Dang… I knew I should have put money in the account yesterday!
“Those movies are late. An extra $5 charged for the extra night.”
Oops… I meant to get those turned in last night, but I forgot.
“The bill was due last week. A 10% late fee has been assessed.”
Well… It couldn’t be helped…
Does any of this sound familiar to you? It does to me. I have to admit that at times, I have not been the best steward of my money.
Did you realize that each time you do this, you are wasting your money?
I used to not think of it this way. I just thought of it as a normal part of life. Until I realized how much I was WASTING through laziness.
One month, I happened to have about 5 or 6 overdafts. Each one with a $32 charge. Okay… Part of why it was so many was because of the order in which the items were processed. In other words, the largest outstanding item debited first, which caused several of the others to happen. But it all happened because I did not have enough money in the account.
I could have had the money in the account. For me, this happened because I had not deposited the money I had. See, I work in a cash heavy job. I had the cash in my pocket. I just had not put it into the bank. If I had, NONE of the items would have bounced.
I have been bad about returning movies and books to the library. I’ll intend to do it, but forgot. I’ll get distracted. Forget. Then days later, realize.. Ooops… I forgot to take the movies or books back. Which means late fees.
I’ll go to pay one of my bills. I realize I’m just a few days behind. Sometimes, it’s because I was trying to come up with the money. (Is it any wonder? Would be much easier if I wasn’t paying $120 in overdraft fees.) But just as often, it’s because I just hadn’t gone by to pay yet. Even though I had the money in my pocket.
I added it up one month. Between all these late fees, I was paying $100 to $200 a month. If you make $1000 a week, that might not sound like much. But if you struggle to make $300 to $400 a week, that can be a significant sum!
Looking through my bank account statements, I can see other signs, too, of money I was wasting. $10 a month for a service I don’t even remember signing up for. (Which, by the way, I knew about for a long time before it stopped.) Another was a service that I liked and used but didn’t really need. I could get by without it if I had to.
I really hate checks, too. Some people are SLOW about paying them off. Like, two or three months slow. So slow, I’ve forgotten to account for them. And guess what? They’d deposit the check, I wouldn’t have it accounted for, and, you guessed it, overdraft fee. If you don’t use overdraft protection, it’s even worse. Your bank might charge a bounced check fee each time the payment is presented and the funds are not available (most places will present it at least twice), and the place you wrote the check also charges a fee for bounced checks. One year, I got hit for nearly $1000 in a short period of time because of this.
The point of this is that when it comes to money, you MUST be vigilant. You have to take action in the moment to stop wasting your money. Laziness will lead to you being (and staying) broke. Taking action in a timely manner is the only way to make sure your money stays in your hands.
What have you done to stop wasting your money? Share them in the comments below!