Category Archives: Money

How Being Lazy is Costing You Money

How Being Lazy is Costing You MoneyYou can easily miss out on all the ways being lazy costs you money – possibly because you’re too lazy to think about them. Even being just a little bit lazy can cost you in big ways. Think about your own habits. Is being lazy costing you money?

You overspend. Being too lazy to budget means you’re spending without a plan. It’s a situation ripe for big money mistakes. You need to put at least a little energy into calculating your total monthly income and bills and making sure you have enough money for all your expenses. You won’t know whether you need to cut back or make more money unless you actually review your budget.

You pay late fees. Not bothering to pay your bills on time or check your payment amounts can lead to expensive late fees. With credit cards, your late fee can be up to $35. Rent and mortgage late fees can easily be $100 or more. Some services may be disconnected and you’ll have to pay a lefty reconnect fee to have your services restored. Throwing away money on fees is wasteful, especially when you can set your bills for autopay.

You pay higher prices than necessary. If you buy on the spot because you don’t want to drive to another store or even pull out your smartphone to check prices, you could be spending hundreds more than you have to. Many stores match prices of competitors which means you can get the lower price without having to go to another store.

You miss billing errors. Don’t take for granted that your billers are going to accurately bills you each month. Being too lazy to read your bills means you could pay for transactions that you never made. Billers can sneak in fees or raise prices on services right under your nose. Review your bills each month to confirm you’re being charged the correct amount.

You keep memberships you aren’t using. Being too lazy to use the membership and too lazy to cancel it hits you twice. Cancelling most memberships only takes a phone call. If you have several you need to cancel, making one a day will yield more results than if you did nothing at all.

You miss out on rebates. How many times you do you choose a product specifically because it offers a rebate. How many times you have you put for energy to claim the rebate. Not sending in the rebate (which the company is hoping you will) costs you money. Send in rebates right away instead of waiting.

You keep keeping unwanted items after the return date. Once the return date is gone, you’re stuck with an item you have no use for. If this is a habit, you’re wasting potentially hundreds of dollars simply because you won’t put in the effort to take a product back to the store in a specific timeframe.

You don’t research better investments. If you have money to invest, but don’t take the time to seek out sound investments, you’re leaving hundreds, maybe thousands of dollars on the table. Active investing can help you reach your financial goals much sooner.

Fortunately, you have total control over your laziness. Build a habit of being more actively involved in your finances to combat your lazy habits and start saving money.

Should You Accept a Bad Job That Pays More Money?

Should You Accept a Bad Job That Pays More Money?The good news is that you got a new job. The even better news is that the new job pays more money. But, you haven’t accepted the offer yet because there’s bad news – it’s a job that you’re probably not going to hate. Your first impulse might be to take the job expecting the money to make up for the job dissatisfaction. But, considering that you spend most of your waking hours at work, you have to question whether it’s really worth it take a job you won’t like.

Why Do You Want to Make More Money?

Before you decide whether to take the job, take a step back and consider your true motives for wanting more money. The money itself won’t necessarily make you happier, especially not happy enough to deal with the downsides of the job. However, tying the income to a bigger financial goal, like paying debt or building your child’s college fund, can help keep your reason for taking the job in perspective. It gives you a reason to deal with a job you don’t like.

Another benefit of connecting your extra income to a goal is that you have an “out” from the job. Once your goal is met, you can give yourself permission to move on to a new job.

When Should You Turn the Job Down?

You can likely find as many pros as cons to accepting a bad job that pays more money. It can be helpful to list out your dealbreakers – reasons you absolutely cannot take the job. If any of these are true, taking the job may not be a good idea.

  1. The job takes you too far off course of your career path.

A bigger paycheck is nice, but not at the expense of your career. After the novelty of a bigger paycheck wears off, you’ll be stuck with a job you don’t like that’s not helping you get to where you ultimately want to be in your career.

  1. The work is too soul crushing.

If the job involves something that you find unethical or that doesn’t line up with your morals, don’t take it. Being unhappy at work is one thing, feeling guilty about the work you’re doing can affect you in an entirely different way.

  1. It takes you away from your family.

A job that requires additional travel will mean being away from your family for more time. No amount of money is worth damaging your relationships, so get input from your spouse or partner to help make the best decision for your family and your finances.

  1. You don’t want to become a slave to money.

Once you start sacrificing what you truly want for money, you could start down a path that’s hard to turn back from. That’s why it’s important to be sure that you tie the extra income to a financial goal and stick to that goal. Otherwise, if you start experiencing lifestyle inflation – where your cost of living increases with your income – you need to keep making more money to keep from feeling broke.

Making a Final Decision

You may be able to negotiate some aspects of the job that would make it easier to deal with. For example, you may be able to negotiate for more work from home time or work it out so that you travel only a few days of out of the money rather than every week.

Don’t feel bad if you ultimately decide to walk away from the job. Avoiding a job that will make you miserable is better for you than any salary.

The Expensive Side of Roommates

The Expensive Side of RoommatesIf you are just starting off in your career, you want to lower your expenses. Housing is a major cost. Rents increased 2.7% from March 2015 – March 2016, well above the overall inflation rate of 1.02%. Consider these median monthly rents:

  • Los Angeles: $1,930 for a one bedroom; $2,630 for a two bedroom
  • Washington D.C.: $2,180 for a one bedroom; $2,990 for a two bedroom
  • San Francisco: $3,550 for a one bedroom; $4,450 for a two bedroom

Yikes!!

Even smaller cities like Colorado Springs, Co and Orlando, FL saw rents rise 11.4% and 8.9% respectively. Faced with these financial realities, you want to consider getting a roommate (or two) to split expenses. However, you need to take certain precautions so that a roommate does not end up costing you money.

Protect Yourself Financially

You can take steps to protect yourself from a bad roommate. Address these three situations before you move in with other people.

  1. Just Not Paying Rent- The first problem is the most obvious one. Your roommate, because of financial hardship or because he/she is a jerk, fails to make rent payments. You can be on the hook for costs and at risk for eviction. Consider these ideas:
  • Ask the landlord for a separate lease. A separate lease spells out how much each person pays in rent. You are only responsible for the amount you agreed to in writing.
  • Make a written agreement. Not every landlord accepts a separate lease. However, you can protect yourself with a written agreement that details when rent is due, how much is due, and a method of acceptable payment. This method is not as iron-clad as a separate lease, but you at least have something in writing if you need to pursue the matter legally.
  1. Damage to the Apartment- Ever wonder why fast food wrappers come with warnings to not put them in a microwave? The answer is that a whole lot of roommates in the world harmed microwaves through that action.

If your roommate damages any part of the apartment, it costs you some or possibly all of your security deposit. When looking for a roommate, take into account if this person has a lot of common sense. You might even consider running a background check if you do not know the person well.

  1. Theft- Unfortunately, not every roommate is too particular about who he or she brings back to the apartment. If your roommate likes to party, that person might bring home a thief who steals your property and possibly your identity. Make sure you secure your valuables and identification if you are out of the apartment and others are there.

Fewer Costs, Not More

A good roommate reduces your housing costs so you can focus on other priorities such as paying off student loan debt. It can be very beneficial to both people when done right. However, some roommates are prone to problems. Consider the aforementioned three situations to reduce the risk of having to deal with the expensive side of roommates.

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