Turn a Day Off Into Your Most Profitable Day of the Year

By Craig Ford on 14 November 2012 (Updated 4 June 2014) 2 comments
Photo: truk

Keeping up can be hard. In order to cope, we only focus on what is most pressing — and our wallets suffer the consequences.

Time management guru Steven Covey said that all our tasks fall into one of four quadrants:

  1. Quadrant One: Urgent and important
  2. Quadrant Two: Not urgent and important
  3. Quadrant Three: Urgent and not important
  4. Quadrant Four: Not urgent and not important 

Sometimes the unimportant activities trump important activities just because they are urgent. In our lives, one of the things we often neglect to do are the financial quadrant two activities. As a result, you could have one of your most profitable days by taking a day off and focusing on all the non-urgent yet important financial tasks you've been avoiding. (See also: 10 Monthly Bills You Can Slash)

1. Shop Around for New Insurance

This includes all forms of insurance like house, car, health, life, renters, disability, and whatever other forms of insurance you have. After signing up for insurance and setting up your auto payments, you might rarely think about those expenses. However, spending an hour or two comparing rates could literally save you hundreds of dollars a year.

2. Call Credit Card Companies, and Ask If They Can Reduce Your Rate

Especially if you've been making payments and the credit card company thinks you're going to transfer your balance, they'll be more likely to reduce your interest rate. In fact, the best approach is to watch your junk mail for a 0% balance transfer promotion and call the credit card company equipped with some motivation for them to drop your interest rate.

3. Switch to a Savings Account With a Higher Interest Rate

Go ahead and take 30 minutes to transfer your funds over to an account with a higher interest rate or an account that has some type of sign up bonus or incentive.

4. Set Up a Budget

One of the biggest reasons why people don't budget is that they don't have the time. Budgeting does take some time to get started, but typically once the ball is rolling, a few minutes a day is all you need to keep up with your budget. Set aside 30 minutes to an hour to get your budget set up.

5. Do Some Investing Research

If you're investing, do you have the lowest online brokerage, or are you overpaying on trading fees? Have you rebalanced your portfolio lately? Take the time necessary to review your investments.

6. Get Your Couponing System Up and Running

One of the intimidating things about couponing is creating and implementing a good system for tracking your coupons.

7. Read Money-Saving Articles

Set aside a little bit of time to search for money saving articles in areas where you're overspending. Spending too much on food? Google how to save money on groceries or how to cut dining out expenses. There's a good chance that you'll be able to come up with some good ideas that will save you at least $100 per year.

Moral of the story — turn your time into money.

Saving money can be more profitable than earning money (because you don't pay taxes on money you save). As a result, you'll benefit tremendously by taking a day off work to catch up on all those financial tasks you've been neglecting for months. I bet you could easily find a way to save over $500 per year with just one day off.

What other things do you think people could do to save money during a day off?

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Guest's picture

Some of these things, like calling credit card companies for a reduced rate take only a few minutes and could easily be done on a lunch break.

I would suggest cleaning out your closets and donating old clothes you don't wear anymore to a Goodwill store. While you may not save money at that moment, hopefully seeing how many articles of clothing you have that you never wear will make a light bulb go off and stop you from buying that new pair of jeans that you really don't need.

Guest's picture

All really good ideas on things you can do to help your financial situation when you have a minute. A lot of times people put off these important money saving ideas, that really are necessary, because they don't have time and on days off they just want to do things that are enjoyable. Definitely would benefit anyones life to take time to do these things on a day off from work.