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The word “lazy” often gets a bad rap.
It conjures up the image of someone who is “not willing or not wanting to work or use effort to do something,” according to Cambridge Dictionary.
Hardly anyone wants to admit that they are lazy in one way or another.
Usually, I ask other people how their work or life is going, the answer I often get is “Busy as usual.”
Life is short, and we all want to make the most of the time that we have.
Work, family, friends, colleagues, and other commitments tend to fill up our lives quickly.
I am a strong proponent of hard work and efficiency.
However, I have to admit that I am not always hard-working.
In fact, I can get super lazy at times and just don’t want to do anything about it.
What I’ve realized, however, is that being lazy isn’t all that bad.
In fact, laziness has helped me stay both frugal with money and happy about life in six different ways.
Related: 6 Tips On How To Be Productive
1. Not selling all of the clothes that I don’t wear
I don’t own a lot of clothes. However, there are certain clothing items that I rarely or just never wear.
I usually bring my old clothes to Vietnam when I visit home. My mom and sister will pick out some items and give the rest to my mom’s side of the family in the countryside. (Don’t worry. I also buy them new clothes).
I have also sold some on eBay. However, there were cases where I wanted to give away or sell old clothes to buy new ones, but I got lazy and put them back in the suitcase.
The thought of taking pictures of clothes, listing them on eBay, and walking to the post office to mail it somehow sounds so daunting to me.
Later on, however, I found myself wearing with joy those exact shirts, scarves or jackets I once wanted to get rid of. And the best part is I don’t have to spend money buying anything new.
For example, my mother-in-law got a red pea-coat as a gift. The coat looked a bit too young for her, so she gave it to me.
There was a time when I was tired of wearing red and pink and just wanted to stick with neutral color such as black and gray. I took some pictures of the coat to sell it on eBay but never finished that project.
A year later, I now wear that same jacket on a regular basis and have gotten a lot of compliments on it. If I were to buy a new pea-coat, it would have cost me around $100.
The key here, however, is that I try to not clutter my closet by buying new clothes often or getting free clothes that I don’t need.
I want to make the most out of the ones that I already have. Having a lot of clothes is also a constant reminder that I shouldn’t go out and buy more.
Related: 4 Reasons Why I Buy Cheap Clothes
2. Simplifying and automating our investment
Our current main investment is our 401(k) and 403(b). I need to educate myself about the stock market in order to yield a high return to our cash. But the truth is that neither of us are interested in learning about index funds, mutual funds, and anything fund-related.
Ignorance is not a bliss here. But despite skimming through multiple posts about S&P index funds, I still have no interest in learning more about it.
We might change our minds in the future once we have more cash laying around. But our current investment portfolio consists of the following:
1) Maxed-out 401(k) and 403(b)
My 403(b) is automatically invested in a pool of stocks and bonds pre-selected by my employer, so there is nothing I can do about it.
I was so relieved when I found out since that means that I didn’t have to do any additional research on the topic. That just fed into my laziness. Oh well, it works!
2) Real estate
Despite our lack of interest in the stock market, Mr. FAF and I have talked a great deal about real estate. After paying off our mortgage, we plan to purchase a rental property or buy a new house and turn our current home into a rental.
We are not planning on purchasing multiple properties. I feel pretty good about having two properties that are completely paid off.
The bank won’t be able to take something (aka our house) that we own 100% even when the market is down with both of us being unemployed.
3) Stocks from Mr. FAF’s employer
In the future, Mr. FAF will get stocks from his employer after they are fully vested. Depending on the company’s performance (which is pretty good at the moment), we might just hold on to those stocks long-term.
That’s what our investment portfolio looks like: retirement accounts, real estate, and Mr. FAF’s company stocks.
If I were gung-ho about growing our investment, I would probably do more research on more investment tools. But I am not, so we will just play it slowly but surely.
3. Automating our bills
Our current bills are pretty simple: mortgage, water, electricity, and internet. I have automated all of them: set it and forget.
Instead of waiting for the paper bills, writing a check, and mailing it to the companies, I can handle all of those bills online without even having to think about them every month.
The automation not only takes away some stress in my life but also helps us avoid paying late fees in case we forget to make a payment.
4. Having one car
We are a one-car family. I take the Metro to work while Mr. FAF drives the car to work every day. Sometimes I wish we had two cars, especially when I have to take Baby FAF to see the doctor while Mr. FAF is at work.
However, thinking about researching for a used car, getting the registration, doing car maintenance makes me cringe a little.
We used to own a $2,000 Toyota Corolla (1999), and it caused us so much headache and anxiety whenever something broke. Mr. FAF would have to spend hours at the mechanic shop to get it fixed.
Life can be a bit inconvenient sometimes, but at least I’m saving money by not taking on another depreciating asset.
Related: My 12 Frugal Fantasies
5. Cooking meals for the whole week on the weekends
Neither Mr. FAF nor I like cooking. In fact, cooking is one chore that I dread the most. Fortunately, Mr. FAF comes to the rescue and cooks for us when my mother-in-law (MIL) is not in DC.
However, we try to minimize cooking as much as possible while not starving ourselves. Every Sunday afternoon, we would set 3-4 hours cooking 5-6 main dishes for the whole week.
What we once cooked for the week
On weekdays, we can just heat up the food or make simple soup to go with the leftovers. We all get fed, and that’s the most important thing. We have also talked about using the crock pot more often when my MIL leaves for China.
6. Cleaning the house once a week
I know a lot of people clean their house thoroughly every day. But I will admit that I clean our house only once a week. Sometimes when I’m tired or just feel lazy, it will be once every two weeks.
Being ok with a less frequent cleaning schedule helps me get over the thought that I need to hire someone to clean every few days. It helps save money on cleaning service and cleaning products.
And most importantly, we know that we need to clean up after ourselves every day in order to avoid turning our house into a hot mess.
I am definitely not promoting laziness in post. I am simply stating a true fact that I sometimes let laziness take over my life. However, I try to ensure that I facilitate my desire not to do work with automation, simplicity, and mass production.
Not wanting to work is not all negative. That’s what motivates many of us to work harder, save more, and generate more passive income.
The next time you feel lazy and simply want to wind down, just make sure that your finances, family, and work are still in order.
Don’t sweat the small stuff. Think about the big picture and create systems to prevent the small stuff from being a nuisance in your life.