When it comes to saving money, everyone makes excuses. Even the best of savers admit to making excuses now and then that detract from their ability to save. In this post, we are going to do some brainstorming about the most common excuses and then see what others on the web are saying about this topic.
Without further ado, here is our list of top saving excuses.
1. I can’t afford to. This is by far the most common excuse and you hear it all the time. People making all income ranges feel like they’re broke. I even read a blog the other day that had someone making $120,000 a year make a case that they can’t get by on their $250,000 house with two kids because the expenses are just too high. They had large student loan balances and kids tuition costs that were higher than their mortgage, and could barely make ends meet. I digress, but you see my point. No one ever feels like they have extra money, so you have to find a way to save from what you make. If you make $30,000, live like you make $27,000. That would be a ten percent savings rate.
2. I’ll save some money next paycheck. Another common excuse is that you’ll save next paycheck. This is simply trying to fool yourself in justifying your current desires. Instead of forgoing now to save for the future, you are simply putting your current desires ahead of your future desires. Most people in this category are procrastinators that never end up saving.
3. I’ll start saving when I make more money. Trust me, this excuse will be used again when you do start making more money. That’s because most people easily change their spending to meet their income. Turns out, when you feel like you make more money, you also feel like spending more money. It is an excuse that comes at any income level, so try to break this habit as early as possible.
4. Spending money on a house is the same as saving. While a house can be an investment, you shouldn’t treat your single family home as your savings. After all, when an emergency comes up or its time to retire, you’re still going to need a place to live. And since the financial crisis of the late 2000’s, housing isn’t as good of an investment as people have always believed.
5. I’d rather pay off my debt than save. This is a valid point, but you should also save some money. It is totally normal to live with debt. Even the best money managers have a mortgage, student loans, and the occassional car loan. Try to get used to living with debt, but with a reasonable amount of debt. Especially if the debt is tax deductible. When it comes to paying down credit card debt, I say save a month or two salary and then focus on paying it down. That’s because paying down credit card debt can change your entire outlook on saving. After all, it feels much better to pay your savings account $1,000 a month than it does to pay your credit card company.
6. I’ll save when I’m older. Another way of deferring your saving until later. Procrastination never works and if you don’t change this view you will never be able to retire.
7. I just can’t get ahead, and therefore have no money to save. Most people that are overwhelmed with their finances make up this excuse. The solution – get a better handle on your finances. Create a budget and get your expenses under control so that you can actually start saving money.
8. I work hard and deserve the stuff I buy. Another excuse that is based on feelings, not logic. If you work hard, you should reward yourself with financial security instead of physical possessions.
9. If my friends or neighbors can afford it then so can I. It’s easy to watch your friends and neighbors spend money. And it’s easy to figure that if they can afford it, then so can you. However, you don’t always know their financial position. They may have inherited a lot of money to be able to spend that way. Or they may be so far in debt that they are going to lose their house soon. Don’t compare yourself to your friends and neighbors. Focus on your saving skills.
10. I’ll never be able to retire anyway, so why does it matter. Sometimes we make the excuse that it doesn’t matter anyway. Every time I try to save something comes up and wipes out my accounts. Don’t make this excuse either. Giving up is the worst thing you can do. If you find yourself in this position, it’s time to make some serious lifestyle changes that can help you save some money.
What Others on the Web Say About Money Excuses
For most of our posts, we check around on the web to see what others are saying about the same topic. In this case, we found two good blog posts to share. The first is from Geoff Williams at Daily Finance, who had the following to say about living paycheck to paycheck.
“I live paycheck to paycheck and can’t afford to put anything away for a rainy day.”
I’m very sympathetic to this excuse, having used it myself many a time, and I’m especially sympathetic to anyone working two jobs to make ends meet. With that said, plenty of us are living paycheck to paycheck precisely because we’re not managing our money right — we’re either wasting our cash on purchases we don’t need and/or borrowing on credit which we have to pay back later, money which then eats away at our monthly income.
But as Bryan Link, CEO and co-founder of SimpliFi, a free financial planning and advice service, says, “If you’ve got any money at all, you have some money to save.”
Link says that it might help to think in percentages as opposed to hard dollars when it comes to budgeting. Here’s why: “If you don’t make any changes at all to your budget,” Link says, “then you’re being honest — If you do everything this month that you did last month, then you don’t have any money to save.” But odds are, most of us really didn’t need that burger and fries we bought several times for lunch last month, or that DVD of the latest blockbuster or the latest and greatest Xbox game.
The full article is called five lame excuses for not saving money. It’s so true – if you have money, then you have money to save.
Our second excerpt is from Pam at Penny Saver Blog. She has the following points to make:
5. I’m too old to bother to start saving now. Some older folks feel that since they didn’t start saving when they were at their prime, it’s no use to develop the habit once they are older. That simply isn’t the case. It’s never too late to develop the habit of saving money.
6. I don’t need to save because I’m planning on winning the lottery. It’s true that the odd few do win a lot of money, but most people who buy lottery tickets are forking over a lot of money over the years and not getting a great reward from it. They would be far better off if they invested that money rather than spending it on lottery tickets.
7. I don’t save money. I just buy assets that will appreciate in value. Although buying assets as investments can be a good thing in building your net worth, it’s still important to always have some cash on hand that is liquid and accessible in the form of an emergency fund.
Find the rest of her reasons at top ten excuses for not saving money. Personally, I like the lottery idea. It’s funny, but I hope people don’t really think like that.
Do you or someone you know make up money excuses that should be on this list? Let us know by dropping us a comment below.