Lessons in procrastination

You'd think I'd have learned by now, after I-don't-know-how-many years of handling my/our finances, that the whole process works a lot better when I stay on top of my responsibilities instead of neglecting them in favour of more interesting diversions.

Yeah, you'd think.

For the first few months after we moved, I was very organized about our finances - more than I'd been in awhile, in fact. I had to be, as between selling our old house, buying a new one, paying for the move, shipping our vehicle, and so on, there was a significant amount of money exchanging hands, and we could have found ourselves in a great deal of trouble if I hadn't been organized.

But then, once we'd settled in to our new home, lulled into a state of relaxation by the fact that we don't spend as much as we used to, and therefore there aren't as many receipts for me to deal with, I procrastinated. The receipts and bills piled up in their basket and I ignored them, telling myself that it would hardly take any time for me to sort them out anyway, so it was really no big deal.

Throughout this time, though I wasn't bothering to enter my receipts into my financial program, I wasn't totally ignoring my bills. I'd made notes of due dates and faithfully paid the relevant amounts on time... or so I thought! As it turned out, my disorganization, combined with a glitch in the entry I'd made into my program, made me think I'd paid a certain utility bill, even though I hadn't actually done so. I only discovered this regrettable fact when I received a rather unpleasant "PAST DUE" notice in the mail on Friday.

Oops.

I freaked out a little, dug into my records, checked my financial program, found my mistake, and promptly paid the delinquent bill.

Then, I set aside time today to catch up on my financial affairs so that this wouldn't happen again.

Unsurprisingly, what would have taken a matter of a few minutes each week (if I hadn't been procrastinating) ended up taking several hours for me to complete. AND, to add insult to injury, it appears as though a receipt for some claimable prescriptions has been misplaced or thrown out. It's possible that it might turn up yet, but if it doesn't, we're out a not-insignificant amount of money. Had I been better organized over the past while, I would have realized immediately that I didn't have the receipt, and we'd have been able to check shopping bags, garbage cans, and so on to see if it had been inadvertently tossed. Now, because of the amount of time that's passed, if it was thrown out, it's long gone.

Lessons learned!

Do you get yourself in trouble by procrastinating?



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~ Dawn @ Alphabet Salad

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