Impulse, Procrastination or Priority?

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Think about what you actually spend your money on, and then compare that to what you really want or need to spend it on. Most people will find a discrepancy. I’ll bet you this discrepancy was mostly caused by two things: impulsiveness or procrastination, the twin enemies of setting priorities.

Suppose you need a holiday. “But I can’t afford it on the DSP,” you say. If you think carefully, you may find you have bought things today that are of LESS importance to you than that holiday. So maybe you CAN afford it…if you prioritise.

Imagine being on that holiday. As you gaze out over your favourite beach view from a banana chair, will you miss that $4 cup of coffee you had this morning? Will you regret smoking half as many cigarettes? Will you rue the time you skipped $7 for fast food and made your own sandwich for 27 cents?

I hear you protest that having to go without coffee and cigarettes and having to make your own sandwiches is just too much trouble to get a dumb holiday. “Besides, the government should increase the DSP!” Alas, the government has set its priorities, and it has chosen to only pay a pittance for the DSP. You may have very little wiggle room with money, but that is all the more reason to prioritise your expenditure the way YOU want it. That means resisting impulses.

Look at it the other way round. Let’s say instead of being in a banana chair near the beach, you are in Cell Block H at Bathurst penitentiary for failure to pay fines. The reason you are there is because after choosing to illegally park several times, you spent your money on coffee and cigarettes and takeaway instead of fines. You procrastinated, telling yourself, “I’ll find the money later, Ron.” But Ron never came through. He never does.

I hear you protest that it’s not your fault you notched up $1,568 in unpaid parking tickets. The judge didn’t think so, but if you had made some effort to pay it off instead of buying takeaway…

OK, it’s your choice. You don’t get a holiday AND you get to go to jail for 28 days. Bathurst is a lovely town. See you at the Begonia festival…oh, that’s right…you’re in gaol. Never mind.

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