There was a box of old receipts I used to sit and watch swell from week to week back when I first started out as a subcontractor. The box sat right beside me at my desk, so it’s not like its consistent growth could have come as much of a surprise.
Yet I ignored the box. Not “shrug it off, I’ll get to it tomorrow” ignored - I’m talking complete voluntary oblivion as to the box’s purpose. My eyes could see it, but that box of random receipts might as well have been invisible because my conscious brain seemed to block it out like a solar eclipse.
Ignoring tedious responsibilities is a rite of passage we’ve all succumbed to once in awhile. Whether you’re a freelance writer, a tradesperson, or a mortgage broker, chances are you’ve procrastinated once or twice when you should have been taking action.
Fact is you’re just putting off the inevitable.
1. Waiting Until the Last Minute
Why do we wait as long as possible to pay our taxes? To pay our bills? To organize our receipts?
Probably because it’s not only boring, it’s a reminder of the health of our budget.
The thing is that it’s usually worse than you think. Oftentimes when I finally dig into my month end responsibilities I’m pleasantly surprised with the state of my financial affairs. And let me tell you, that’s a good feeling - kinda like finding an old 20 in a seldom-worn set of jeans.
However, waiting until the last minute is dangerous. Sure, you might finish the job or pay that bill in time, but what if something else comes up? What if an emergency strikes and you need that money?
2. Spending Every Cent of Disposable Income
We’re all guilty of this from time to time as well. You have a particularly good month or you incur a moment of weakness and bam - suddenly that windfall is gone and you own a jet-ski for some reason.
Look, we all want to enjoy life, and you gotta spend money to make money, right? Wait, that’s not how that’s supposed to go…
Just be careful.
3. Standing Pat for Too Long
But don’t be too careful! There’s a lot to be said for sticking with your budget, protecting your savings, and living within your means. However, that doesn’t mean you’re trapped and you must remain content with your current situation forever.
Far from it!
Look, buying a home is the biggest purchase you can make. It’s a prospect that frightens a lot of people. We know this because we’ve talked a lot of people out of getting a mortgage.
That said, when you’ve got your eye on the next step and you’re well aware of the pros and cons (and you have a little help along the way), sometimes all that’s left to do is pick up your socks, get to work and make it happen. Committing to the future and a large purpose is just the kick start a lot of people need to grow their budget.
Cuz it ain’t gonna grow itself!