I like to think that I’m not a procrastinator. But that’s not true. I totally am.
I start every day procrastinating, in fact, by pushing the snooze button five times before waking up.
If I have a deadline, I tend to push it to the very last minute. It’s not that I goof off the rest of the time, I just like to think of it as efficient time management. I prioritize the most important tasks first (like getting five more minutes of sleep), and push aside the tasks that can wait until later.
I mean, it wouldn’t be a very good use of my time if I actually ended up getting ready early for work and was left twiddling my thumbs, now would it?
From a finance perspective, however, procrastinating can often lead to bad things.
Like the time I procrastinated getting my wisdom teeth out. I put that off for ten years, actually, until it was so bad my dentist informed me my wisdom teeth were destroying on the rest of my mouth.
By the time I got around to getting them yanked, I not only had the $1400 bill to the oral surgeon, but also $1000 in other unpleasant oral-related procedures to fix the damage my wisdom teeth left behind.
If I’d gotten them out during college, when they first came in, my parents would have paid for them. Instead of paying $2400, I would have paid $0.
Now, that wasn’t very smart of me.
Then there was the time I procrastinated dealing with that photo radar ticket. It wasn’t actually me who was driving, but a female friend who happened to look like me. I had heard that it was my fifth amendment right to not rat her out, but I didn’t know the right way to go about it.
So I set the papers aside for a few weeks, figuring I’d get to it later. I didn’t even look at the due date.
Then I received a notice from the court that my license had been suspended for failure to pay a traffic ticket. And once it reached that point, it was too late to go back and claim that the driver wasn’t me (which it wasn’t). Not only did I get an unwarranted ticket on my record, but I had to pay $130 in dummy fees to reinstate my right to drive.
But I don’t know, there have been a few times that my procrastinating ways have actually saved me money.
For instance, last week, when Baby Rock’s teacher was collecting pizza money for his class Valentine’s party. Of course, I didn’t turn in my money a week in advance like other prompt parents did. I waited until it was actually Valentine’s day to fork it over.
But when Baby Rock went to hand her his $2, she whispered in his ear and told him to give it back to me. She said she collected way too much money for pizza, so she didn’t need any more. All those sucker parents who paid early fronted the whole bill, and the slackers like me got a free ride.
Procrastination for the win?
Another example. Last year I went to Chicago for a conference. I purchased my conference ticket in June, and checked airline fares at the same time. They were running about $450 for a round-trip flight.
Obviously, I didn’t buy my airfare right then. That would have betrayed my duty to procrastinate. Instead, I waited until the conference was only a month away.
And guess what? Airline fares had dropped, saving me $150 overall.
So the verdict is in. Procrastinating can cost you. But sometimes it saves you.
Should we call it a tie?
Are you a master procrastinator? A member of procrastination nation? Do you want to join my club…tomorrow?
photo by redct