If there is one lesson to learn from watching athletes at the Olympics, it's to get off your behind and do rather than sit there and think about things, then over think about things, or put off thinking about them all together. I am sure that every single competitor and potential competitor has had moments when the last thing they wanted to do was to go and train. Whether it was having to get out of bed early and go out into the pouring rain, or having to go home early from a party so that they could compete in an event, every athlete will have had a moment when they gritted their teeth and did what they had to do rather than what they wanted to do.
That's the thing that sets them aside from the rest of us. The rest of us go "it'll keep" and put fun before obligation, usually to our detriment. Or we procrastinate, trying to avoid the inevitable, possibly putting things off until just before a deadline or even missing the deadline completely. Sound familiar? Are you remembering essays left unwritten until the night before they were due to be handed in? (Who hasn't done that? Seriously, don't lie?)
So what does this have to do with frugality? Our current house-and-contents insurance policy expires later this month so, on Wednesday, DH and I went online to Comparethemeerkat to find a replacement (and score another meerkat toy). Last year, I'd thought about using a comparison website, but procrastinated and let the renewal date slip past. To be honest, I saw the insurance renewal notice envelope, thought "must deal with that" then put it in a drawer and forgot about it. I'd never even looked to see what the payments would be. (We paid monthly.) When the first direct debit came out, I went ouch(!) because the payments had gone up by over 22%.
Fast forward to this year. This year, I opened the renewal notice and read the letter. Another huge leap in insurance premiums. The monthly payment was increasing by 30%. We've never ever made a claim, not even when the kitchen roof was leaking. A few minutes of our time - a few questions answered - and we've found a comparable policy for a much more reasonable price. By acting, instead of procrastinating, our new insurance policy is £233.02 for the year instead of £1,100.74! Yes, you saw that right. The new policy cost 21% of the price of the renewal.
The moral of the story is: be like an Olympian. Don't procrastinate when renewal time comes around. Don't assume that the insurance companies will act in your best interest and keep the price reasonable. They've already got your business and consider you a captive audience to be milked.