Is Your Laziness Costing You Money?

9 Ways To Waste Your Money By Being LazyLately, I feel like I haven’t been as frugal as usual.

I’ve been letting little things slip and it’s mostly because I’ve been more lazy about being frugal.

After adding up how much money I’ve wasted over the past month, I’ve realized that the amount has been a few hundred dollars already!

I have been blaming this on the move and the fact that we’re still settling into our new town, but in reality it’s just been because of laziness.

I can’t be alone when it comes to wasting money due to laziness though. I’m sure there are many ways that even YOU may waste your money by being lazy if you think hard enough.

However, let’s change that today!

Below are nine ways you may be wasting your money by being lazy.

1. You waste your money by not negotiating.

You are definitely wasting your money if you do not negotiate any of your expenses. Many things are negotiable. Like I always say, the worst thing that can happen is that someone might say no. However, most of the time they will say yes!

You can most likely negotiate your cell phone bill, your cable bill, hotel fees, medical expenses, furniture costs, insurance rates, and more.

Many things can be negotiated, and many times companies are expecting someone to haggle.

Many people are too scared to negotiate or they just simply forget. You are throwing away hundreds of dollars by not negotiating! Once you get into the habit of negotiating, it gets easier. My top tip is to always remember to be nice. There is no need to bully someone into giving you a discount.

If you don’t feel like negotiating, you could always search for cheaper pricing through other companies as well. An example of this would be to search for a cheaper cell phone plan. There are companies out there such as Republic Wireless where you can get cell phone plans for as low as $5.

Related article: Saving Over $2,000 A Year With Republic Wireless Review – How Much Money Could You Save?

2. You aren’t trying to improve your credit score.

Improving your credit score does not have to feel like an impossible task. I believe that a person should try to improve their credit score because it can impact so many parts of a person’s life.

Whether you want to buy a home, obtain a job, rent an apartment, sign up for utilities, or something else, your credit score can make a big impact.

If you are lazy and don’t care about your credit score, it can make things much more expensive. You may have to pay larger fees so that companies are comfortable working with you, you might have to pay higher interest fees, and more.

For example, when I was signing up for utilities for our current home, every company told us that we didn’t have to pay a deposit and certain fees because we had a good credit score. This saved us a few hundred dollars!

Related article: How Your Credit Score Affects Your Life + Credit Sesame Review.

3. You don’t care what your money is earning.

Many people don’t think twice about where their money is, especially if you’ve belonged to the same bank for several years. However, by searching around, you could be earning more money if you placed your money in an account that has a higher interest rate.

One thing I have been completely lazy about and too embarrassed to admit is that we have been putting off looking for a better place to put our emergency fund.

While I am all about an emergency fund being in a liquid and low risk account, I know that if I searched around that I could possibly find something with a somewhat better interest rate.

I don’t even know what the interest rate is for the account that our emergency fund is in. All I know is that it’s very low and that I earn very little on it.

Now, I know we won’t get rich by switching the account that our emergency fund is in, but we could possibly be earning a few hundred dollars extra each year. That’s just free money that I have been too lazy to search for!

4. You waste your money by not checking anything.

Making sure to double check financial documents is very important. There might be a mistake that is costly, and who wants to pay for a mistake?

Some places you should check for errors include:

  • Your credit report. Credit reports sometimes contain mistakes and this can lower your credit score. This can cost you money in that you might not get the lowest interest rates available. You should check your credit report at least one to two times a year.
  • Refunds. If you ever ask for a refund, you should make sure that the refund is actually given.
  • Credit card and bank transactions. You never know if there might be a duplicate transaction or if someone might have stolen your credit card. Checking your transactions regularly can help you catch errors quickly so that you can get your money back.
  • Bills. You should check utility bills, medical bills, and more on a regular basis. There are errors on bills all the time, and you might be losing out on money that is yours.
  • Automatic payments. While I try to set everything to be paid automatically, I still check to make sure that the correct amount was taken. If anything is off then I will look at the bill to see what was wrong.

5. You are lacking organization skills.

When we moved, I threw all of our important financial documents and bills into one big box. This was a big mistake because everything somehow got disheveled in the move and now everything is a huge mess.

While this didn’t cost us money, it almost did. I almost forgot about a few bills and if I didn’t have email reminders set up then I most likely would have forgotten about them. Like I’ve said before, I have a horrible memory, and with everything in such a huge mess it wasn’t a good thing for me.

If your things aren’t organized well enough, you may have to pay late fees and/or reconnection fees (if a company turns off any of your services).

This can then impact other areas of your life as well if you forget to pay your bills. It can lead to interest fees piling up and it may even damage your credit score.

I highly recommend that you check out Personal Capital (a free service) if you are interested in gaining control of your financial situation. Personal Capital is very similar to Mint.com, but 100 times better as it allows you to gain control of your investment and retirement accounts, whereas Mint.com does not. Personal Capital allows you to aggregate your financial accounts so that you can easily see your financial situation, your cash flow, detailed graphs, and more. You can connect accounts such as your mortgage, bank accounts, credit card accounts, investment accounts, retirement accounts, and more, and it is FREE.

There are many other ways you may be wasting money by being lazy. 

This list could go on forever of different ways to waste your money by being lazy.

I’m not perfect when it comes to money and I know no one else is either. Sometimes going the more convenient way may seem nice, but it can cost you a lot of money over time.

Other ways you may be wasting your money by being lazy include:

  • Skipping routine car maintenance. Many skip car maintenance because they think it will save them money. In the long run though, it will most likely cost you money because you may have to pay expensive car repairs for when things go wrong. Car maintenance is needed if you want your car to run smoothly and reliably.
  • Not searching for coupons. Searching for coupons and rebates is an easy way to save money. I usually just type in “Company Name + coupon code” and find many available discounts. Also, you should check out Ebates if you haven’t yet. You can earn cash back for shopping online, and it’s FREE! Plus, under my Ebates link, you will receive a free $10 gift card. Before I do many things, I often try to find a coupon online first. There have been many times where I have completely forgotten to use one. In fact, the other day I forgot that I received a Best Buy coupon and that ended up costing me $60!
  • Eating pre-made food. The other day I was really craving watermelon and, of course, this came right after I passed nicely sliced watermelon in a small plastic bowl at the grocery store. Well, for about $15, I could have bought about a one-sixth of a watermelon. That is just INSANE! Someone must be buying it for the convenience though or they wouldn’t have it there ready to be bought. If you need to start cooking at home more, I highly recommend that you check out $5 Meal Plan. It’s been a lifesaver for us as meal plans are sent directly to me. It saves me a ton of time!
  • Keeping stuff you don’t need. By keeping stuff you don’t need, you are wasting money because you have to pay storage costs. You also could be making money on the stuff you don’t need!

Have you done anything not-so-frugal lately? What have you done to waste your money? What other ways do people waste money?

This article by Michelle Schroeder-Gardner first appeared on Making Sense of Cents and was distributed by the Personal Finance Syndication Network.