Putting off for tomorrow what you can do today could end up hurting your wallet.
According to University of Calgary professor Piers Steel in a study published earlier this year in Psychological Bulletin, a peer-reviewed journal by the American Psychological Association, more than one in four Americans consider themselves chronic procrastinators, while only 5% felt this way in 1978.
Why should this concern you? According to Steel, "People who procrastinate tend to be less healthy, less wealthy and less happy." For example, a delay in filing taxes costs the average person $400, while credit card use for last-minute Christmas shopping increased 500% from 1991 to 1999.
Are you a financial procrastinator? When it comes to your own finances, have you been avoiding tasks that you know are important and postponing them until a later date?
Here are 10 financial tasks that you know you should do, but may have been putting off. Answer each to see how much of a financial procrastinator you truly are:1. Are you paying off your credit card in full each month? You know that you pay a fortune to borrow money from credit card companies and that you should pay off your credit card in full each month, but are you doing it? If you have too much credit card debt to pay it in full this month, have you at least put into place a system to get yourself out of credit card debt?
2. Are you contributing to your 401(k) up to the match? You would think that most people would jump at the chance to receive free money. If your company matches a certain percentage of your 401(k) contribution, that is exactly what they are offering you, but studies indicate there is only a 50% chance that you are actually taking this free money.