Procrastination will usually cost you money. Procrastination takes many forms. The most extreme is simply to put off saving and investing. A simple understanding of the power of compound returns and the time value of money will show how expensive a mistake this can be.
As an example: a person who saves $2000 in the first year (increasing at 3% a year to simulate wage increases) and who earns a return of 8% on her investments will amass a nest egg of $738,499 after 40 years. A person who delays starting the same savings program will end with a nest egg of $677,931. The early saver ends up being $60,569 (8.9%) better off. Not bad for a mere $2000 extra saved. (The example is a bit simplistic in that it assumes that all the savings are contributed at the end of each year. Monthly savings would result in a larger difference.
In the quest to get even a small increment in return on investment, more subtle forms of procrastination can also be expensive. Examples abound:
1. leaving money in accounts which pay no interest or lower rates of interest than can be obtained elsewhere;
2. taking out longer term loans than are needed (although this one does depend on what you do with the additional cashflow);
3. failing to pay the credit card off in full each month.