Ever have one of those days when you just don’t feel like dealing with finances? For me this usually happens when I get back from vacation with a pile of receipts to input into Quicken. I look at that stack and think ugh, who wants to go through all those?! Now I usually have an excellent idea of how much money I’m spending while on vacation (and that amount is planned) so it isn’t such a big deal, but I can remember in the past when it wasn’t that way. If this kind of thing happens once a year, you’ll probably just shrug it off and input the receipts anyway. But, if procrastinating on money-related tasks is a regular occurrence…
Multiply the lack of receipt-inputting-enthusiasm by fear of
maybe probably having spent too much, and you get anxiety. Anxiety about whether you’ll have NSF fees. Anxiety about whether someone else will be upset by your NSF fees. Anxiety about where you’ll come up with the money you hadn’t planned on spending but spent anyway. Anxiety about how you’ll pay the bills that are due now that you’ve spent too much on vacation. So…maybe you procrastinate.
The thing is, that only makes things worse. In the case of procrastinating on finances, procrastinating does not delay the inevitable. Instead, it makes the inevitable worse. The more you procrastinate, the worse your finances actually get. Because when you’re not watching them, they’re off collecting interest, late fees and still more NSF fees. Sure, none of us like finding out that “oh crap, the bank took $38 from my account last week that I didn’t know about”, but the sooner we stop the cycle the better.