There’s nothing wrong with a little laziness. After all, someone has to make the overachievers of the world look good. When your lazy tendencies begin to have a negative impact on your finances, however, it’s time to change your behavior.
The following are four costly habits to break today, as well as lazy-proof tips on how.
NOT BOTHERING TO CLIP COUPONS
Whether it’s a matter of being too lazy or perhaps even too proud, overlooking coupons is like giving up free money. The average family can save up to $1,000 a year by using coupons when making everyday purchases, according to the Promotion Marketing Association’s Coupon Council.
Andrea Woroch, a money-saving expert, said “Most families need only spend 20 minutes per week finding and clipping coupons, making it a worthwhile measure, especially when the cost of groceries is rising.”
Lazy fix: You don’t have to sift through the Sunday paper to find coupons worth clipping. “Apps like CouponSherpa provide coupons right to your smartphone for savings on groceries to department stores to restaurants,” said Woroch. “The Honey web browser extension alerts you when a coupon is available at a site you’re shopping online as well.”
WAITING UNTIL THE LAST MINUTE TO ORDER GIFTS
Do you look forward to gift shopping about as much as your next oil change? It’s easy to procrastinate when the last thing you want to do is select a gift for a picky friend or cousin you haven’t seen in years. At some point, however, you are going to have to bite the bullet. You might as well do it before you’re forced to pay for rush shipping.
Lazy fix: Here’s an extra dose of motivation: Sites such as FreeShipping.org will allow you to review online coupons for free shipping from popular retailers like Macy’s, Best Buy and more, according to Woroch.
AVOID MEDICAL APPOINTMENTS
Spending time in a drafty doctor’s office while wearing a paper dress is just one of many necessary inconveniences in life. The consequences of putting off preventive care far outweigh the benefits. “I have seen people ignore the warning signs of a cavity or not going in for regular checkups, and when they do finally go to the doctor or dentist, major work is required that can cost into the thousands,” said personal finance coach Dominique Broadway.
Lazy fix: Instead of calling your doctor’s office and waiting weeks for an appointment, try booking on ZocDoc.com. This site connects you with local medical professionals and allows you to book appointments instantly online. Of course, you do have to actually go.
BUYING PRE-MADE MEALS INSTEAD OF COOKING
For many people, cooking is the last thing they want to do after a long day. And maybe your culinary skills are limited to boiling water. Even so, buying pre-made food for every meal rather than preparing what’s in the fridge is an easy way to eat up your savings. About 40 percent of food in the U.S. gets tossed in the trash every year, amounting to $165 billion in uneaten groceries, according to the National Resources Defense Council.
Lazy fix: “When it comes to making cooking an easier task, pick one day during the week to do all the prep work like chopping veggies, or make one large dish that can turn into a few leftover meals,” said Woroch. Bonus tip: Don’t get hung up on expiration dates. Consumer Reports says many foods are still safe to consume after the printed expiration date. Use a site such as StillTasty.com to find out when you really need to toss your groceries — and use them up before then.