made! In other words your money is just sitting in your account. It is not multiplying. Remember that it is there at your disposal for you to spend. You could end up spending your surplus on other commodities you do not need.
Money is productive if put to good use. By good use I mean investing so that you get a profit off that investment. It is advisable to invest after your savings and other expenses having been catered for. Investments done at the right time enable you to enjoy your profit and also it gives you an upper hand against competitors. That way you will increase your income and net worth. Some of your profit will be put aside for your retirement plan as well.
Prompt actions are needed to replace your habit of financial procrastination. It is however not as easy as it sounds so start with small habits like writing down whatever you are procrastinating about on your “to-do-list”. You will be amazed by how much you will save should you kick this habit.
So instead of promising yourself that you will save later, why don’t you start small then make your way to the top?
Share with us how financial procrastination has affected you and your loved ones.