About four years ago I would be what you would consider Jack Johnson’s biggest fan. lol! No seriously.
I’ve seen him…oh about ten times live (both paid and free shows), and used to be on his old website’s forum daily. I even made a few “real life” friends through the forum.
My obsession has since decreased (although I still really like him), but all of his CD’s still sit in my car, which I pop in whenever I need a little anti-road rage music.
And whenever I feel myself running around like a chicken with my head cut off, I always sing this line from Brushfire Fairytales…“slow down everyone, you’re moving too fast…”
There are so many reasons to “slow down,” because one way “moving too fast” really affects me are financially.
In just this last week, there are three different times that moving too fast has cost me money.
1. Parking fees. I was going to a yoga class last Wednesday and was trying to squeeze a million things in before I had to leave. If I would have left earlier, I could have driven around an extra five minutes or so to find free parking. Instead I parked at a meter.
2. Gas. Being in a rush once again and not planning ahead of time, I wasn’t able to make it to the cheaper gas station, so I had to go to the more expensive one near my house, just in case I ran out of gas. And if you’ve been to California in the last month or so, you know how expensive things got around here.
3. Convenience food. On several different occasions I was too busy and distracted to take the time to know what I already had in my kitchen and pantry, so I made stops for more food that I didn’t need that was quick and easy when I got home. If I would take a little extra time, I would know what was in my kitchen and come up with a meal from there.
There are millions of other ways that being in a rush can affect your finances negatively.
1. Being late for something, so you drive too fast and get a speeding ticket.
2. Having to pay late fees because you got distracted and didn’t pay some bills on time.
3. And as odd as this may sound, being in frenzied mode means you’re more at risk for injuring yourself. I’m notorious for bumping into walls when I’m in a rush, and knocking over and breaking dishes.
4. Not taking the time to comparison shop, so you might be buying a more expensive version of an item.
5. Not making your lunch or coffee because you’re too rushed in the morning, so you end up buying them instead.
I know life is hectic, believe me, but I think there are things we can do in those moments of frenzy to re-center ourselves and not just rush, rush, rush.
1. Can it wait? I often find myself squeezing one last thing/email/phone call in before I need to leave to go somewhere. But more often than not, I can do it when I get back. Resisting that urge in the moment can save me a lot of time and money in the long run.
2. Breathe. So simple and obvious, yet how often do you just take a few moments to take a few breaths to gather yourself?
3. Stay organized. I could save myself a lot of time if I took a few moments the night before to put my keys where I know I can find them, or my bills that need to be mailed by the door. Or if you work in an office to pack your lunch the night before.
4. Staying present with where you are at in the moment. Have you ever read blogs (it might be this one) where you start to pass over whole paragraphs and maybe just get to the end part? (Guilty!) I think that’s just become a norm in our society because we are so busy all the time. Make a habit of trying to slow down and absorb what you are trying to read. If not you might miss some important details.
5. Alleviate distractions, especially while driving. Raise your hand if you’ve ever checked your email at a stoplight, or even sent a text? You don’t need to be a rocket scientist to know how potentially dangerous this could be. It’s not worth even a minor repercussion like hitting the back of someone’s car to do this. Or getting a ticket.
6. Find a mantra that works for you to slow yourself down when you need it. You can even borrow mine!
This is a guest post from the lovely Tonya. T.L. is a freelance video editor and blogger living in Los Angeles. She enjoys movies, running and playing beach volleyball. You can follow her personal finance journey on her blog at Budget & the Beach, and follow her on twitter at @beachbudget.