Published On: Mar 06 2012 04:11:39 PM ESTUpdated On: Jan 07 2013 09:43:55 AM EST
Companies thrive on our collective sloth. Make them earn their money by learning 23 ways your laziness is costing you cash, according to Forbes magazine.
On-Demand Video -- Is it worth a 150 percent markup just to watch the movie in the comfort of your own home? Maybe if you've installed a comparable home theater, but likely not.
Pre-made food -- Whole Foods charges $8.99 per pound for its pre-made Mixed Berry Fruit Salad. The cost of making your own salad is $6.56 per pound, a markup of 37 percent.
Not Maintaining Your Car -- The Federal Trade Commission has found that keeping your tires properly inflated and aligned can increase gas mileage up to 3 percent.
Not Comparison Shopping On Your Smartphone -- Finding a lower price can be as simple as downloading a free mobile app like RedLaser, TheFind and PriceGrabber, made for iPhone and Android.
Not Trading In Your Car At The End Of A Lease -- Turning your car over to the dealer is easy enough but it could cost you. Instead, research the real value of the car and find a dealer who will buy the vehicle from the leasing company and apply the credit to your new lease or purchase.
Not Insulating Your Home -- Air sealing your home and adding insulation in attics, floors over crawl spaces and accessible basement rim joists, can save you up to 20 percent on heating and cooling costs.
Not Donating Stuff You Don't Use To Charity -- The truly lazy will also be happy to know that some charitable organizations make free house calls to pick up your unwanted stuff. For a list, visit DonationTown.org.
Not Searching For Coupons Online -- Websites like Retailmenot.com, Coupons.com, Dealspl.us and Couponcabin.com offer coupon codes for thousands of stores. Just plug in the code during your online checkout.
Not Reading Your Credit Card Statements -- That niggling $7 monthly toll for a subscription you tried once and never used can add up. Regularly checking your statement is easy money.
Not Making Your Own Coffee -- In a year, you'll spend $60 on coffee if you make it yourself. The alternative -- paying $2.50 a day at Dunkin Donuts (or more at Starbucks) -- slurps up $625 for the year.
Not Weather-Proofing Your Shoes/Clothes -- Ask your dry cleaner for the best weather-proofing product for your shoes and clothes, and treat them before you brave the elements.
Not Taking Advantage Of Corporate Wellness Incentives -- With health care costs through the roof, more corporations are willing to pay you to be healthy -- or even just to try.
Not Opening A Retirement Fund -- Setting up a 401(k) account -- one that automatically draws a certain percentage from each pay check -- doesn't take much effort and could have a dramatic financial impact
Not Choosing The Best Savings Account Rate -- The best annual percentage rate you'll get at a traditional bank is about 0.1 percent, while Internet banks can easily offer 1.15 percent. May not sound like much, but it all adds up.
Not Paying Attention To 0% Financing Deadlines -- Fall short of paying these purchases off by the deadline and the often very steep interest rate kicks in. It applies not to the remainder of the debt, but to the entire original purchase price.
Not Sending In Rebate Offers -- Department and electronics stores often advertise goods at post-rebate prices, assuming most customers will be too lazy to mail in the rebate, which could save them up to 10 percent on big-ticket items such as dishwashers, refrigerators and computers.
Waiting Until The Last Minute To Send Mail -- Drag your feet on sending that next birthday card and you'll pay a premium for speed.
Not Bothering To Negotiate A Better Deal -- According to a recent poll, 80 percent of haggling Americans were able to win better deals on hotel rates, cell phone bills and clothing; more than 70 percentpaid less for electronics and furniture.
Oversleeping -- Sleeping the day away can lead to insomnia, and that can be costly to treat. And being up all night in the Internet age can lead to torching extra money on books at Amazon.com or downloads at Apple's iTunes store.
Not Paying Your Credit Card Bill On Time -- For first-time offenders, the Federal Reserve has capped late fees at $25. The real danger, though, is that your interest rate can suddenly shoot north of 30 percent.
Not Finding A Deal On Smaller, Regular Purchases -- Saving a few cents on an impulse buy at the store may not seem worth the effort, but finding deals on regular purchases can save mounds of green.
Not Rooting Through Your Change -- Rare, valuable coins can bring in a pretty penny. Read a book on what makes coins valuable and keep your eyes peeled for surprises.
Not Making A Grocery List -- Not taking the two minutes to jot down what you need at the grocery store increases the likelihood you'll buy items you don't really need.