How laziness costs you money as a freelancer

how laxiness costs you money - work your way with mary cummings

Did you know that laziness can cost typical householders thousands of dollars over the course of their lifetime?

It’s often simple things like forgetting to cancel direct debits, or not comparing utility costs, which over time can add up to hundreds of dollars each year.

But it’s probably more to do with “busy-ness” than laziness. We live in a world where so much is crammed into our daily and weekly schedules, we want everything to be done as quickly as possible, so we don’t slow down to take stock of what we really need – or don’t need!

Laziness costs money because seemingly small, simple things add up.

Take these lazy traits, for example. Have you ever been guilty of any of them?

  • drying your clothes in the tumble dryer on a dry, sunny day, instead of hanging them on the washing line.
  • paying for the car to be washed rather than using a good old bucket and soapy water.
  • not turning appliances off at the wall.
  • buying expensive train tickets rather than shopping around for cost-effective deals.
  • keeping unwanted clothes because it’s too much effort to take them back to the shop for an exchange or refund.
  • not comparing deals for expensive purchases like TV’s, cars, mortgages or insurance deals, but simply opting for the first one that comes along.
  • staying with the same utility provider each year, instead of checking and/or switching to the best one.
  • not cancelling direct debits.
  • giving kids school lunch money instead of giving them a packed lunch.
  • paying for a gym membership that you don’t use.
  • not pursuing repayment of loans to friends or family.
  • buying more at the supermarket instead of just buying what you need.


While some of these are obviously less serious than others, you can see how if left unchecked, the culmination of these traits could add up to a staggering amount of wasted money.

Obviously everyone has to balance time and money, so I do think it’s important to pay someone to do a job for you if you don’t have the time, skills or expertise to do it yourself.

But if general laziness is showing up in your personal life, it could show up in other areas of your life too, such as your freelance career.

Here are some ways laziness could be costing you money without you even realising it.


Top Ways Laziness could be costing you money AS A FREELANCER


  • Poor Grasp of Your Numbers:  What do you need to earn each year as a net? Are you achieving it? If not, why not? What needs to change to get your there? Are you making a profit and again, if not, why not? If you don’t have a basic grasp of your numbers as a starting point, you can’t set yourself effective financial goals and if you’re not setting yourself effective financial goals, you could simply be spinning your wheels getting nowhere fast by taking whatever puny freelance gigs come your way. Having clear, actionable goals will enable you to proactively seek out projects you enjoy and that pay you well.


  • Poor Pricing of your Services: This is a common problem for us as freelancers, either selling our services too cheaply, or using the wrong pricing strategy altogether. When it comes to your fees, you don’t have to worry about the competition. Focus on your niche, your value offering, how you get your clients from A to Z, and they won’t balk when you charge the fee you rightly deserve for providing them with an amazing service.


  • Poor Accounting and/or Bookkeeping:  Are you keeping a proper written record of your incomings and outgoings? Are you sticking to a budget? It’s easy to lose track of expenditure when you make purchases online. I often get carried away buying Amazon books when I’m researching topics for my ghostwriting clients. Using an accounting package helps you keep track of your expenditure. Similarly, are you diligent with basic bookkeeping such as promptly invoicing your clients, or promptly chasing unpaid invoices?


  • Leaving Money on the Table: As a freelancer, are you merely charging a fee for your time, or are you instead, selling your knowledge and expertise?  If you focus on simply charging a fee for your time, you’ll reach a finite limit on your earning potential – there are after all, only so many hours in a day/week/month. Selling your knowledge and expertise, however, provides an exciting depth and breadth to your earning potential because you can of course ‘sell’ your knowledge in a variety of ways.


Ultimately, time is money. So making good use of your time by creating systems to help you run your freelance biz will in the long run, help you save if not make money.

It’s something I cover in much greater detail in my new course The Freelance Success Course. Check it out here for more details.






I’m Mary Cummings, a ghostwriter, collaborator and all round word doctor. I help business owners write and publish business books; I'm also passionate about helping creative freelancers find work that they love - their work sweet spot with work on their terms, projects they love and clients who are a dream to work for.

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