Money Matters

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In this economy you can't afford to be lazy. Forbes Magazine recently asked a group of experts to measure the hidden costs of laziness and what you can do about it. Here are some examples.

Not choosing the best savings account rate. Most people keep some cash in a brick and motar bank where the interest rate is about .75%. But internet banks offer up to 2.25% so it pays to shop around.

Not opening a retirement fund. I know you twenty-somethings aren't thinking about old age. But if you start saving for retirement now, with compound interest you'll be set when you reach 65. Even if you're in your 30's or 40's start saving now.

Not sending in rebate offers. Stores hook you with those after rebate prices and assume you're too lazy or you'll forget to send in the rebate. Take the few minutes it takes to do so or or you're throwing money away.

Not paying attention to 0% financing deadlines. Many stores offer 0% financing for a fixed period. As long as you pay off the item before that deadline you're fine. But if you're one day over you'll be charged interest not from that moment, but from the date of purchase. Watch out.

Not bothering to negotiate a better deal. It never hurts to ask. Surveys show 80% of haggling Americans were able to get better deals on hotels, cellphone bills, clothing, you name it. So give it a shot.

Bottom line. Don't be lazy. It's costing you money. And who can afford that?

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