9 Ways Your Lazy Habits Are Costing You

Everyone gets lazy sometimes. We all make excuses as to why we can't or won't do certain things. But is your laziness holding you back from achieving financial freedom?

If you're struggling to get ahead or want to supercharge your money situation, it's time to shed your slothful ways. Do any of these lazy habits sound like you? (See also: 6 Ways Sloth Is Keeping You Poor)

1. You Pay People to Do Things You Can Do Yourself

You eat out a lot because you don't want to cook. You're paying for a maid service because you can't be bothered to clean your house yourself. Meanwhile you're spending hours a day watching Netflix or playing video games.

If you really don't have time because you're spending it all in a productive way, paying someone else in order to maximize your earning potential is fine. Otherwise, buck up and start doing your own chores. (See also: When Should You Pay Someone Else to Do Chores)

2. You Are Disorganized With Finances

A friend once told me that he lost his homeowners insurance because he was lazy about sorting mail and missed the renewal notice. To get his insurance back, he ended up spending more than he otherwise would have.

Being organized with your money takes time and discipline. You need to keep track of where your money is going and where it's held, monitor the performance of your investments, and pay close attention to bills and other obligations.

Things like missing bills, late payments, and lost tax forms won't just lead to inconvenience. They can actually cost you money, in the form of fees and perhaps even a ding to your credit score. (See also: This One Ratio Is the Key to a Good Credit Score)

3. You Won't Go After a Promotion Because You Fear More Work

It's sometimes easy to talk yourself out of moving up to a position of seniority in your company. After all, who wants to deal with additional demands, direct reports, more pressure, and longer hours? But it's also silly to stay in an entry level position simply because you're afraid of taking on more responsibility.

It's true that chasing a job just for the money is a bad idea, and not all promotions are worth pursuing. But rarely does an employee receive a big pay raise by staying put. And a promotion can allow you to play a more integral role in an organization's path, rather than just being a cog in a wheel.

Moreover, even if you find that a new position is not a good fit for you, you'll be gaining skills and experience that you can use to find the job of your dreams.

4. You Have No Interest in Professional Self-Improvement

Does your employer encourage you to learn new skills? Do they even pay for education and training? If so, then take advantage! In a competitive job market, there's no reason to avoid gaining skills that will make you more essential to your employer. Perhaps you'd benefit from learning to code, or getting training in Microsoft Excel. Maybe learning a second language will give you an edge. Maybe you need to go back to school and finish your degree. Don't be afraid to put in the work. Your next performance review — and pay raise — will be the proof that it was worth it.

5. You Ignore Your Personal Appearance

We'd like to believe that appearances don't matter, but tell that to the guy who shows up for a job interview with ketchup on his tie. You don't need to wear a Brooks Brothers suit to work everyday, but a lack of care in how you appear can cost you in things like landing a job, getting a promotion or, securing a meeting with an important client.

Taking care of your appearance includes dressing well, but also staying in shape. Workers who exercise regularly earn 9% more on average than other workers, according to a study from Cleveland State University.

6. You Have No Interest in Creating a Side Hustle?

You have plenty of free time, but can't stand the idea of using it to do more work. After all, you already have a full-time job, right? But these days, it's not uncommon to take on side jobs in order to achieve financial freedom. Maybe it's earning a little extra doing freelance graphic design work. Perhaps you could drive for Uber, sell handmade pottery, or start a YouTube channel. Having a side hustle cannot only bring you extra income, but perhaps give you the experience you need to find the full-time job you truly want. (See also: 15 Ways to Make Money Outside of Your Day Job)

7. You Take the Deal That's in Front of You Rather Than Shop Around

Finding bargains can be hard work. You may have to travel from store to store. You may have to spend time on the Internet researching prices. You may have to be willing to take time to negotiate. It's easy to buy an item at whatever price you first see, but this approach can cost you money over time. You must embrace the challenge of finding the best deal, even if it takes a little more time and energy.

8. You Don't Invest

Your employer offers a 401K but you haven't even looked at the benefit materials. You've heard of terms like "stock market" and "IRA" but haven't taken the time to learn what they mean. You are content to just place any extra money in a bank account with low interest.

It may be okay to ignore investing when you have no money to invest. But once you have some money to put aside, your approach to retirement savings shouldn't be lazy, or it will cost you big time.

Investing can be intimidating, but it's important to overcome those fears and at least educate yourself. Unless you're already independently wealthy, investing is one of the few ways to achieve financial freedom. So get on it!

9. You Do Invest, But Don't Pay Close Attention

So you signed up for your 401K and are putting aside a certain amount of money for your retirement. That's great! But when was the last time you checked your balances? Have you rebalanced your portfolio recently? Are you paying more in fees than you need to?

Investing doesn't have to be complicated. In fact, someone who invests a good amount into a basic index fund and leaves it alone will probably make out quite well. But that's no excuse to be completely lazy. To get the most out of your investments, you need to do at least some amount of baby-sitting to make sure you're on the right track toward your savings goals.

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9 Ways Your Lazy Habits Are Costing You

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