How Procrastination is Killing America’s Finances? How You Can Avoid Procrastination?

How to avoid financial procrastination?

One of the ways to show that you have control of your life is by paying ALL of your bills on time. Also, when you fix your finances, you will fix your life. Putting your bills in automation, and knowing exactly when they are going to be paid, will reduce stress, avoid late fees, and penalties, save you money, and above all, enable you to have more options. 

10 Ways to Avoid Financial Procrastination

Sign up for auto-pay. Most of your regular recurring bills – utilities, mortgage, car loan, etc. – provide you with the option of having the amount you owe automatically deducted from a designated bank account. Make it easy by making it automatic. 

When you make it automatic, you avoid paying your bills last minute. You might think that you will have more control over your money if you manage when you pay your bills. But do not fall into that trap!  You will have more power when you make it automatic. 

This also applies to investments and cash value life insurance.  If you make these deposits automatic, you will not even miss the money.  Make sure that every single paycheck, there is an amount that goes straight to your savings and investments. 

Use financial software with automatic bill-paying reminders. There are so many out there, Microsoft Money and Intuit products like Quicken or Mint, have features to set reminders so you can pay in advance bills that are not in automatic payments and so you can pay ahead of the due dates.

Consolidate bills. Sometimes one company will offer multiple products, and this can make it more cost-effective and more comfortable to pay as well. For example, get internet, phone service, and cable TV from the same provider, maybe even your cell phones. That way, instead of paying three separate monthly bills, you will only pay once, and it will be unlikely that you will miss a due date that way.

Also, if you are still able, consolidate your credit card debt into one or two.  A lot of times, the interest rate is 0 or at a low rate, and you can make more significant payments towards them and pay it off sooner. 

Carve bill review time. Do you go to the gym regularly? I am sure that if you do, you set up some specific times to go and   Set up a particular time in the month to review all of your bills and make it a habit to do so. Like you separate time to go to the gym or to go to work, make sure you do the same to review your bills and your budget at the very least once a month.

Talking about the gym, do you have a gym membership, and you don't even go to it, but still, you don't cancel the membership?  Are you one of those that says, I am going to keep it because I am going to start going next week?  Or are you one of those that forget that they are withdrawing the money from your bank account?  How many memberships do you have like that right now?  

Meal Prep Instead A lot of times, as families, we don’t separate enough time to prepare meals. This ends us up eating out and overspending in restaurants, fast food joints, instead of buying groceries at the store. 

A few ideas to avoid financial problems are to check as a family what are the top 10 favorite meals. Then designate a day for a family meal prep.  My meal prep day is Sunday. Then separate them, store some in the freezer and some in the fridge.

The hardest part of the process is planning, but it will only take 15 minutes or less. I have a generic electronic Grocery List of things that I buy on a weekly or monthly basis. 

So when I go to buy groceries, I already know what I want to buy and the meals that I am planning to prepare.  And the grocery list is already stored in my phone. We usually carry our cell phones everywhere we go, so it should not be hard to maintain it.   

Budgeting, I know, perhaps you might hate budgeting. For some people, the word budget is a bad word.  It could feel too controlling, or restrictive, but not really. 

When you know how much money you are making each month and how much you have to put towards your basic needs, you will be able to understand how much you can save for the things that are most important to you and how much you can spend on your wants. 

So if you want to avoid financial procrastination, you need to know your numbers.

Credit Card Debt Your credit card balance is increasing each month, and you’re worried about how to pay them off.  Don’t panic; there are different methods for you to be able to pay your credit cards off without feeling overwhelmed.  

Are you making just the minimum payments? This is the most common and worst procrastination habit.  

All you have to do is know the best option for you.  It could be the snowball method, credit management, credit settlement, and in some rare cases, bankruptcy.  Most people do best with the snowball payment method. The good thing about it is that once you have established a payment method, all you have to do is focus on money-making activities instead of the debt.

Organize your mail. As soon as you get mail, open it up if it falls into a category that you need to file for a year or so, make sure that you do it at least once a month.  You don’t want to keep mail forever. Also, there are many ways that you can reduce the amount of mail you get at home.

For example, instead of getting all of your bills every month, use the paperless system.  You have already signed up for automatic pay anyways. And you already have a day that you review your statements.  Create a habit of opening the mail and noting any due date for a bill as soon as you open it, and then put the time on your calendar. 

And whatever has been taken care of, make sure to shred it and throw it away. You have created online reminders, as well as already. Another option is to unsubscribe from junk mail.

Get Serious About Your Financial Future. One recommendation to avoid financial procrastination is through the concept of paying yourself first.  When you do, you are separating a specific amount of money every month for yourself. Like on your bills, having this money taken out of your paycheck directly to the account, is the best way to do it, because you do not see the money out of your check and you are not going to miss it. 

So taking into consideration that you might get paid one to 5 times a month, you can to make sure that every single paycheck takes an amount for your future YOU. And more importantly, know your Financial Freedom Number.  Do you know what is the amount of money you need to retire?  Do you know how to get there?  Have you carved a financial plan that will allow you to have at least ten times or more your income for when you retire? All of these are fundamental questions to answer, and the best part is that all you have to do is contact me, and I will help you to have the answers. Just click and make an appointment HERE. 

File Your Taxes On Time. There are many reasons why you shouldn’t wait until the last minute to file your taxes — the main one being you would avoid penalties for filing late.  The IRS is enforcing the law, and they are no joke!

If you don’t file your taxes on time or you don’t pay the money you owe on time, they will penalize you and will add excessive interest to your debt. Set up reminders to prepare your taxes months in advance.  You can hire a CPA or Accountant to help you with it, but if you feel competent enough, you can use sites like TurboTax and TaxAct to file them for free or for a small fee. 

If you are self-employed, make it a goal of paying your taxes every quarter, that way you will avoid having to pay a massive amount after tax season. However, if you are already in trouble with the IRS, and you are starting to receive letters, and you owe more than $10,000, call Optima Tax Relief. They are experts at Tax Resolution.

 

Bonus Tip

  • Prepay bills. If you have a tough time making your payments on time, you might want to consider prepaying your bills to avoid those punishing late fees. Many creditors will allow you to pay your bills in advance, effectively creating a credit. If you have irregular income, or if you find that you have some surplus cash, consider prepaying one or more of your recurring bills. That way, you won’t have to worry about payment due dates for a few months. Just keep an eye on your monthly statements to know when you need to begin paying again.





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