Member Benefits from Union Plus

The Price of Procrastination

5 Ways to Fix Your Finances in One Hour

Do you want to have more money at the end of the month? Then it's time to stop procrastinating because it may be costing you more than you realize.

Putting off things that need to get done may lead to compounding penalty fees, growing interest, making unnecessary purchases or just paying more for things you need.

Procrastination can even lead to bankruptcy. Credit counselors report that some people are waiting so long to call that by the time they reach out for assistance, their debt levels are too high to work out affordable repayment plans.

Here are six common ways procrastination can hurt your finances, and solutions for tackling them in one hour or less.

Problem 1: Your credit card balances are not budging, but you're afraid if you ask for help that you'll "ruin your credit," or have to cut up your credit cards.

The Solution: Don't worry about things that haven't happened yet. You only need to take the first step. Pick up the phone and call the Union Plus Credit Counseling Service for a free and confidential session. In less than an hour you'll have options for putting your debt behind you. Call 877-833-1745, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Problem 2: You don't plan menus so you end up eating out, or overspending at the grocery store.

The Solution: Most families have about ten meals they eat over and over again. Make a list of your top ten and put it in your purse or wallet. Then stock up on the ingredients for those staple dishes when they are on sale. When you do cook one of these meals, make a double batch and freeze the second one. You'll find that you'll be less likely to stop off for a quick but costly meal out knowing that you have something easy and delicious waiting at home.

Problem 3: You wait until the last minute to pay bills, and find yourself paying late fees, express payment fees and additional interest.

The Solution: Devote an hour to getting organized. That may mean buying a plastic filing bin with hanging folders for each account. Or you may want to set up online bill payment. Free services such as, Quicken Online or, allow you to view all your online accounts on one screen, schedule notifications of due dates and more.

If the real problem is not having enough money to cover your bills, request a free budgeting session through the Union Plus Credit Counseling Service at 877-833-1745.

Problem 4: You don't balance your checkbook and bounce a check. You pay an overdraft fee of $30 or more.

The Solution: Sign up for an overdraft line of credit on your checking account. Then, set up online banking and review your accounts at least once a week to keep track of your balances. If available, set up email or cell phone alerts that will notify you if your balance falls below a certain threshold.

Problem 5: You wait until the last minute to file your taxes and worry you've missed valuable deductions, or you pay penalties for filing late.

The Solution: Commit to just one hour to gather the information and forms you need. Then reward yourself. Later, spend one hour at a time on the task until it is done. For more help and to save 15% on filing your taxes with the Union Plus Turbo Tax Discount, visit

Five Steps to Stop Procrastinating

If you procrastinate, try this approach - called STING - developed by Rita Emmett, author of The Procrastinator's Handbook. You can use it to tackle all kinds of tasks, from paying your bills to filling out tax forms.

1. Select one task you've been putting off.

2. Time yourself. Give the task one full hour, using a timer.

3. Ignore everything else. Focus on doing this one task.

4. No breaks allowed.

5. Give yourself a reward when the job is done.


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