I’m a lazy idiot. Okay, I’m not actually an idiot, but I’m overwhelmingly lazy, so that translates into a lot of stupid decisions being made. Forgetting to pack lunch and having to spend ten times as much on a meal (when I do cook, I cook very inexpensively, usually $1-$2 per meal), or being too lazy to go to the less expensive grocery store and having to buy a lot of generic things at a higher cost. So, these are a lot of self-sabotaging things that will need to get altered if I’m going to adequately build my fuck-off fund.
But there are some good things I do already! And they’re largely brainless, they suit my laziness just fine.
- I contribute to an IRA at work:
About a year and a half ago, my boss told us he would match our IRA contributions up to 3% here at work. I’ve never had a job that gave me a retirement plan, and I just assumed I’d work until I die. So, I am contributing my 3%, get the matching 3% from my employer (read: free money), and I don’t even notice it missing from my check. We also have one of his referral partners as our representative through the company that manages the investment. For a year, I didn’t do ANYTHING with the account, and now I’ve gone for a target retirement date plan: by 2055, I might no longer have to work. This plan starts off with a bit more aggressive/risky investing in the years while I’m young and free to take risks, and then as I get closer to the projected retirement date, it starts to shift the money toward more stable, lower-yield investments like mutual funds. The performance right now is a bit but that’s okay, I’m not retiring for like 39 years.
2. All grocery stores do Price Per Ounce on food I think
This sometimes makes me do extra work if I have to calculate the price of fresh vs. frozen chicken, since my grocery store puts the price per pound on the fresh, and price per ounce on frozen, and then I have to remember how many ounces are in a pound. But I have a handy dandy pocket computer known as an iPhone and can math it all out, and I typically get the cheapest version of whatever I’m looking for.
3. Frozen Vegetables
They don’t ALWAYS end up cheaper than fresh, but, 1) they are consistently good quality (no rando rotten parts in there like that one onion I got, oh my god, it was so gross); 2) if I don’t use them immediately, they keep! I have a very bad habit of being ambitious with produce purchases and ending up tossing quite a bit of it. Especially salad stuff. So now I don’t really buy fresh vegetables anymore. Since I’m also pretty picky and only like certain vegetables, the freezer is always stocked with ones that are easy to heat up, and that I’ll actually eat: frozen kale, spinach, broccoli, cauliflower, green beans, onions (for making meal starters), peas, and corn. I get fresh carrots occasionally, even though I hate them, because they keep forever and I can hide them in other food I eat. The only other fresh I get are sweet potatoes on a semi-frequent basis, and regular potatoes very infrequently. After years of trying to be the person who is going to make roasted zucchini all the time and then being the person who has moldy zucchini to throw away, this means my food waste, and therefore DOLLAR WASTE, has gone down considerably. Know your strengths.
4. I use my ex’s wifi.
I used to pay him back for it, but now I’m considering it to be child support for my two cats, one of which was “his” cat, who has had about $2,000 in medical treatments over the past 18 months. Yeah, I’m using your xfinity login forever, bro. I don’t have cable OR wifi at my house except for that, which saves me at least $60 a month, I’m sure.
5. I have Virgin Mobile for my phone
My iPhone is old as SHIT (4, not even a 4s – I don’t even have Siri and a lot of apps don’t work on it!) and it’s a plan that charges $30 per month for talk, text, and data. With taxes it’s about $35 a month. Since I have a Kindle for most apps that don’t run on the iPhone, I don’t go through my data anymore, and I know that my overall monthly price on phone and everything is way the fuck cheaper than a lot of y’all’s.
See? Lazy. I don’t even have to try really.
Not this way, anyway.