Financial Procrastination

Dave is also looking to retire no later than 45, but unlike Tim has no kids and doesn’t want any. Dave is from Ontario and is working towards his CGA certification.

I will be the first person to admit that when it comes to spending money – even if it’s a small amount, I hesitate. I drive my wife nuts over the amount of research I’ll do over a $20 widget that she knows I’ll like, or the fact that there have been times when we’ve gone somewhere to buy something only for me to pick it up in my hand, hold it and put it back on the shelf. She is much more of a spender than I am and enjoys new things. I on the other hand hate to waste money, and would rather do without that widget most times rather than part with money in my account.

Where I run into trouble at times are when deadlines become involved with the spending decisions I need to make. Recently, we just accepted the house and car insurance package given to us, instead of shopping around a bit (a serious personal finance no-no). My upcoming mortgage term is approaching (I need to finance the last 10% of our house) and I really haven’t even looked into my options at all.

I know I’m procrastinating, but like most things of this nature, it’s hard to talk myself out of. I think that I get paralyzed by the many choices available and don’t want to make the wrong choice. I experienced the same thing when I was doing Accounting courses – if I left the assignment until the last minute, anything I put together was better than the alternative (a mark of zero) and I was able to get working and get it done (usually resulting in a lack of sleep for the evening).

With school, at a certain point I had enough of the late nights, which was affecting my ability to concentrate at work and also putting unrequired stress on me during the final late-night burst. I started getting the assignments done days before they were due so that I could at least have an opportunity to read them over and check the math on them (not that I ever did, but the option was there). I think I need to make the same type of effort when it comes to personal finances, as a significant change is going to happen. I am going to have to make many different transaction, when I have to buy income producing assets.

The multitude of purchases (in relation to what I am used to) will need to be thoroughly researched and thought about before making the investment. A significant amount of money is going to be spent on the stocks or bonds that are going to make up my retirement portfolio, and these decisions shouldn’t be made hastily or at the last minute, making my current method of procrastinating ineffective.

So, much like I did when I was in school I have to change the way I’m doing things to become more pro-active in the financial decisions I make.

Have you ever found yourself procrastinating on a financial decision?

4 thoughts on “Financial Procrastination”

  1. I totally get analysis paralysis when it comes to making financial decisions and often have the feeling once forced that I put myself through a lot of unnecessary stress with waiting to get started.

    I haven’t got a handle on this tendency, but two things that have helped are 1) committing to just getting started by doing one or two small steps, even just laying paperwork out on a table; 2) reminding myself that my Buddhist friends would invite me to find the middle ground and let go of perfectionism.

    Thanks for the post. Good luck with your mortgage and other decisions..

  2. Sounds like you’re a maximizer rather than a satisficer. I tend to be the same way since most things I buy (not necessarily stocks) tend to last me for a very long time so hate making the wrong choice.

    Mostly I tell myself that as long as I’m not being incredibly stupid, I could probably flip a coin for most things. And I like giving things away.

  3. “Dave is also looking to retire no later than 45, but unlike Tim has no kids and doesn’t want any.”

    Me neither. I am SO glad I never had kids or else I wouldn’t be the multi billionaire I am today. I was just telling Stedman its a good thing we had him snipped all those years ago.

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