Monday, January 12, 2009

Postponing Payment

A year ago, when I decided to make a large purchase with a 0% loan, I thought I was being so smart. I mean, why pay now, when I could have a 12 month, 0% interest loan? I actually thought, "How much worse could my financial situation be a year from now?" Famous last words.

It was one of those deals where as long as you paid off the purchase by the deadline, you would pay no interest. If, on the other hand, you couldn't pay it off, you paid some exorbitant amount of interest - like 20% or something.

Now, who could know that the US (and global economy) would collapse in the mean time? Free money seemed like a good idea. Keep my money invested for another year... pay for the purchase later. Sounded great.

So, when the 1/2/09 deadline came around, I was indeed able to pay off the purchase as planned. It was more painful that it would have been a year ago, however, and I learned a valuable lesson.

What is it in us that seeks to postpone paying the cost for our decisions? Why is credit so very appealing? What is it about getting something NOW without cost that beckons to us? Why is it that we assume it will be easier to deal with it later on?

In my line of work as a psychologist and spiritual seeker, I see people every day who will not face their problems or issues. I watch those issues grow, deepen their hold on the psyche and become increasingly difficult to handle. When we don't deal with things, they grow and fester. If we refuse to 'do the work' and 'pay the cost' now... the cost and pain to handle things increases exponentially with time.

Whether it is a big purchase (like my zero gravity recliners... I know you were dying to know what I bought!) or a tenacious addiction, bad habit or problematic thinking pattern, we are so much better off taking care of it IMMEDIATELY rather than postponing our encounter.

The longer we wait to pay for something, or to deal with a problem, the more energy, time, possibly money and sweat it is going to take!

Do it now... and save!

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