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The Cost of Inattention

by Jackie Beck

Not paying attention can be costly. Unfortunately, it’s all to easy to have that happen.

We get tired, we get sidetracked, and we get busy. Sometimes all three happen at once.

And let’s face it; sometimes we just don’t feel like dealing with the things we know we should be dealing with.

I had one of those moments this week. I got home super late after having barely slept the night before, and was just plain wiped out. But, my son planned to go to the grocery store for us, and needed money.

So I transferred over some money to his account and thought, you know, I’ll just deal with recording this later. I didn’t enter it into Quicken. I didn’t add it to my spending spreadsheet.

And that’s exactly the kind of thing that can lead to overdrafts and expensive fees. It’s the kind of thing you (literally) pay for later, unless you’re lucky.

In this particular case, I know there won’t be an overdraft. But I also know it’ll cost me later in time and energy, because I’ll need to spend a lot more time going back and reconstructing what I did than I would have if I’d just taken a moment to enter it in the first place.

Posted in Money Management on 07.09.10 with 4 comments.

4 Responses to “The Cost of Inattention”

  • Ace says:

    I can think of numerous times where inattention almost cost me money. Before I started automating various parts of my finances, I had an instance where I almost forgot to pay my credit card bill on time! It makes me sick to imagine how much that would have costed me if I didn’t remember at the last minute. The worst part about it is even a momentary lapse can cost you big time!

    • Jackie says:

      Ace, it’s so easy for that to happen. Automating (or at least having a set schedule for doing things) really helps.

  • I’m currently paying for my inattention with my time. I’ve stopped keeping up with my Excel register for our ING account regularly, so when I do get around to it every few weeks, it takes an hour or so when it used to only take me seconds a day. Oof.

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