- Personal Finance
10 Ways to Save Money by Being Lazy
Saving money is all fine and dandy, but some money-saving tactics are such a hassle! Thankfully, there are many things that we can do to save money that require nearly no effort at all. Here are the top ten things you can do to save money - without doing much of anything! Many of money-saving alternatives are not only effortless, but also require less effort than their more expensive counterparts!
1. Set up a 401K
If your employer offers a 401K program, I strongly recommend you participate! The benefit of these programs is that you simply establish the amount of your paycheck that you'd like to se redirected into your retirement savings and do nothing but continue working like you always did. There's no added effort needed to file away that money each month, and you won't feel like you're 'foregoing' so much by saving because your monthly paycheck has already had those savings deducted.
2. Choose a debit card that automatically squirrels away money
Some debit cards funnel extra change into your savings accounts without you needing to do anything.
One example is the Keep the Change program currently run by Bank of America. Through this program, when you buy something with your Bank of America debit card, the charge will be rounded up to the nearest dollar, and the difference will be automatically redirected from your checking account to your savings account.
Programs such as this are similar to a small tax or bit of inflation - everything costs a couple of pennies more, but if you make a lot of purchases, those pennies can start to add up, and all you have to do is keep on buying!
3. Buy Generic Brands
You're going to buy things anyway, however you stand to save a lot of cash over the years by buying generic brands over the more expensive alternatives. I'm not suggesting that you always buy generic - when it really counts, buy branded things - but if you set your 'default' purchase choice to generic, you will not spend as much, and you won't really have to change your habits.
4. Go for Staycations
People talk about staycations as a great way to save money, but they also help one avoid a great deal of bother. Travel, in case you have forgotten, can be quite a hassle! Between getting fondled by airport security, getting visas and paperwork in order, getting injected with various preventative vaccines, making reservations, converting cash, looking for hotels and restaurants, and staving off jet lag, it is hard to determine what is most stressful about vacations these days... suffice it to say that one nearly needs to have a post-vacation vacation just to recover from it all.
Why not avoid the bother and cost by vacationing at home? It's a lazy option, sure, but it just might be the most relaxing one too!
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5. Buy Groceries Just Once a Week
You can easily save money by reducing the number of times you make purchases - why? There are fewer opportunities to make impulse buys!
By getting groceries once a week, you can promise yourself to carefully evaluate what you need and get only that at the store. Because you'll be loading up on food for an entire week, your basket will fill up and you'll have a better visual cue that you might be buying more than you should. What's more, you won't have to get off your tush to ship mid-week, and can save time wondering what you'll make/eat for dinner each night because you'll need to plan out meals ahead of time.
6. Leave Your Wallet at Home While Window Shopping
Window shopping can be dangerous if you've got a bunch of money burning a hole in your pocket. How can you avoid the impulse purchases? Keep the impulses but leave out the purchases by leaving your money and credit cards at home.
If you do happen to run across something that you absolutely cannot go without, you can always ask a friend to loan you the money, or better yet, put the item on hold and take some time to think about things before running home to bust open the piggy bank.
Nothing says success like doing work in your pajamas. By telecommuting, you can save money not only by skipping out on transportation, but also by eating at home instead of opting for pricey lunch spots around the office.
As it happens, telecommuting can also save your office money (in terms of space, utilities, coffee, etc...), so you just might be able to get some extra days working from home by sharing that argument :D
8. Ditch Credit Cards
By letting go of credit cards, you can save money on interest and avoid getting into (more) debt. You can also avoid having to check monthly balances, make sure you haven't lost a card, and muddle through the extra paperwork.
If you like the feeling of swiping every time you make a purchase, just use your debit card! It's nearly the same thing minus the use of borrowed funds - just be sure to not over-spend!
9. Avoid new loans
Loans take ages to pay off and, if neglected, can be financially ruinous (or at least bad for your credit score). That's obvious. But have you thought about all the effort that goes into applying for loans, using the money, then paying them off? And have you thought about all the mental anguish of the entire ordeal?
I'm going to avoid loans as much as I can - not just for financial reasons, but also because I'm too darn lazy and utterly averse to the potential stress. Before getting a loan, listen to your inner couch potato. He might just say that that new car isn't worth the bother.
Maintaining an estate is a full-time job!
10. Adopt a Streamlined Lifestyle
In the midst of financial hardships, families often ask themselves what they can cut out - extra properties, cars, rooms, cable subscriptions, magazines, etc. People move into smaller houses, let go of excess possessions, and streamline their hobbies.
These lifestyle changes are often seen as sacrifices, but have you stopped to think about all the extra effort you are freeing yourself from? Do you know what a hassle it is to keep a mansion clean (or how much effort you need to put into finding, hiring, maintaining, and paying a cleaning staff)? Do you realize how much effort you have to exert to maintain and store all your excess stuff? Blargh!!
The nobility of the days of yore did not have jobs for a reason: their entire lives were dedicated to maintaining their estates. Do you want to keep another part-time job of maintaining all your stuff? I say let it go and enjoy your new free time!