I just paid the public library back $35 in late fees. And I have a bunch of books out right now draining quarters out of my pocket in late fees as I type this. Have you ever over drafted because you forgot to transfer money from one account to another? How about paid a fee at the ATM because you forgot to get out money before you went out on a Saturday night? This can really bust your budget.
Friends, meet The Lazy Tax.
When you pay extra money because you weren’t in the mood to do something small and productive, that’s the Lazy Tax. If you only look at one small fee it doesn’t seem too bad but, when you add up all the little expenses you pony up because of laziness, you might be a bit dismayed with yourself. I know I am. (I am right now shaking my head in shame). Plus, letting the lazy taxes add up is money that you could be using towards paying off debt.
Each person has their own set of lazy taxes they pay, so suggestion number one is my perennial favorite: AWARENESS.
- Create pop-up reminders on your calendar when library books are due (2 days before even).
- Figure out how much your monthly bills cost you in total, then divide that number by the number of times you get paid each month. Next, deposit that amount into 1 checking account that’s only used for bills. (That ensures there will always be the right amount to withdraw for bill from that account). And finally SET UP AUTO-PAYMENTS on any amount that doesn’t change each month like student loan or car loan payments.
- Automatically pay the minimum due on your credit cards each month (you can/should be paying more than this, but auto-paying the minimum makes sure that you won’t be hit with late fees and your interest rate won’t spike due to lateness).
- Don’t use third party ATMs because they charge you fees to access your own money. Also, it’s harder to tell if they’ve been tampered with by an identity thief. Yikers!
If you’re struggling to pay off debt, ACCC can help. Schedule a free credit counseling session with us today.