As long as inflation keeps making our lives more and more expensive, it’s crucial to be as conscientious a spender as possible. The last thing you want is to keep losing money on the typically avoidable costs that come with being disorganized. As someone who has dabbled in being a disorganized procrastinator, I know just how expensive being scatter-brained can be. I’ve paid my fair share of late fees, cancelation fees, and generally all the fees that come with lost items, missed appointments, and leaving everything until the last minute.
And now, as someone who has seen the light (read: gotten my shit together), here are the most helpful tips to get organized and avoid unnecessary costs.
All the ways being disorganized is expensive
Although being “scatter-brained” can seem harmless, the costs of disorganization add up quick:
- Scattered mail leads to missed bills and late fees.
- Missed appointments mean cancelation fees.
- Procrastinating travel plans leaved you with price hikes at the last minute.
- Misplaced items (like clothing or kitchen supplies) means wasted money on replacements.
- Panic purchases mean losing out on free delivery or potentially cheaper options.
- No groceries or meal plans cause you to splurge on take-out.
- Missed credit payments can hurt your credit score.
- Small, daily purchases from unconscious spending can add up over time.
When we’re disorganized in various areas of our life, we don’t have the freedom to make intentional cost-cutting decisions. Below are our tips to get on top of your spending and stop subjecting yourself to the disorganization tax.
How to get organized and cut costs
Leaving things until the last minute can turn you into an anxious, unwise spender. Here are some ways to be more intentional so you don’t lose money where you could be saving.
- Make lists before you start shopping. It’s helpful to physically write down the things you want to buy before you buy them. This way, when you read over items on this list, you’ll be able to make a more thoughtful decision as to what you really need.
- Book travel plans as soon as you know about them. Flights and train tickets usually get more expensive the closer to the date. Here’s the best order to book your flight, hotel, and car rental.
- Put reminders for birthdays and holidays a month out from the actual date. You’ll have more time to find affordable (and thoughtful!) gifts.
- In general, find a schedule system that works for you. For instance, you might consolidate all your scattered reminders about upcoming appointments into one mega Google Calendar.
- Declutter your home. I know, easier said than done. Here’s our guide to using hooks, file baskets, and more to organize your home so you don’t waste money re-purchasing misplaced items.
- Set up automatic payments—for most recurring bills. It makes sense to ensure you never miss rent or a credit card payment. On the other hand, make sure you aren’t losing money via automatic charges on things like unused subscription services.
The bottom line is that there’s a serious tax to being disorganized and leaving things until the last minute. You can spend less and save more with small, attainable improvements to your organizational skills. In other words: Get on top of your shit, and your bank account will thank you.
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