The Cost Of Procrastination

By glblguy

I put off getting my car’s oil changed and tires rotated way too long this go around. I try to get the oil changed and tires rotated every 6,000 miles. I was well over 9,000 this time. To make matters worse, my registration and inspection was more than 2 months overdue. A symptom of too much going on, or I guess to be more accurate poor planning on my part.

Regardless, I finally brought it to the dealership on Friday. Dealership, you ask? I agree, not typically the least expensive option, but let me explain. I purchased my car used from a dealership. This is not something I would normally recommend, but I know the owner and have a really good relationship with him, his brother (the sales manager) and his staff. I trust them, which is really important consideration when buying a car. Anyway, as part of the purchase I received free oil changes and tire rotations for the lifetime of the car. As a result, going to the dealership for both oil changes and or tire rotations is free….generally.

Surprise!Turns out while inspecting my car, one of the rear license plates lights was out (How in the heck are you supposed to know this?). The price to get it fixed? $21.00!!! $2.50 for the bulb, $18.50 labor…ouch! I had thought of doing it myself, but in North Carolina, when you fail inspection you have to go back to the place that failed you. We had a busy remainder of the afternoon and weekend and a ticket would have cost me a great deal more, so I just paid it. I’ve been kicking myself all weekend. Had I not been so overdue, It would have cost me $2.00 for the bulb and about 10 minutes of my time.

I’m just really glad I didn’t get a ticket, as they would have made the cost of me putting this offer much greater! I’m guilty of this around personal finance as well. I’ve made drastic improvements, but still pay the price. For example, last month I paid one of credit card bills a day late. No biggy right? Wrong…$20 late fee…double ouch! Still kicking myself for this one. I use online bill pay and there is just no excuse. Dave Ramsey calls this “stupid tax”.

Unfortunately, I frequently have to learn the hard way. I wish I was different, and am making every effort I can, but I guess it’s had to turn the Titanic on a dime.

How about you? Ever pay stupid tax? Share your story.

Photocredit: Giuseppe Crimeni

14 Responses (including trackbacks) to “The Cost Of Procrastination”

  1. Lynnae @ Being Frugal Says:

    Oh yeah. I’m very familiar with the stupid tax. In fact, my car is overdue for an oil change right now. Hopefully there won’t be anything else wrong.

  2. PaulaB52 Says:

    I had been needing an oil change since the middle of July. I finally got around to it, and we have a pretty good relationship w/the guys at Firestone (where we bring our cars). Anyway, the guy calls and tells me it’s past time to rotate the tires. Go ahead and do it I said, knowing it’s free since we bought our tires there. Yay for good service.

    My stupid tax in the last 6 months was forgetting to pay my electric bill. Mind you, I had the money taken out, I just forgot to send the payment. So I had a late fee + penalty. Stupid.

  3. glblguy Says:

    @Lynnae – I hope not too, it should be fine though

    @PaulaB52 – I hate it when I do stuff like that, but trust me you aren’t alone…I guess Misery loves company ;-)

  4. Justin Says:

    Have you thought about setting up your CC payment to have the minimum paid automatically? On our CCs we have the minimum autopaid, and PIF anyway, but at the very least, should life take a turn for the worst and bills don’t get paid for a couple of weeks or whatever, we at least have no late charges. We chose the minimum because if it was an automatic PIF we would get lazy about checking the statements and you never know what might get missed.

    As for procrastination in car preventative maintenance, I think we all do that from time to time. I put between 25-35000 miles a year on a car, so stay around the 5-7000 mile mark when changing oil. Missing a week adds close to another 1000 miles on there.

  5. glblguy Says:

    Yes, right after I was late :-( I fixed it so it wouldn’t happen again.

  6. ChristianPF Says:

    One of my biggest pet peeves is paying stupid tax. I try so hard not to do it, but sometimes there’s no avoiding it. I think the real reason no one likes paying stupid tax is because we have to admit we did something stupid.

  7. glblguy Says:

    I agree, had another incident yesterday regarding stupid tax. Painful lessons…

  8. Pinyo Says:

    Good thing, it’s just the car and only costed $21. I have seen people procrastinated going to the doctor and dentist — those can cost a lot more.