Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Laziness Pays

Do you want to save money but just don't have the discipline to put forth the extra effort to do so? You can be lazy and save money. Here are some ideas.
  • Automatic payments. Try scheduling at least your fixed monthly bills to automatic payments so that you don't miss a payment and get charged the extra late fees.

  • Eat the food in your house. What?! Yeah, just eat your own groceries. Stats show that Americans regularly throw away nearly 15% of the food they buy from the grocery store. That can really add up to a lot of money depending on your budget.
  • Watch the dates. Mark it on your calendar when you rent things like library books, videos, etc. so you can avoid the late fees. Many places now also offer email reminder notices. Be sure to sign up!
  • Use your perks. Are you an AAA member? Do you belong to the AARP? What about your local credit union? Check organizations you have memberships with to see if they offer buying privileges or discounts.
  • Just Ask. Really?! That's right, just ask. Doesn't hurt, just ask if you can have your interest rate lowered on your loan or credit card. Worst they can say is no. Can't go any higher. Or ask for discounts on services like your cell phone or pet care instead of switching to another vendor to save money.
  • Have the awkward conversation. According to Financially Fit by Bank of America, Americans average more than $750 yearly on holiday gifts and that's probably much more than most would like to spend. If your gift-giving is costing you more than you can realistically afford there's a good chance it’s more than your relatives can afford (or would like to spend) as well. Take the plunge and broach the subject. Offer a more reasonable alternative. More than likely your relatives will be grateful SOMEONE finally raised the subject and you’ll save money in the process.
  • Forget the pet. I can't agree on this one but do want to share the idea. Sure it sounds heartless but did you realize that welcoming home a little puppy can cost you an average of more than $1,500 a year - or $15,000 over 10 years? Kitties are pricey too - just under $1,000 a year or approximately $9,000 for 10 years of care.
Thanks to Bank of America for sharing some great ideas.
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