11 Ways To Avoid Costly Procrastination

For those who procrastinate, tomorrow is always a better day to start to making better financial decisions about saving and investing.

Procrastinators voluntarily delay doing something like paying their bills, despite knowing they will be worse off due to the delay.

Procrastination can be costly but here are 11 tips to help you fix some of these bad financial habits:

#1 Pay your credit card monthly balance in full. balances Making late payments on our credit cards result in late fees and potentially the penalty interest rate. Total revenues for these fees amount to over $10 billion annually for the credit card companies.

#2 Avoid paying all your bills late.

 You should use as many automated paying options as possible to pay your rent, your student loans, your credit cards, your mortgage, utilities, phone, cable or streaming services.

#3 Pay your income taxes on time. Filing your taxes late means you may have to have to  pay the IRS more. The penalty for filing late is normally 5 percent of the unpaid taxes for each month or part of a month that a tax return is late. That penalty starts accruing the day after the tax filing due date and will not exceed 25 percent of your unpaid taxes.

#4 Keep some cash as a cushion to avoid bouncing checks.Overdraft fees are charged by most banks when you don’t pay attention to your bank account balances. You can opt-in for overdraft coverage. You can also ask your bank to waive these fees and do better in the future.

#5 Be proactive about participation in your workplace retirement plan. Delaying your participation in an employee-sponsored 401K retirement plan often results from decision inertia if there are too many choices to make. Yet you benefit by saving with tax-deferred dollars.

#6 Setting up a 529 college savings plan provides tax deferred benefits like a retirement savings. Saving for your children’s college education with a 529 savings plan is easy to set up. You should begin as soon as possible as compound interest works well when you have as much as 18 years to save for your children.

#7 Your savings, after you create your emergency fund, should be earmarked for investing. Investing outside of retirement is also often delayed with excuses that you don’t understand how to invest.

#8 Practice spending limits. Impulsive spending behaviors are particularly problematic for procrastinators. A 2016 study in the Journal of Academy Marketing Science points out that procrastinators spend a great amount online shopping, to avoid work tasks. This leads to increased impulsive purchases.

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