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Having more month than money is a common problem for a lot of us. It’s easy to live payday to payday and believe you’re just too broke to be saving money.
Maybe you see finances as boring, too complicated or you just don’t have the energy or motivation to sort out your money right now. Maybe you’re too laid back and happy to just go with the flow.
But what if that laissez faire attitude is actually keeping you holding you back from having more money to live the life you want?
Here are some ways that laziness could be keeping you broke.
1. You can’t be bothered to budget.
A lot of people think budgeting is boring, but if you don’t do it, you’re unlikely to get any better at keeping more money in your pocket.
It’s also often seen as being restrictive, but actually, it’s can be the opposite. It can feel quite freeing to know exactly what money you have to spend, and release you from worry about accidental overspending.
Budgets are important, both for spending and saving. It’s about spending within your means, not running out of money before the next payday, and being able to put money away too, which helps with being prepared for any emergencies and helping reach goals such as buying a home or holiday without going into debt.
Putting off making a budget is not helping your finances.
Take a few minutes to get started on your budget (Netflix will still be there when you’ve finished and your wallet will thank you later)
- Details (numbers) of all your income sources
- All your outgoing expenses, fixed and unfixed, including bills and subscriptions
- A pen and paper or a spreadsheet
Click here for a step by step guide to starting a budget and spreadsheet template.
There are a few different ways to budget, but a really effective method is zero based budgeting. This is where you account for every penny and give it a purpose (including savings), all the way to zero.
2. You don’t shop around.
If you tend to buy from the first place you look, you’re letting laziness cost you money. It’s almost guaranteed that spending a little more energy searching for the best price will help you spend less.
This is especially true when it comes to renewing your subscriptions; letting auto renew almost always means giving up your chance to save money as there are often better deals to be had.
There are plenty of online tools you can use to help find the best price, so you don’t even have to leave the house if you don’t want to.
Honey: A web browser that automatically searches and applies coupon codes to your online shopping.
CamelCamelCamel: A price tracking site that shows you price history so you can see if something really is a good deal or not.
Idealo: A price comparison website to help you find the best price for what you’re shopping for.
When it comes to subscriptions checking prices for other providers online using price comparison sites will give you a good indication of how much you can save. If you like the service by your current provider, give them a call and tell them you’ve found a cheaper price elsewhere. They’re likely to then offer you the same or better to convince you to stay.
3. You waste too much time
Be honest, are you a bit of a couch potato? Whilst it’s important both physically and mentally to rest and relax, you can have too much of a good thing! Maybe you spend hours binge watching television or mindlessly surfing the internet or social media?
None of this positively impacts your finances. Wealthier people, on the other hand, tend to spend their spare time in more productive ways that help towards improving their situation.
Why not turn some of that spare time taking up a new side hustle to bring in a bit of extra cash? Don’t give up your relaxing time completely, but if you’re struggling with money, chances are you could use some of your time better to help things along a bit.
4. You order in too much
Here at Savvy Sloth, we love a good takeaway! But choosing to go the easy route and order in food too often is a really expensive habit.
Choosing to cook at home rather than getting a takeaway might be the easier option but think about how much those costs add up over time.
One £15 takeaway per week will set you back £780 a year. Three of those and you’re talking a whopping £2340 a year. If you had the choice in front of you what would you choose?
A few extra takeaways or a holiday? Maybe it’s worth the effort cooking a cheap meal at home knowing you’ll then be able to afford that new laptop or whatever it is you’ve had your eye on come the end of the year.
The urge to just oder a takeaway at the end of a long or hard day isn’t gonna just go away, so be prepared for those times. Stock up your freezer with easy to cook meals you just need to pop in the oven and heat up, ready for those times.
When you are cooking meals, try batch cooking and making some extra portions you can just pop in the freezer, ready made for another time.
5. You ignore money problems
We get it. Money problems cause stress, anxiety, put strain on relationships and can make you feel depressed and unmotivated. It’s all too easy to bury your head in the sand and try and forget about it.
The trouble is, the longer you ignore things, the worse they get and you could soon be facing much bigger problems than you already have.
Tackle things head on. If you have debts, lay it all out so you know exactly what your situation is and make a plan to start paying it off. If you need help, get help. There are some great ways to free confidential advice.
Start building an emergency fund too, so unexpected expenses don’t throw you back into a cycle of debt.