Humans are weird.
We know what we should be doing. With all the information constantly smashed into our face its hard not to. We also know how to do it, or at least find the resources we need to make it happen (A.K.A. Google).
But we still procrastinate and ignore the common sense voice in the back of our head that says “Let’s get this done”
We know we should be:
Eating Less and exercising more.
Saving more and spending less..
Watching less and Reading more …
Creating More and Consuming Less….
Could go on and on and on, but I think you get the point. Americans specifically, are gaining weight, saving tiny amounts of their income and binge-watching “A Christmas Prince”
There is a big gap between knowing and doing. It’s why I say knowledge without action is worthless.
Dude, Just Effing Do It
I was sitting on the couch over the holidays listening to someone talk (complain) about half of their credit card payment going to interest. After digging in a little bit, I found out they had a 10K balance and were paying about $250 per month. I asked if they had considered a 0% balance transfer credit card to save money and speed up the repayment.
I was shocked to hear that they HAD considered it, but haven’t done it yet. When I asked why they didn’t even come up with an excuse.
“I know I should have already done it, I just haven’t”
“Have you looked at some cards online to see what is available?”
“Nope, I am waiting for an offer to come in the mail”
“Dude, Just Effing Do It”
I then pulled up Nerd Wallet, went to 0% interest balance transfer cards and found some awesome 15 month + no fee for balance transfer cards that could save thousands. Then I offered up my services to help him do it right there on the spot.
BOOYAH. 20 Minutes. Application filled out. Wheels in motion.
Waiting for the Credit Card Gods to drop a deal into your mailbox is no way to tackle any problem. I’ll equate that to the credit card application lottery. That kind of passivity should be reserved for investing (provided the investing is in low-cost index funds).
We set a reminder on his phone (and I set one on mine as well) for a year out to check progress and make sure he doesn’t get hit with the accruing interest. The worst case scenario is we have to do this again 15 months from now.
If me calling you dude and telling you “Just effing do it” isn’t enough, here are a few other strategies that may work
Set a Deadline for Yourself
I shared my slightly embarrassing story about getting owned by my cable provider and how setting a deadline motivated me to come up with a money saving solution. To make sure I set aside time to deal with the situation I canceled our service effective at the end of the billing period.
The prospect of not having the internet is a powerful motivator. Within the month we were completely cut over to our new providers and saving cash.
The Savings Shall Motivate
I talk about figuring out the cost of your debt in the Financial Independence Action Series and how it can be the kick-in-the-pants you need to change.
$125 in interest x 15 months = $1,875
20 minutes for a $1,875 is a ridiculous return on your time. Put those numbers up against the hours you need to work to pay for your prolonged laziness and we should have a recipe for action.
$1,875 / 30 Per Hour = 62.5 Hours
Shouldn’t wait another day after the cruel hand of math slaps you in the face.
Shrink the gap between the “Should be Doing” and “Doing”
Why do we put stuff off that we could easily do today? Is it pure laziness? Lack of motivation? We don’t think it will make a difference if we do it or not?
Frankly, I don’t really care.
Its time to shrink the gap and kill off the “Should be Doing” List. Pick one thing that you should have done last week, last month, or even last year and get it done in the next 7 days.
Here are some examples:
- Cancel or re-negotiate a subscription
- Get your Will done
- Purchase Life Insurance
- Re-Finance your Student Loans
- Increase your automatic debt payment
- Read a damn book!
Dude, Just Effing Do It.
Do you have that one thing that you have been putting off for months?