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Fill in the Forms

Remembering that I have said before If you don’t ask, the Answer is Always No, and with that in mind, filling in all those annoying forms is particularly important, especially if you are asking for money in some fashion or another. I guess the corollary from my Theory of No, is an unfilled application form never pays off.

This point was driven home for me (again) with a set of forms Mrs. C8j had left for me to fill in that I was procrastinating to complete. The forms were for grants for my son, and luckily I got off my fat arse and filled the forms in, as the funds were about to lapse (i.e. if I didn’t ask for them, I’d lose them). The forms were quite simple to fill in, but the tough part was that I had to address an envelope AND I had to put a stamp on it as well (yes, I am being sarcastic about my laziness).

The best part of the story was there was a pleasing ending in that we got the funds, which proves the corollary, that if you don’t fill in a form, you won’t get the money (and it’s converse, if you do fill in the form you may get the money (no guarantees here)).

person signing document paper
Photo by Matthias Zomer on

I have had discussions with friends and many times folks thinks it is not worth “wasting your time” to fill in forms, even if money is the end result. How can anyone think this? I guess if you made thousands of dollars an hour and had no spare time? Your name is Bill Gates and you don’t care about money? (yes I am being sarcastic again) (and I bet Bill Gates has people fill the forms in for him).

My equation is simple if filling in a form (not for a “free giveaway”) will result in possible payment of less than twice the cost of mailing it, I don’t do it, but other than that, I am good filling things in. An example is I filled in forms to get a $10 rebate on a memory card (which I had to mail) and I had to wait over 8 weeks to get the money back, but I was OK with that.

Am I missing something, is there a valid reason not to fill in paperwork to get money?

Feel Free to Comment

  1. They know that MOST people will not fill in the forms for rebates, and so places like Futureshop make a ton more money, and unless they have to pay out for the rebates, get to keep the cash! Because really, do they pay that cash upon demand from the video card maker, (likely), or when they sell the video card?
    Add that many times people wait until it is too late to get the rebates.
    Can’t count the number of times I waited or did not bother sending in the paperwork!

  2. For me it depends on the time involved. I wouldn’t fill in forms for a pay off of less than $10 per hour of my time for sure. But I would spend 5 minutes to get $10. Not sure exactly where my threshold is, somewhere in between. Certainty of the pay off also matters to me. I’m reluctant about rebates that take a long time and sometimes never come.

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