Three and a half years ago I was pulled over and handed a speeding ticket by an LA Sheriff. What can I say? I drive an M3 and I like driving fast. Anyway, I found myself being too cool to actually go to my court summons and was given a hefty penalty fee because of it. Now to put that in perspective:
Option #1 Cost of Speeding Ticket Had I Gone To Court: $328
Option#2 Cost of Speeding Ticket When You Don’t Go To Court: $768
Needless to say these California fines are nothing short of outrageous but back to my fine. Which option do you think your friend here decided to take advantage of?
OPTION #3 Cost of Speeding Ticket After 3 Years of Procrastination: $1500, 2 Days in Jail & 1 yr. parole
See after I failed to show up in court I was slapped with a warrant for my arrest and it wasn’t until I was pulled over for a routine stop that I found out about it and my car was towed ($250). While I was heavily employed at the initial time I was ticketed, three years later and a swamping economy has left me practically jobless. So I had to turn to a car title loan company to pay for penalties and court fees. Long story short: I ousted almost $5,000 down the drain. All from a $328 ticket.
– Submitted by: Simon Wright
Procrastination is one of many nemesis to getting out of debt. While I haven’t had it happen to me as costly as this reader, I’ve certainly lost my fair share of money by procrastinating.
A key method to getting yourself out of debt and avoiding not only putting yourself back into debt, but getting surprise expenses like these is to just take care of stuff as soon as possible. When a bill comes in, either pay it as it comes in or set aside time each pay day to take care of all your bills (my personal method).
Set up reminders in something like Google Calendar that will e-mail you reminders when things are due.
Heck if you use Microsoft Money like me, so long as you check it regularly (again, like me :)), then you’ll see a list of all your upcoming expenses and can add new ones that you know will be coming up in the future.
There’s really no excuse to forget about an expense, it just takes diligence. And diligence is the only way you’re going to get out of debt and remain that way.
So sorry to hear about your misfortune, Simon!
Amount Flushed Down the Money Drain: $1500