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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?

Laurel Storey, CZT – Certified Zentangle Teacher. Writer, reader, tangler, iPhoneographer, cat herder, learner of French and Italian, crocheter, needle felter, on-and-off politics junkie, 80s music trivia freak, ongoing work in progress.

{ 16 comments… add one }
  • The Shiny Butter Blog March 26, 2012

    Hey, you’re talkin’ to a girl who didn’t do her taxes for three years in a row. Yeah, I know a few things about procrastination:
    http://shinybutter.com/about/
    (But to reassure the girl I know who was so certain that I was “one of those people who’s not paying my fair share of taxes,” the IRS actually owed me thousands of dollars, so it was no sweat off their back for the 3 years that I was AWOL. Bless her heart.)
    The Shiny Butter Blog recently posted… Ten Things That My Dashboard Hula Girl’s Accident Taught MeMy Profile

  • Lou Lou Loves March 26, 2012

    Oh I am a fan of procrastination! How else do I have time to blog? Sometimes we have clean but un-ironed laundry for up to 2 weeks just sitting pretty in a pile. My taxes are basically done by the Swedish state otherwise it would take me 3 years too!
    Lou Lou Loves recently posted… Spring Fling Awakens in LightMy Profile

  • Sabrina March 26, 2012

    Yes, procrastination is an acquaintance…No…Strike that…Procrastination visits me in different areas of my life and different times, quite regularly. Like you, I know there’s a price to pay for procrastination but it’s not until it hits your finances that it’s tangible. I’m pretty irritated with myself when my laziness results in a financial penalty.
    Sabrina recently posted… A scalable wall at every levelMy Profile

  • Kathy March 27, 2012

    I know all about procrastination. I always procrastinate about washing dishes because I hate washing dishes. If I can find anything else to do, I will do that. Then the dishes pile up, and eventually take over and I have no choice but to wash dishes. UGH. Everyone learns the hard way about procrastinating about paying bills. I know I did. Nobody is perfect.

    Kathy
    http://gigglingtruckerswife.blogspot.com/
    Kathy recently posted… Tasty Tuesday: Cinnamon Apple Breakfast SundaeMy Profile

  • Classic NYer March 27, 2012

    Procrastination is my red-lipped mistress. I really do try to be faithfully committed to my responsibilities but she’s just so seductive…

    I was just lamenting that this morning while reading an article on something or other while slowly making myself late to my next appointment. ::sigh::
    Classic NYer recently posted… On cheatingMy Profile

  • Eleni Poulakou March 29, 2012

    I’m actually procrastinating RIGHT NOW — with a writing project open, and me hating even the thought of it!

    You know how it is, when you don’t want to do the job, brain-central shuts down and nothing works anymore… (sigh… then another sigh…)
    Eleni Poulakou recently posted… Poet Cavafy, King Darius and Poetic InspirationMy Profile

    • Laurel Regan
      Twitter:
      March 29, 2012

      I know exactly what you mean! Even when it’s something we enjoy (like writing), sometimes it becomes a chore and that leads to procrastination. Not fun!
      Laurel Regan recently posted… Just look at herMy Profile

  • Masked Mom March 31, 2012

    This is an all-too-familiar issue for me, I hate to admit. Once, I procrastinated away a $150.00 rebate on a computer by setting the receipt aside because I was going to get to it “next week” and then all of a sudden, it was the day after the deadline. That’s like wadding up cash and throwing it away.
    Masked Mom recently posted… Bells Will Be RingingMy Profile

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