Inflation, well, sucks.
So does paying more tax.
Yes, yes, I know. "Thanks, Captain Obvious."
So you wouldn't pay either unnecessarily, right?
What if I told you that you probably are.
Or that, if you're not, most people you know almost certainly are.
So, welcome to Tough Love Friday.
Don't worry, this isn't going to become a weekly feature.
But I do want to grab your attention for a few minutes.
You likely read these articles (and hopefully are a member of a Motley Fool investment service!) in hopes that it'll help you make a few bob.
I hope you're right.
But how much time do you spend trying to save a few bob?
No, I don't mean spending less than you earn – though that's vital.
I mean making sure you're not paying the 'lazy tax'.
The what? The 'lazy tax'… paying more than you should for things.
If you haven't checked to make sure you're paying the best price for your electricity, you're almost certainly paying too much… so you're paying the 'lazy tax'.
If you haven't shopped around for car insurance recently, you're probably paying overs – paying the 'lazy tax'.
If you haven't made sure you're getting the highest rate of interest on your savings, you're paying (a de facto) 'lazy tax'.
And if you haven't shopped around for the best rate on your mortgage… yep, you're paying the 'lazy tax' there too.
The best thing?
When we invest, we hope that we've done the right things and that we'll make money.
But when you choose to stop paying the lazy tax… that's a guaranteed return.
It's not as sexy as finding the next big winner.
It mightn't feel as satisfying as that dividend landing in your bank account.
But the money spends – and invests – just the same.
If you like your bank, insurer or energy provider so much that you want to donate extra, be my guest.
(But I'll bet there are other charities who more richly deserve – and can more effectively use – your donation.)
If you don't… or if, like everyone else, you could use those savings to pay the bills, or invest more (or both!), then you know what to do.
It's time to stop paying the 'lazy tax'.
Call your electricity company. Call your insurer. Call your bank. And #getabetterrate.
Because, as we both know, they're not going to offer it unless you ask.
So here's to saving a few bob, and getting one back on the (lazy) tax man.
Have a great weekend.