20 Ways You Can Lose Money By Losing Sleep

Sleep impacts our ability to make decisions and that can effect the bottom line.

You know how it feels. You’ve had a terrible night of sleep and everything seems like a drag.

Our mental clarity, and our ability to make decisions, comes down to how rested and refreshed our brains are. In fact, we all lose the ability to focus and make decisions as the day wears on (unless we get a nap or take some kind of upper) because our brains are less rested with each passing moment.

Our ability to earn money has a lot to do with the decisions we make, and our ability to make decisions, which I’m sure you’ve figured out by now… has a lot to do with how our brains are performing.

You can’t overstate the benefit of sleep for both success and an overall sense of well being. And for the amount of money you end up with over a lifetime.

To make that point, we thought we’d list out 20 ways you can actually lose money by not getting enough sleep.

1) Buying too much car and too much warranty

Being tired messes up your decision making. Decisions take a lot of energy. Today’s gurus talk about improving your life by minimizing the number of decisions you have to make on a daily basis.

One of the old tricks that car salesmen used to run (and some still do) is to draw out the car buying experience. They’d intentionally wear you down. Make you tired. And save all the important financial decisions for when your brain is at its worst. Fact is: a tired brain makes bad decisions (you’ll see this theme play out:)

2) Missed payments

When you are tired, you become forgetful. Things slip through the cracks. Like taxes or credit card payments. Often, late payments come with either fixed penalties or accrued interest. If you’re missing payments, then you’re paying penalties, and that’s money out of your pocket.

3) Less focused creativity

That brilliant idea that’s going to make you a million dollars… poof. It’s gone. Your brain loses its focus and creative function when it’s tired.

4) Paying for labor you could do yourself

Of course, sometimes this isn’t a bad thing. We all pay for labor that we don’t want to do. But if you’re always tired, you may pay for labor you’d actually enjoy doing. And if you do, you’re likely to overpay. Being tired makes you less likely to negotiate well or hold the line.

5) Bad Business Deals

Being tired makes you more passive and impulsive. You might just take the deal to get some sleep. This can be catastrophic for business deals where you need to know how to hold the line and/or walk away. Just wanting to get a deal done may result in a bad deal.

6) Eating Out More Often

When you’re fatigued, you will not want to prepare a meal. Eating out costs money. And the more often you are tired, the more often you’re going to find yourself eating out. And the costs of eating out don’t stop at the meal’s bill. Your health may be going downhill too.

7) Your health bill goes up

Lack of sleep can cause all kinds of health issues. Maybe the most detrimental of the health issues is that being tired increases appetite. Why? Because the hormone leptin which your body produces to regulate appetite is lower when you don’t get enough sleep. Lower leptin levels means increased appetite. It’s science.

8) Need some personal training?

Lack of sleep increases appetite and you may soon find yourself wanting some fitness to counteract the results. Fitness can be expensive, especially if you don’t have the time to figure it out on your own. A personal trainer could cost you $50-$100 per session.

9) Costly work mistakes

Every programmer knows the cost (in time and money) that a simple bug can introduce. The more tired you are, the more mistakes you’re going to make and those mistakes will need to be corrected. Human labor is the most expensive part of most businesses, and fixing mistakes takes human labor.

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10) Buying things you don’t need

You’re more likely to be persuaded to do something you don’t really want or need when you are tired. Impulsiveness goes way up when you’re tired. This is one reason it’s good to “sleep on it” before making any big purchase decision. Never make a purchase on the spot and under pressure.

11) Car Accidents

Your chance of being in a car accident go way up when you haven’t had enough sleep. The costs of car accidents are hard to quantify. They can result in injuries, disability, legal challenges, etc. If severe enough, you may forever be out of a job. You may even end up in jail. That would be costly.

12) Bad Investments

A bad investment is a bad risk. When you are sleep deprived, your decision making abilities get messed up. Your judgement gets impaired. If you make investments on a bad night sleep, don’t be surprised if you regret it the next morning.

13) Missed Job Opportunities

When you are tired, your energy levels and your verbal abilities go down. Job interviewers will pick up on both of these deficits. The better you are at communicating and having high energy, the better you will be as an employee, all else being equal. Companies know this.

We might also mention that sleep deprivation make your skin age, and lowers your attractiveness, and as much as we hate to admit it, looking good matters.

14) Worthy Battles Lost

Let’s say the IRS disputes your return because of a reporting error. Are you going to push back with the truth (which takes energy and discomfort) or are you going to be passive and just accept their mistake? You’d be surprised at how many people just passively roll over when presented with battles, even when truth is on their side. If you don’t have energy because you are always tired, you may be throwing away worthwhile opportunities to fight back.

15) Lost Venture Capital Opportunities

Just like with a job interview, a VC wants to be impressed. If you’re low energy and do a poor job explaining your company and its services or products, then the VC is going to walk away disinterested. Sleep gives you the energy to impress.

16) Getting Fired

Sleep deprivation leads to poor job performance (for many reasons, but poor communication is a big one)and given enough time we all know where that leads. Let’s just say it’s not to a raise.

17) Missing the Raises

Good sleep is estimated to lead to close to 5% greater salary over a lifetime. This has to do with better job performance and more motivation to climb the career ladder.

18) Poor Divorce Settlement

Tiredness results in more passivity, impulsivity and less aggression. When going through a divorce, lack of sleep could cause you to settle for less than you deserve. And this mistake could play out financially for decades.

19) Poor Networking

Communication and verbal ability go way down when you are tired. Many people can track their current jobs back to their ability to network and talk themselves up to others. If you’re always tired, you’re not going to be able to build the network you need to succeed.

20) Missed Opportunities

Successful people will often tell you they’re success boils down to taking advantage of a lucky opportunity. Your ability to harness luck has a lot to do with being prepared. And being prepared for once in a lifetime opportunities comes down to always putting your best foot forward. Your best, well rested, self.