Procrastination Will Cost You

Procrastination Will Cost You

Procrastination is the downfall of many a college student. It is the cause of point deductions left and right and stands as a grade-dropper through and through.

Many an “A” worthy paper has been marked with a “C” simply because it was handed in past the due date, and many a test has been failed because a student put off studying to the very last minute the night before.

Academically, procrastination is devastating, but what students also don’t realize is that it can have its financial downfalls, as well.

Ever rent a movie from the local Blockbuster and then put off returning it because you “don’t have time” to do so? How about a time when you adopted a pile of library books for an entire semester before realizing they were due 2 months ago?

Though these seem like very simple and common mistakes, they could end up costing you a lot of cash if you aren’t careful. This is because of two simple but dreaded words which will appear when deadlines and due dates are ignored: late fees.

A good example of just how much damage your procrastination can cause your wallet? Just take a look at the charges made in 2009 to a guy named Mr. Thorne.

According to the store manager, Thorne had rented out a total of four movies, and failed to return any of them within a three week time period. This mistake racked up a total of $82.00 in late fees: that’s an $82.00 five-minute run to the store, which evens out to about eleven and a half hours of work for a minimum-wage salary.

Was Water World, Logan’s Run, Journey to the Center of the Earth, and Harold & Kumar worth about three days pay? I think not.

This concern applies to more than just movies and library books; credit card payments, loans, and monthly rent for housing also take a toll on your bank account when you put off paying.

According to Index Credit Cards, credit card late fees average about $34.35 a pop, and a late payment on your rent (past the given grace period) could cost you an additional 10% or more than what you would have originally paid.

So, hypothetically, if you didn’t keep close track of your expenditures and financial responsibilities, between four late movies, one late credit card fee, and a late payment on your rent, you’re looking at an additional $151.00 coming out of your pocket within the span of a month or so. That’s a lot of cash invested in your procrastination.

To avoid running into these preventable expenses, here are a few helpful tips to keep you on top of your game:

  • Sticky notes are your friend. Post important due dates where you can see them. If you are constantly reminded on a daily basis of upcoming payments you need to make, then it will be pretty hard to let them slip your mind and become the cause of a late fee.
  • Keep a planner dedicated to specifically tracking payments you have made, payments that will be due, and even the due dates of movies or books you have rented out. Making it a part of your daily routine to check your “anti-late-fee” planner will help you stay organized and ahead of the game, preventing any surprise when bills or payment notices show up in your mailbox.
  • Be prepared. Budget your monthly spending so that when your rent or bills are due, you can pay them off without even having to think twice. By doing so, not only will you relieve yourself of the additional stress caused by late fees, but you will also establish a good reputation with landlords and your credit card company, so in a time of need, they will be more likely to give you leeway regarding extended grace periods and excused late fees; not to mention a phenomenal credit score.


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