PAUL FAIN: BEAT FINANCIAL PROCRASTINATION BY SETTING EASY GOALS
“Procrastination is my sin, it brings me constant sorrow. I really shouldn’t practice it. Perhaps I’ll stop tomorrow.”
Why do we procrastinate, especially on matters of financial importance? Often it is because the task is unpleasant or difficult. In other circumstances, we are avoiding an embarrassing truth or uncomfortable reality. Sometimes, we procrastinate simply because we give other things higher priority with our time.
Probably the most common areas for financial procrastination are developing and managing a spending plan, increasing savings, rebalancing an investment account or portfolio, getting estate documents drafted or revised, purchasing appropriate insurance protections or committing to a debt reduction plan.
What is the cost of procrastination? In real dollar terms, it can be wasteful spending, overcharging on credit cards, too little cash reserves for emergencies or too much exposure to market risk. In terms of emotional health, the cost can be stress, anxiety, depression and strained family relationships.
Procrastinating in some areas, like estate planning, can create chaos both financially and emotionally.
“Gee, Paul. Happy holidays to you, too,” you might mutter after reading the previous comments. Actually there is a bright ray of hope during this season of merriment — New Year’s resolutions!
But try something different this year. Instead of focusing on an impossible list of financial planning goals, list two or three habits that you want to change in 2020.
For example, commit to spending an hour every Sunday reviewing your spending plan and making adjustments for the week ahead. Get up an hour earlier every Thursday morning to review a scheduled financial topic (debt, investments, estate, insurance, etc.).
You get the picture? Commit time to your personal financial plan and show up to make changes!
Over the course of the year, you will make incremental progress on your goal list and the benefit will compound for years to come.
Best wishes for a blessed holiday season.
This article was originally published in the Knoxville News Sentinel on December 19, 2019.
Do you have questions about financial planning, investing, or retirement planning? Send your questions to our Knoxville Certified financial planner Paul Fain or directly to Paul@assetplanningcorp.com!