Lazy summer days are around the corner. Whether you’ll be passing the time at the beach or enjoying barbeque weather with friends, everyone deserves to have fun. While we fully support R&R, we can’t help but remind you to keep your financial goals in mind. Laziness begets laziness, and it’s important to prevent bad behaviors from getting worse.
So, are you prone to lazy financial habits? You might be if you often:
- Pay bills on their due date. “This isn’t lazy!” you say. “The bills are paid; what’s the problem?” It’s true, you’ve paid your bills on time and have avoided late fees and credit damage. You’ve done the bare minimum, but consider this: could you do more? Paying your bills early is the best way to avoid accruing interest and to build a safety zone around your payment date. Adjust your habits and begin paying your bills a week early. You’ve got nothing to lose.
- Leave the mail unopened. The metaphorical pile of mail impacts every area of life. If you leave letters untouched and voicemails unheard, you probably can’t be bothered to handle pressing financial matters either. You’ve heard the phrase, “Time is money,” and its sentiment is true. Whether your wasted time is paved with indifference or anxiety, it’s the wrong path. Create a schedule that allows you to give correspondence, responsibilities and investments the attention they deserve.
- Remain sedentary. Health and happiness are inextricably linked. The better you feel, the better choices you’ll make. The same is true when it comes to financial matters. Eating well and exercise require planning and self-control, two qualities that define credit health as well. Make an effort to energize yourself in the sun this year. Wellness is sure to affect more than your heart rate.
- Refuse to shop around. If your buying strategy is limited to convenience, it’s time for a new perspective. Budgeting may seem like a hassle, but it’s the best way to stretch your dollar and save each month. Create a financial plan, clip coupons or use your smartphone to find the best deals.
- Live on autopilot. Wake up, go to work, eat lunch, go home, cook dinner, sleep. Rinse, repeat. The monotony of life can be hypnotizing and even comforting. That said, it’s important to understand the difference between a routine and a schedule. A routine is done mindlessly because it’s done often. Why think about your actions when you’ve repeated them 1,000 times before? Oppositely, a schedule implies forethought and direction. It breathes life and importance into the sleeping routine. For example:
- What time should I wake up? Do I need to exercise or run errands before work?
- How is my job going? Do I enjoy my work? Could I do more? Is it time for a pay raise?
- What’s for dinner? Have I updated my coupon app for the grocery store?
- What should I focus on before bed?
You get the idea. While you don’t need to quiz yourself on a daily basis, participating in life is the best way to manage it. Enjoy your lazy summer the right way: inject some activity into the upcoming season.