No pain, no gain may apply to many things, but Hitha Prabhakar, Mint.com
financial advocate, says saving money doesn't have to be one of them. For example, when she started tracking her spending, she saw how much her daily Starbucks habit was costing her—but decided that with her late hours and early morning meetings, that was a necessary component of her productivity and her sanity. So Prabhakar found other areas where she could effortlessly cut costs, opting for generic groceries that were just as healthy and not as expensive. Prabhakar's easy changes still resulted in her discretionary spending dropping by about 4 percent.