Does Paying for Something Make You More or Less Likely to Show Up?

Does Paying for Something Make You More or Less Likely to Show Up?

One of the best ways to get a grip on your money is to enhance your self-understanding. After all, we each deal with money differently. For example, when you pay for something, do you feel more obligated or less obligated to show up for it? I’m the kind of person who feels less obligated, therefore I tend to waste money in this way. Knowing this about myself can help me make better choices moving forward.

2 Ways I Pay For Things I Don’t End Up Doing / Using

Some people pay for a monthly gym membership then they feel obligated to get the most for their money. Some people find themselves motivated to get to an appointment because they don’t want to pay the cancellation fee. Unfortunately, neither of those things apply to me. I waste money in both ways.

1. I Already Paid

In the first case, if I’ve already paid for something, then I’ve paid for it. In my mind, the money is already gone. Therefore, whether or not I make use of the thing I’m paying for doesn’t seem to matter much to me. For example, just because I paid for a gym membership doesn’t mean I’ll feel motivated to go. I already paid. It’s done.

Obviously, I want to get the most for my money. If I know that I pay the same amount for the gym whether I go once or go every day that month, then I should go every day right? I understand it in theory. And yet, something in my personal money psychology doesn’t work that way.

2. I’ll Pay a No-Show Fee

I’m also not motivated by “no-show” or cancellation fees. For example, I was actually supposed to go to the dentist today. However, I woke up this morning and didn’t feel like a going. There were a variety of reasons why it made more sense for me to stay home than to go to the dentist.

My dentist has a 48-hour cancellation policy. Therefore, I had to pay a “no show” fee. Obviously, it doesn’t make any sense to pay for a service that you don’t even get. And yet, I seem to feel fine about this. They get their money whether I show up or not, so I don’t have to feel guilty about not going. The only person this impacts is myself. And I’d rather stay home. The need to stay home doesn’t overrule the cost of not going.

What’s The Solution For Someone Like Me?

As much as possible, the solution for me seems to be to take advantage of a “pay as you go” option whenever one becomes available. For example, I don’t ever pay for a monthly gym membership. Instead, I’ll pay for a “ten class pass” or something similar. It doesn’t have an expiration date on it, so I can use it whenever I want. If that’s not an option, then I’ll just pay as I go. The per-class price might cost more this way but I’ll save money in the long run because I’m not wasting it on not going.

As for the no-show problem … I’m not sure that I have a terrific solution for that, yet. I do the best that I can not to schedule things too far in advance. Therefore, I have a decent sense of whether or not I’ll be emotionally and physically available for any appointments. However, if you have any additional tips to avoid the “no show” or “cancellation” fee, then I’d love to hear them.

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