The Faff Scale

Sometimes money-saving tricks seem too fiddly to be worth the time. Here's my scale to compare against.

Is personal finance too much hassle?

Most of the time, it’s not that personal finance, budgeting and/or doing a little sideline online is actually too difficult for us – it’s just that we can’t be bothered.
It’s this inertia that financial and insurance companies thrive on, and it’s this inertia that can cost us. So with this in mind, I thought I’d break down my recommendations into an easy to read scale.


I actually enjoy uncovering obscure ways to make mere pennies, but even oddbods like me can pass up decent opportunities because they don’t have the energy to keep up with them. Let’s face it, some things are for the less faint of heart.

Here’s my scale:

1 –

So easy you’re probably already doing this. You’d have to be reaching new extremes of laziness not to bother with this. Not likely to be very many tips with this rating, since they’d be fairly common knowledge, but you’ve got to start somewhere…

2 –

Easy, just requiring a minor change in something you’d be doing anyway. Somewhere along the lines of using a cashback website when shopping online, for example.

3 –

Very easy, but can take a bit of getting used to. May require a minor action like downloading a free app or a change of routine (like keeping receipts). Could become a 2 or escalate to 4 depending on how far you go!

4 –

Requires a bit of organisation, attention or bolshiness, like haggling, comparing and switching utilities contracts, or coupon stacking or wombling.

5 –

Requires a fair bit of attention and organisation in order not to make things worse financially! Activities like churning bank accounts, credit cards, stoozing – anything involving impacting your credit file or taking on debt can have a negative impact if you can’t apply forensic scrutiny to your finances. That’s not to say they’re not worthwhile, but don’t go near this if you can’t commit to being organised and attentive.
It’s funny how something that’s a 4 for one person could be a 1 for another. Personally, I find selling things on eBay and the like to be a major pain, and I’d rather do almost anything else. I’d rate it as a 4, even though it used to be something like 1 or 2 about 10 years ago. What about you? What’s high on your scale?

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