Are You a Financial Procrastinator?



Your credit card balance is increasing each month, and you're worried about paying it off.

Don’t panic, sit down and take the first step by contacting a credit counseling service for a free consultation on how to budget all of your finances, cash included. Within a few hours you can have several options spelled out for you to help put your debt behind you.

Another option is to seek a personal finance management tool such as or to keep track of your spending and saving.

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Eating Out

Many times families don’t have time to prepare meals in advance, so eating out or overspending at the grocery store frequently occurs and it can be costly.

Families have about ten meals that they like to eat over and over again.

Designate a specific day, like Sunday, and make your family's meals in advance and store extra batches in the freezer for nightly dinners and even lunches to take to work. You may spend some time on Sunday cooking, but in the end, it'll save you a lot of time and money.

The most important part of this process is planning. Make a list and stock up on these ingredients or buy the items on sale.

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Paying Bills

Waiting until the last minute to pay monthly bills can be costly. You will end up paying late fees and incur additional interest charges.

What you can do to counteract this is to set aside a couple of hours each month and tell yourself this will be the time you get organized with your bills and savings. Before you start, keep track of what you need to do, and write it down or put it into your smartphone so you're fully prepared before you start. Think of it as your quiet time, and get it done so you can get on with your day.

Automating certain bills each month can help you stay on top of payments.

Consider paying your bills online. Online sites such as or Quicken Online allows you to view all of your online accounts at once, and they also offer information such as monthly alerts or due dates.

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Filing Your Taxes

There are many reasons why you shouldn't wait until the last minute to file your taxes -- the main one being you would avoid penalties for filing late.

Set a Google alert to remind yourself, and prepare your taxes months in advance. With online tax sites like Turbo Tax and Tax Act, you can file for free or pay a small fee to file.

If you are a freelancer, consider paying your taxes on a quarterly basis to avoid having to pay a lump sum come tax season. Again, Google alerts are very helpful if you're forgetful.

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Balance Your Checkbook

Keep track of your spending. Even if you don't use checks, it's a good idea to write down what you are spending, as you don't want any bank transactions to bounce.

Look at your accounts on a weekly basis and keep on top of how much available money is in the account. Also, set up mobile alerts with your bank to inform you when your account reaches below a certain amount.

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If you're one of the millions of Americans who aren't saving enough, you're not alone. The process of setting money aside each month can be daunting, especially if money is tight or if you don't have regular paychecks coming in.

Instead of feeling defeated and telling yourself you'll save later, start small each month and set up an automated system to funnel money into saving accounts. Even if you can only put aside $50 a month, it's worthwhile to do. You can always adjust it, as you see fit.