The Silent Wealth Killer


A SEASONED seafarer dwelled in a beautiful coastal province. I met him 10 years ago and attended one of my financial planning seminars when I was starting as a financial planner. With salt-kissed dreams of financial prosperity, he often gazed out at the boundless sea, envisioning a future of abundance.

However, there was an ever-present adversary in his journey: procrastination. Despite his meticulous planning, consistently postponed starting his financial journey, promising to start tomorrow, and time slipped away like the tides, leaving his dreams adrift. The silent thief of procrastination had quietly eroded his chances of building wealth.

Yes, many factors come into play in pursuing financial independence. We often focus on saving, investing and budgeting as critical elements of personal finance, but one insidious enemy often goes unnoticed — procrastination. While it may seem like a harmless habit, compared with lavish spending, procrastination can be a formidable obstacle to financial prosperity.

Procrastination is the act of delaying or postponing tasks that need to be done. It often involves choosing short-term comfort over long-term benefits. Many don’t seriously understand that procrastination can harm our financial well-being.

One of the most significant impacts of procrastination on our financial life is its effect on savings. It can have devastating consequences if you keep on waiting to start saving for your retirement, emergency fund or any financial goals. It can rob you of the opportunity to harness the full potential of compounding.

Delaying things can also cause you to miss out on valuable investment opportunities. You might be afraid of market volatility, but opportunities that seem perfect today may no longer be available tomorrow. Procrastination can even lead to poor financial decisions, such as putting off paying bills or credit card balances. This will mean accumulating high-interest debt, a significant obstacle to wealth building. Unfortunately, the longer you delay facing your debt, the more it can spiral out of control.

With that, how can we win over procrastination? Winning the battle over delaying tactics requires self-awareness and deliberate action. You can start by setting clear goals and having a clear vision of what you want to achieve. It’s essential also to have a system wherein you can push yourself to act one step at a time and not be overwhelmed. Establish a budget plan and set an alarm to monitor your cash flow and balance sheet.

To help you save and invest, automate everything. Set up automatic transfers to your savings and investment account. This way, you will not have to rely on willpower to save and invest regularly.

Seek accountability by sharing your financial goals with a trusted financial planner who will help you commit more to your financial plan. Having a personal financial planner can provide you with support and encouragement to help you stay on track. That’s what I do with clients who need help with their financial action plans.

It’s also important that you reward yourself whenever you reach a particular financial milestone. Celebrating your success can provide additional motivation to win over procrastination.

Procrastination is a formidable enemy of wealth, but it’s a battle that can be won with determination and discipline. We must be aware of how it manifests and how it hinders our financial progress so that we can take proactive steps to combat it. By setting clear goals, creating a budget, automating your finances and having a support system, you can overcome procrastination and pave the way for an abundant financial future. Remember that every day you delay is a missed opportunity for your wealth to grow. Start today and watch your financial prospects flourish.

Christopher Cervantes is a Registered Financial Planner of RFP Philippines. He is the author of the best-selling books Financial Planning for the Fast-changing World, Life Begins, and The Seed Money. To learn more about personal financial planning, attend the Chris’ Cervantes webinar: “Financial Planning for the Fast Changing World.” Register on this link: