Money

5 Ways Being Disorganised Costs Me Money

All in all, I consider myself a pretty organised person. I’m always on time (if not early), I never miss a deadline and my wardrobe is colour coded. But when it comes to money, it’s another story.

Not only does my frazzled approach to finance make me the butt of my friends and family’s jokes, it often costs me my hard-earned cash. In hopes you can learn from my mistakes (and because I’m all about the real talk), here are all of the ways being disorganised costs me money.

 #1 I cop ALL of the late fees

My partner recently had a great laugh at my expense when I told him that if we paid our electricity bill by a certain date, we’d get an ‘early bird’ discount. “You mean, we won’t have to pay a late fee,” he retorted.

I’d become so accustomed to copping the extra charge when I paid my bills late, I thought I was getting a sweet discount when I didn’t!

Lesson learned: Automatic direct debits are usually your best bet when it comes to keeping on top of your bills.

#2 I spend way too much on coffee and food

Let me preface this with saying I’m a massive foodie and caffeine enthusiast. There are few things I enjoy more than trying new cafes and restaurants. So, even if I was Taylor Townsend from The OC levels of organised, I’d probably still splash half my income on food and coffee.

But a lot of the time, my excessive food and coffee expenditure comes down to a lack of organisation. Oh, we’re out of instant coffee? Better head to the nearest cafe and order a latte. Haven’t prepped any lunches or gone grocery shopping this week? Well, obviously it’s going to be quicker and easier to grab a $20 salad! Yep, it’s a bit of a problem.

Lesson learned: Prep meals for the week ahead and save eating out for the weekend.

#3 My public transport card is never topped up

When I worked full-time in an office, I caught public transport every day so I had my Opal card on an automatic top-up. But now that I work from home (and let’s be honest, hardly leave my neighbourhood) my Opal card only gets topped up every few months.

When I’m going somewhere that requires public transport, it’s normally either because I’m going to a meeting or a night out. In both scenarios, I’m never sure whether I have enough on my card to get on the bus (I know I can check my balance online but do you think I can remember my password?). So, I often end up saying ‘screw it’ and getting an Uber or taxi. Yes, this one is as much laziness as disorganisation, but don’t the two go hand in hand?

Lesson learned: Do yourself a favour and put your travel card on an automatic top-up for when the balance gets low. That way, even if you don’t use it often it’ll always be ready to go.

#4 I never have cash on me

Anyone who robs me is going to be severely disappointed, as I never have cash on me. And when I say never, I really mean NEVER. This often costs me money when I go out to dinner or drinks with friends, as many places don’t do split bills. So, I end up doing an emergency trip to the closest ATM and forking out the $2 fee.

The same goes for stores that charge you extra to pay by card (side note: what’s the deal with that? It’s 2017, people!) These additional costs don’t seem like much at the time, but they certainly add up in the long run!

Lesson learned: Always withdraw money from the ATM before going out and have some emergency cash on you. You never know when you’ll need it.

#5 I’m slack with my invoicing

As a freelance writer, I spend far more time than I’d like to invoicing clients. You’d think this would be pretty high priority considering, ya know, I have bills to pay. But whether it’s my people pleasing nature or the fact that my work doesn’t actually feel like work, I often get so caught up in making sure my clients are happy that I forget to invoice.

Don’t get me wrong, I always remember eventually (so please, no job offers based on the fact you think you won’t have to pay me!) But one of these days, an invoice is going to slip through the cracks and I’m going to inadvertently work for free.

Lesson learned: Don’t be afraid to outsource tasks like invoicing to a virtual assistant. It may cost you initially, but it’ll probably end up saving you money in the long run.


Emma Norris is a Sydney-based magazine journalist and freelance writer. When she’s not playing with words, she’s either doing pushups or stuffing her face with pizza. You can follow her on Instagram @emmajnorris92