“Procrastination is the thief of time”. Have you heard this phrase before? It’s an adage coined by the English writer Edward Young. Time is an essential aspect of our lives - once lost, is forever lost, and can never be regained. Lost time results in lost opportunities. And lost opportunities cost us money.

Many of us are optimistic procrastinators. We know we need to take care of our finances. But “I’ll do it later” is our favourite excuse, because we think we have all the time in the world. I grew up hearing this old saying from my mum: “Don’t put off until tomorrow what you can do today.” The honest truth is that we have no guarantee there will be a tomorrow.

  • I have seen people procrastinate about having life insurance, and death knocked on their door when they least expected. The end result is a family left to grieve their loss while also facing financial catastrophe.

  • I have seen people procrastinate about their retirement savings. And when they reached old age, they found themselves continuing to work, out of choice and necessity. The evening of our life (old age) is meant for resting and not hustling to make ends meet.

  • I have seen people procrastinate about having a will. And when the time came for their estate to be divided after they’ve parted this world without a will, the government used the rules of intestacy to divide their assets. Having a will would have ensured their assets were distributed as they had wished.

  • I have seen people procrastinate about investing. And when others are reaping the benefits of compound interest and enjoying their million pounds return over the years, they found themselves regretting that they wished they had started investing early.

  • I have seen people procrastinate about starting a business. And when they saw other people implement the same idea they had been sitting on for years without taking action, they became angry and complained that their idea was stolen from them.

  • I have seen people procrastinate about paying themselves first, automating, and prioritising their savings. And when an emergency hit, they found themselves entangled in a debt spiral, serviced via credit or loan. They simply didn't have emergency savings.

I can go on and on about the peril of procrastination, but I will stop here. Procrastination is a common trait in all of us, but the consequences could be excruciating when it comes to our finances.

So, what have you been putting off in your finances? Which area of your personal finance are you procrastinating about? We don't know how many tomorrows we will get; all that we will ever have is the present moment. Every journey starts with a step; a courageous step of kicking procrastination out of the way and taking action.

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Categories: Financial Planning
Oyenike Adetoye

About Nike

Oyenike Adetoye (aka Nike) is an impactful speaker, author and personal finance expert. A Chartered Management Accountant by profession. Nike is the founder and CEO of LifTED Finance, a private financial firm that educates, coaches and supports people on their journey through financial fitness and wealth management.