I usually have one of the same problems -either I don’t feel like spending the money, or I get lazy -_-.
Back when I was running Linux I just automated all my backups. I could do it in Windows.. but.. effort lol.
I very much use the “cross my fingers” method of data protection lol. Although truth be told it’s pretty rare for a hard drive itself to completely fail and be unrecoverable without warning. Luckily I also have access to some tools at work if it ever does happen.
If you keep all your stuff together (or at least, in the same collection of folders) it actually wouldn’t be too hard to automate a backup. Windows 10 especially has a bunch of built-in tools for doing just that. In Windows 7 or 8 a batch script would work just as well.
(NOTE: This is all stuff I preach… but don’t do myself because of aforementioned lazy 😛 )