Easy or Hard?

by Lindy on November 23, 2010

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Okay, today we’re going to play a game called Easy or Hard.

(I was going for a game showish logo, I think I failed)

The rules are simple:

  1. I’ll yell out a way to save money.
  2. You yell out if it’s easy or hard.


Changing your air filter…

EASY! But also HARD!

(Oh yeah, I’ll be answering for you, in case you didn’t pick up on that.)

They say that changing out the filter on your home air conditioner every three months makes it more efficient, and saves you money.  It’s easy to do, it only takes a few seconds.

But when you can never remember when you changed it last, and you let it go way too long so that the vent gets covered in fuzzy dust bunnies, and the register is right outside your kids’ bedroom door, and all the times you think about vacuuming it happens to be when the kids are sleeping….

then, it’s hard.

Next one:

Changing your tax withholding…

EASY! But also HARD!

Recently, Arizona changed their way of calculating state income withholding, forcing every working human in the state to fill out a new form.  Instead of getting out a calculator to figure out which percentage would match my previous withholding, I took the logical route – I guessed.   And guess what, my paycheck became $20 lighter.

So for the last four months I’ve been giving my fine state an extra $40/month.

Correcting the problem sounds easy – just fill out another form, right?

Well, if you don’t know what box you checked the last time, and you don’t want to ask HR because you’ve proven way too many times that you are “that employee,” and when you’re at home the last thing you want to do is get out your old pay stubs, and even when you do you still can’t figure it out…

then, it’s hard.

Signing up for an account at Mr. Rebates or Coupon Cactus


These sites give you cash back just for shopping online – and they offer money-saving coupons.  All you have to do is take two seconds to sign up for an account, search for the vendor you’re shopping, shop, and earn cash back.

It really is easy because you don’t have to get up from your chair or use a calculator or anything.  The only slightly hard part is remembering to log in to these sites before you shop.  And remembering to claim your rebates.

See also: Ebates and Swag Bucks.

Signing up for Starbucks Rewards…


It must be really hard, because I’ve never gotten around to doing it.

Why is it that the easiest things are also the hardest ones to get accomplished?

Oh yeah, I think it’s called “life,”  it gets in the way sometimes.

What do you find hard to do that really should be wickedly easy?  Maybe…closing a gym membership?  Or allocating your 401k?  Spill.

A big thank you to Prairie Eco Thrifter for Hosting the Carnival of Personal Finance and including this article.

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  • Making changes to my health insurance. I know I need to do it but it’s a real drag!

  • Ha! ROFL. Ing still hasn’t released my money on switching out the 403(b) to Fidelity. What a PITA.

  • I have to go through our new health insurance plan, and that is obviously hard because I haven’t done it in the two weeks I have had the info.

    Air filter, hard because it is a giant accordion thing that scares me.

    I didn’t even know Starbucks had rewards, so I will just mark myself down as dumb for that one.

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