(two recent trashfinds – cool record album art!)
MY PROCRASTINATION USED TO COST ME $1,600 A YEAR.
I’m a pretty frugal person. I don’t make much money (by choice), but I have an abundance of time, great benefits, and by being thrifty, am still able to pay bills & build a reasonable savings. I subscribe to a few thrifty-type newsletters, and they often have great tips to share that will help save the reader money & time. Unfortunately, many of these tips go right over a thrifty procrastinators head – like me. I read a tip & think, “That’s a good one I could definitely save money with“, but never follow through on it…even though yes, I logically understand how it will save me money. Let me give you an example (or four) of a few ‘DUH! I should have done that years ago‘ (so really, it should be five tips, the first being Try Not To Procrastinate. I sat TRY because I’m convinced many procrastinators don’t do well with orders like DON’T). Each tip probably takes less than five minutes to follow through with.
CABLE. I like cable & am not at a point in my life that I want to cancel it. I’ve seen & read this one for years. Yep, YEARS. Yet, did I ever do anything about it? No. Why? (here comes my inner teen persona) ‘I dunno’…. FINALLY, a day comes around that I find myself calling the cable company as their recent teaser premium channel marketing ‘ free promotion’ was about to end, and I kind of grew to like one particular station (Encore Westerns! Oh how you have fulfilled my TV viewing). I asked about their most minimum package that would give me that channel. I was offered one which included up to 200 channels & was good for six months. In a very WTF!?! moment, their new offer had me paying LESS than I had been for the past five years but gave me MORE channels (132 to be exact). Whatever. I somehow remembered to call again in six months & they renewed it, & somehow, I’m now on automatic renewal at that price. I’ve unfortunately calculated my savings, and the $300 I now save A YEAR would have added up to even more had I acted YEARS ago.
The Daily Coffee. Oh my. I have one cup of coffee in the morning. For years, I hit a convenience store I passed in the morning, paid roughly $1.50, cruised the trash & went to work. When I switched work locations, I had to go out of my way by about three miles to get coffee (uh, my ‘commute’ is just shy of two miles). Let’s ignore the fact there are ‘one-cup’ type coffee makers since I’m just never going to get around to making my own. I tend to like strong coffee, but some days, not-so-strong. I’m not too picky about taste. I had considered instant coffee, but thought it was too pricey (let’s not note that three days of store coffee = one small jar of instant). One day, I discovered my warehouse club carried a generous jar of instant coffee that was very budget friendly. Let’s see – $1.50 a day saved, including the 15 extra minutes involved with manuevering the parking lot & other people – that’s 15 more minutes to trash pick! Rough estimate saved per month (minus expense of coffee/sugar/half&half) = $32.00 a month or $384.00 a year
Prescriptions. I found out our insurance had some deal where you could get prescriptions through the mail for less, but that you’d have to get them three months at a time. So, my doctor wrote my prescriptions for a three month supply, I of course never followed through with mailing it to the company & ended up at the pharmacy anyway. Guess what? Still had a three month prescription but just one co-pay! Holy Crap! (note: my insurance just changed & now they will not approve 90 day scripts at the pharmacy – they MUST be mail-ordered. Drat.) $340 a year saved
GAS. I’ve always consolidated errand running in terms of saving time, but it often translates to saving money too. When people start talking gas prices, in my head I hear the adults in the Peanuts (I’m 37 but really…..what is age…?). Whatever. Am I going to go out of my way to fuel up for three cents less a gallon? No. However, I do (mostly) remember to look at prices & now know even the most expensive gas station near my boyfriend is still cheaper than near me, so I have been remembering to fill up when I visit him (he’s 1/4 of a tank of gas away….). Estimate savings of $576 a year! Just for actually paying attention to gas prices!
Ugh. It’s now time for me to look at those long-term investments & get around to moving stuff like mutual funds into something with better interest & less fees.
How about you? What have you learned from your own procrastination? What steps have you taken?