Cutting down on being penalised

While I am trying my best to scrimp and save, invest and grow my wealth, it is subtle yet “shocking” sometimes to fin that easy money was slipping out of my hands. By that, I refer to penalties and fines for not doing or committing to some actions on time.

The most common types of overlooked payments are credit card bills. You get slapped with a late charge and interest charge penalties each time time you forget to pay by the due date; the longer the delay, the higher the slap. One might be lucky once or twice in waiving it, even banks have a certain level of tolerance and you put yourself in bad light as well as an awful credit history. This gets called up especially if you were to seek a loan not just from one bank but all banks, as your records are logged with the Credit Bureau.

I was once like that, though having gotten past that phase by GIRO-linking my credit card bills. However, I still fall into the similar trap often — a habit which I am still trying my best to break free.

I enjoy reading. I love heading to the public libraries to borrow tons of books for my reading pleasure. Call me lazy or forgetful, but returning them on time wasn’t my forte. At times, the fines do add up (at $0.15 per book per day) and the latest saga that took place added up to $24.45 – an average of 20 days overdue for 7 books.

When I look over it, yes it is ridiculous. But as an analogy, that is exactly what some are going through in reality. We save on cents on one hand, yet let dollars slip through on the other.

Another example is on maintenance fees for my property. Payment is made on a quarterly basis and each payment has a 30 days due date from the initial paper bill statement date. Similarly, I do get slapped a 10% penalty on the late amount, and that is equally painful.

Lastly, traffic-related fines. For the sake of convenience, it was quite often in the past for me to have parked at a season lot on the lower floors of a multi-storey carpark or even to park illegally by the side of the road to carry out some everyday tasks. It was not surprisingly that I earned quite a bit of penalties this way.

In short, you often “deserved” earning the penalties when you don’t follow rules. It’s human nature to be forgetful or rebellious at times, however these are habits which do not conform to societal rules. Habits could also be changed for the better over time. As much as possible, such bad money flow should be capped to a minimal as much as possible. A dollar lost today is a dollar that has the lost the opportunity to be invested many times further.

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