The Lazy Person’s Guide to Making and Saving Money for Doing Almost Nothing

Young woman lying on the couch looking at her phone.
Onzeg/Getty Images


Here’s a thing about me: I’m lazy.

Really, really lazy.

I know what you’re thinking: Wow, what a surprise.

But that’s not all! You see, I’m exceptionally lazy. Supremely lazy. I’m a laziness expert, a scholar, a connoisseur of laziness. Look up “lazy” in the dictionary, and there’s a little picture of me napping.

If it were up to me, I’d be lying on a beach in Bali, sipping on strong cocktails with little umbrellas in them, reading trashy paperbacks while servants hand-feed me shrimp and strawberries.

Alas, that is not my life.

Like so many of you, I have a job, spouse, kids, mortgage, car payment, bills, debt. I’m working my little tushy off, here. All of this financial pressure and work ethic really interfere with my laziness.

But because I’m lazy, I’ve learned how to put my finances on autopilot. I seek out apps and tools that help me make and save money with as little effort on my part as possible.

With a few clicks of a mouse or a few swipes on your phone, you’re done forever. You’re all set. Time to kick back and relax.

Check out these super lazy ways to make money:

1. Don’t Bother Keeping Track of Your Credit Score

Let Credit Sesame handle that. You have other things to do.

This free service shows your credit score and explains it to you. It shows your balances on any unpaid bills, credit cards or loans. It offers personalized tips on reducing your debt and raising your credit score.

2. Don't Bother Going on Facebook to Share Your Opinions

Tina Russell/The Penny Hoarder

A number of sites will pay you to read advertisers' emails, sign up for offers and take surveys.

We’ve tried about a million of them (OK… we've lost count), but there are only a few we'd recommend.

VIP Voice is one of those companies. The surveys are relatively quick to complete and reward you with points you can redeem for cash or gift cards.

Sign up for this at the beginning of the month and plan to login a few times each week. You’ll have no trouble earning an extra $30 this month with almost no work.

3. Relax with Digital, Virtual Scratch-Off Tickets

Man, that was a lot of work! I’m exhausted. Time to embrace my laziness again.

Hello laziness, my old friend.

Now that you’ve digested all that information, reward yourself with some scratch-off tickets. You don’t even have to leave the house. Check out this free app called Lucktastic. Each day, it releases a new assortment of digital scratch-off tickets.

Instant wins range from $1 to $10,000. You can also earn tokens, enter contests and play games.

The app is free to download — and play.

4. Who Has Time to Track Prices?

It turns out deleting your emails could be costing you serious money. Intrigued?

One of our secret weapons is called Paribus — a tool that gets you money back for your online purchases. It's free to sign up, and once you do, it will scan your email archives for any receipts. If it discovers you’ve purchased something from one of its monitored retailers, it will track the item’s price and help you get a refund anytime there’s a price drop.

Plus, if your guaranteed shipment shows up late, Paribus will help you get money back for what you paid for shipping.

5. Don’t Worry About Saving Money

A man smothers his face in a pile of money.
Carmen Mandato/ The Penny Hoarder

Acorns makes it easy for you to save without ever thinking about it.

Once you connect it to a debit or credit card, this “micro-investing” app rounds your purchases up to the nearest dollar and funnels your digital change into a savings or investment account.

Because the money comes out in increments of less than $1, you’re less likely to feel an impact in your bank account. (With just a tiny little bit more work, you can also set it up so it doesn’t round up every single purchase.)

Oh, and you get a $5 sign-up bonus.

6. Don’t Worry About Cutting Your Monthly Bills

Trim will do that for you. It’s a Facebook Messenger bot that will negotiate your cable or internet bills down.

It works with Comcast, Time Warner, Charter and other major providers.

You can sign up simply with Facebook or your email address. Then, upload a PDF of your most recent bill, and Trim’s AI-powered system gets to work. If at first it doesn’t succeed, it’ll keep negotiating until it can save you some money.

Also, if you have any outages, Trim believes you deserve a credit, and it’ll handle that for you. Trim takes 25% of the savings tab, and you get the rest.

7. Let This Bot Optimize Your 401(k)

Retirement accounts are complicated. That’s where Blooom will help you out. It’s an investment advisory firm that optimizes and monitors your 401(k).

Enter your information into its system: your name, age and when you hope to retire. Connect your 401(k) account.

Within a few minutes, you get a free 401(k) “health report,” which tells you what’s going well and what needs improvement. Are you paying too many fees? Is your mix of stocks and bonds not properly allocated for your age?

If you want Blooom to take over, you can opt in for a $10-per-month service. Within a few hours, Blooom will reconfigure your 401(k) without you doing a thing. Better yet, it keeps an eye on it from then on.

8. Get Credit Just for Opening the Fridge

Woman standing in front of her refrigerator with a salad and chicken wings.
YinYang/Getty Images

Remember the Nielsen company? The one that’s always tracked TV ratings? Well, now it wants to know what’s in your fridge.

Once you sign up to be on the Nielsen Consumer Panel, you can either use your smartphone, or the company will send you a free barcode scanner. Every time you go shopping, you simply scan the UPC codes on the back of each product and send your data to Nielsen.

Nielsen will reward you with gift points, which you can redeem for free electronics, jewelry, household items or even toys for the kids.

The longer you stay on the panel, the more opportunity you have to earn points toward prizes. You’ll also receive entries for the panel’s many sweepstakes. Prizes include vacations and brand new vehicles.

9. Never Go to the Pharmacy Again

I hate going to the pharmacy to pick up prescriptions. Too often, it’s a hassle. It’s work, and you know I’m opposed to work.

Hey, I’m not alone here. Nearly half of Americans are taking prescription pills. But we consumers are forced to manage the hassles of multiple prescriptions all by ourselves. Because of the difficulties, as many as 20% of us aren’t consistently filling our ’scripts.

Have Phil do the heavy lifting for you. This online prescription delivery service takes on the hassles of coordinating with pharmacies, doctors and insurance providers — even filling out paperwork. You pay nothing more than your usual copays, and delivery is free.

You can get up to $30 off your first order, too.

10. Find Money You Didn't Know Was Yours

A woman picks up money off the street.
Chris Zuppa/The Penny Hoarder.

Don't feel like working for extra money? Find stuff you've already earned and forgot about!

Search online to find unclaimed money from retirement accounts you’ve forgotten, old security deposits and more. Check the National Association of Unclaimed Property Administrators website to find out how to search in your home state.

This strategy can only help you find your own misplaced money. If you happen to forgo laziness when it comes to keeping good track of your cash, you may not find anything new.

Mike Brassfield ([email protected]) is a senior writer at The Penny Hoarder. He works a lot, but he wishes he could be super lazy, instead.

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