The True Cost of Laziness: 12 Things That Could Save Us Money If We Only Paid More Attention

Nobody likes to be called lazy — but nobody likes throwing away money, either.

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The good news is that personal finance is just like physical health: You can tone up with a little commitment. Here are 12 tips to keep more of your cash. Even if you only do a couple, you’re better off than you were…

Do you run to just any ATM every time you need cash? If so, you’re paying around $4.50 per transaction, according to a recent survey. That’s because when you use an ATM not affiliated with the card’s bank, you’re charged two fees — one by your debit card’s bank and another by the ATM’s bank. Don’t pay those unnecessary fees.

Look up locations for your debit card’s bank and only withdraw from authorized ATMs. You can also get extra cash with no fee when you use your debit card in retail checkout lanes.

Here are some more ways to avoid dumb banking fees.

Buy snacks and beverages in bulk at a regular grocery store. Stockpile toilet paper, toothpaste, pain relievers and other items so you don’t get stuck paying twice as much at a gas station when you’re desperate.

Instead, look up meal kit delivery companies’ recipes online and purchase those ingredients on sale or at a discount grocer. Same meal. Lower prices. While you’re shopping, keep these 6 tips to reduce food waste and cut your grocery bill in mind and save even more.

Get online and shop prices, and not just on big-ticket items. Retailers such as Walmart, Target, Best Buy, Petsmart, and others will match online prices for in-store purchases. For even more comparing, download Honey, a free browser extension that automatically applies the best coupon code during checkout at stores, restaurants and travel sites.

Take a few minutes each day to rip open those envelopes so you don’t miss good deals, coupons, crucial deadlines or the five bucks Grandma sent for your birthday.

Read ticket rules and terms to find out whether prices shoot up as the date draws near. Pay bills early to make sure the payment clears in time. Book rental cars and hotels in advance so you can compare prices and have better choices. The simple fact is — procrastinating can cost you money in the long run.

Here’s another tip for avoiding late payments: If payday arrives after a troublesome due date, contact the creditor and ask the agent to change the date so you can pay on time.

Make time on the weekend before your work week starts to prepare a couple of entrees, side dishes, and snacks that you can fill up on when you get home from work instead of shelling out that hard-earned money.

You are entitled to order one free credit report annually from each of the three major credit bureaus: Equifax, TransUnion, and Experian. Once you know what’s in your report, you can find simple, no-hassle ways to build credit so you can achieve a good score that gets you approved.

Take a knife to your own produce to free up money. Use the savings to buy more or enjoy exotic fruits and veggies you couldn’t otherwise afford. While you’re eating healthy, here are some tasty gluten-free shopping tips that won’t gut your wallet.

Go to the card’s website and find the cashback calendar, which displays categories and quarterly reactivation dates. Then add those dates to your own calendar to make sure you earn maximum rewards.

Make a list of jobs you’re paying someone else to do and take on at least one or two you can do yourself. Or, add your own sweat into a rotating schedule to hire out that work less often.

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