Procrastination is a real thing that can trickle into other areas of your life. Financial procrastination is one of those areas.
What is Financial Procrastination?
Financial procrastination is when you have financial obligations and moves to make, but you put those decisions aside on a continuous basis. For instance – you know you need to balance your checkbook, but you continue waiting until things are going wrong. Or, you may have student loans and need to apply for a deferment but you let the time lapse and end up in the credit bureau.
Can you overcome it? Yes. Do you have work to do? Again, yes. Here are a few suggestions on how to get past your procrastination:
1. Accept Where You Are
You may feel as if you have to do too many things to get past the point of no return. The key is in accepting where you are, knowing you may never be ready to tackle everything, and start from there. Motivating yourself, even when you don’t want to, allows you to make baby steps toward making things right.
2. Time It
When you decide to take those baby steps, don’t overdo it. Give yourself time to get adjusted to figuring things out. Taking five or 10 minutes to do something simple is the first step in this transformation. Perception is everything. Don’t shy away because you feel as if things are too far gone. Address it one step at a time.
3. Assign Everything a Deadline
If you work well under pressure, put your financial tasks on a deadline. With a firm deadline in place, it is easier to look at the task as something that absolutely has to be done, rather that something that can be put off again and again.
4. Set Some Goals
Your baby steps should be tied to your goals. What do you need to do? How can it be accomplished? Even if it’s going to open up that new bank account, you should set a goal and a date by when it should be done. This way, you’ll always hold yourself accountable.
5. Don't Forget to Reward Yourself
When you tackle those financial issues, take some time to reward yourself. These rewards can be tied to your short and long-term goals. For instance, if you want to go see a movie, give yourself an hour to get things done before you have to leave. If you haven’t done what you were supposed to do, then no movie. Or, set yourself up for completing a number of financial tasks. For every task you complete, you get to surf the net, or watch something you really wanted to. It’s a different type of motivation, but could work in your favor.
Having someone close to you around to monitor your progress can go a long way. You’ll hold yourself accountable, but someone else will be holding you accountable too. Once you establish these healthy habits when it comes to your finances, the stressfulness of the situation may help prevent your procrastination.
- This material is intended to be educational in nature, and not as a recommendation of any particular strategy, approach, product or concept for any particular advisor or client. These materials are not intended as any form of substitute for individualized investment advice. The discussion is general in nature, and therefore not intended to recommend or endorse any asset class, security, or technical aspect of any security for the purpose of allowing a reader to use the approach on their own. Before participating in any investment program or making any investment, clients as well as all other readers are encouraged to consult with their own professional advisers, including investment advisers and tax advisors. Faithful Steward Wealth Advisors can assist in determining a suitable investment approach for a given individual, which may or may not closely resemble the strategies outlined herein.
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