Four Thrifty Tips For Hopeless Procrastinators

(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?

Looking for more great thrifty tips?  Check out The Dollar Stretcher www.stretcher.com & Thrifty Fun www.thriftyfun.com – two sites I’ve referred to for years & absolutely love!

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3 Responses to Four Thrifty Tips For Hopeless Procrastinators

  1. Pingback: Trashfinds

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  3. Van says:

    Ugh…this one is a painful post. I don’t have cable (I miss HG TV, horror movies, and anything with cartoons!), I try to consolidate errands, and I have a daily tea instead of coffee at work. What kills me is packing lunch! I procrastinate and don’t make a meal plan, go grocery shopping, and prepare the big parts of lunch the night before so it’s easy to pack in the morning…the result is me being hungry for most of the day because I throw a pack of carrot sticks and a wedge of cheese in the purse before running out the door.

    Need to stop procrastinating and get my healthy lunch on! (Today’s lunch is carrot sticks and an orange…again…) And thanks for the prescription reminder, not only did I forget to take my pill, I need to get my ass to the pharmacy and renew it….

    …procrastination kills the budget!

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