Dollars and Sense

Don’t Be Afraid Of Your Finances

Everyone procrastinates, even the most “type A” of people. But procrastination is not always due to being lazy or being too busy. Some people procrastinate because they are perfectionists- if they can’t do a task perfectly, they won’t do it all. Some people procrastinate out of fear of facing the task- they assume the task will make them feel uncomfortable, stressed, anxious, etc., and so they avoid it. It’s this second reason I’ve been thinking about lately.

There’s many things I put off doing out of fear of the stress, anxiety, etc. that the task may cause:

I really should call _____, but it may be an awkward conversation.

I need to open 5,000 pieces of mail, but the idea of that seems overwhelming.

I need to go through all these receipts, update my budget, get cheaper insurance, fill out these financial papers- ugh…

After being an Olympic-level procrastinator for quite sometime, I’ve gotten better by realizing this:

The stress from the consequences of not doing something is usually greater than the stress of facing it.

The stress of filing 10 receipts a week is much less than the stress of going through a box of 200 receipts. The annoyance of checking your bank statement once a week for any fraudulent purchases is much less than that of putting it off and checking it every 3 months, then not remembering if that was you or not buying those burritos back in February.*  Researching cheaper car insurance or phone carriers is less stressful than facing paying a rising bill each month. Finding a budget method that works for you and sticking to it is less stressful than wondering where your money went every month.

I’m still a work in progress; there’s areas that are easier for me to tackle than others. Having a list of past accomplishments helps- I can look back at all the things I have tackled in the past, and this can help motivate me to get other things done that I’m dreading. (When I’m feeling unmotivated, I remind myself that I shredded about 12 garbage bags worth of papers over a period of a few months, and I don’t want to let them pile up like that again!).

What are you procrastinating from today? What steps can you take to move forward in tackling it?

* Text alerts are a great help with tracking purchases.

(Image from pixabay.com)

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