Financial Fitness Friday: The Cost of Laziness
Hi! I’m Ashley, Financial Education Coordinator for Credit Union 1! Check out my blog every Friday for fun tips and tricks to help you manage your finances.
I really want to save money but from time to time I find myself paying for things or services I could do myself or over paying. I know this is really stupid and it has to stop! This time around, I’ve got to analyze what the cost of laziness is.
Sometimes when I go out to eat and I get the check, all of my math skills (yes, even basic addition) are completely lost. So instead of my great math skills coming out, Lazy Ashley makes her debut and it costs me more money than I had planned on spending. I tend to get in a hurry on top of laziness and boom! I wind up leaving a 50% tip because it was easier to round way up than it was to figure out what 15% or 20% would have been. I’m sure the wait staff at the restaurant love that but my checkbook does not! On average, I’d say I pay about $23 for a meal and a normal 20% tip would bring the grand total to just under $28. Most of the time if I’ve become in a rush and lazy…I’ll round it up to $35 which means I left just over a 50% tip and cheated myself out of $7. Multiply that by 2 times a month and then 12 months in a year, I’ve just wasted $168. Do not make this mistake!
Here’s another good real life example: hiring help and not getting the full rundown of their fees. A few months ago my husband and I were leaving for a vacation and realized the night before that our yard needed to be mowed before we left for a week. Instead of staying up a few more hours or getting up earlier to do it, I called a company to do it for us. Our yard isn’t massive, it had been mowed before – it just would have looked like a jungle had we let it sit longer. The landscaper told me it would be “X” amount of dollars per hour and that most lawns take about 1.5 hours. Sweet…this can be our little treat that isn’t really expensive and we don’t have to do it ourselves! WRONG! I got the bill a few weeks later and it cost us just almost $200! My laziness just got real. I was so angry with myself that I didn’t bother to ask more questions about fees and how the labor time is calculated AND I could have done it for free myself! Talk about steam coming out of my ears and it was no one else’s fault but my own. Not even a spoon full of sugar could make that medicine go down.
Laziness has also cost me thousands of air miles. I’m not a globetrotter or anything but it seems that I go on a flight 1-2 times per year but I never put my frequent flier miles number on the reservation. Why? Because I can’t find my card that has the number on it and I don’t have the gumption to dig for it online or call customer service. I could have enough miles for a free flight by now, but because of my laziness I will have to pay full price.
All in all… make sure when you’re doing something that you’re not spending money to be lazy like I do. I could have saved over $350 this year by slowing down and putting some effort into things. Do you do silly things like this? Leave me your response in the comments below.