One tool that’s often overlooked in the quest to spend less is the tendency to procrastinate & rationalize. Many of us are procrastinators, so why not turn that trait into something positive for our wallets?
What do I mean? Occasionally you can procrastinate your way into spending less.
Take my car, for example. I don’t have AC in it. Or heat. Most people might find not having one or both of those things intolerable, but it doesn’t bother me. I had my heater bypassed a few years ago, and I don’t even remember when my car’s AC quit working. It’s been a long time. I always sort of vaguely mean to get the AC fixed, but keep putting it off. Like I’m doing now.
Here’s how my thought process goes. It’s already summer, and my car would have to be in the shop for a day or two to get the AC fixed. Which means I’d have to walk home from work then right at the hottest part of the day, so ew. I’d have to spend the money, and I’d rather use that for something else. How often will I be driving anywhere that takes longer than 5 minutes to get to anyway? Not often. A convertible just doesn’t get all that cool in 5 minutes or less anyway, even with the AC blasting. Geez I could just take some ice water with me if I have to take an hour drive or something. Plus we’re going to be gone for a few weeks this summer anyway. Before I know it summer’ll be half over. So why get it fixed now? Then it’ll get cooler out, and I’ll think well, I wouldn’t use the AC at all now even if it did work, so maybe I’ll wait and do it in the spring. Then spring comes and it’s so beautiful out that I want to enjoy driving around in the nice weather. So I don’t do it then either. Rinse & repeat.
The silly thing about this is that the AC unit MIGHT just need freon. (And to be divested of years of dust.) But it’s just not worth it to me to get it checked out. If it’s in the shop anyway for something else, maybe I’ll get it looked at then. (Hm, more rationalization.)
I KNOW this is silly. But I also know it’s silly to spend money on something that I just don’t care that much about. So why not continue procrastinating and give my wallet a break?
Plus, if I ever do get it fixed, chances are that I’ll appreciate it much more than I ever would have otherwise. How do I know this? Well, I drove around for something like 15 years with blown speakers and the original factory stereo. And wow do I ever appreciate the new speakers (thanks to my husband) and the new stereo. I can hear notes that I’ve literally never heard in songs before. It’s like a whole new world of music. So what if my son laughs at me for finally getting a CD player when the rest of the world is into iPods? The stereo does have a jack for that too, but CDs and all those great new notes in the songs are fine by me.