This posts explains the 6 excuses for not saving and how to overcome them. This post contains affiliate links/ads. See disclosure policy.
Imagine last year you had a salary raise, got a bonus, or earned additional income but when you looked at your savings, you saw you didn’t save as much as you thought you should have? Scenarios like this are usual and happen to a lot of people.
The truth is, for many, when income goes up, expenses also go up. These expenses go up for different reasons, some of which are valid and some are simply senseless.
According to a 2016 GOBankingRates surveys, 35 percent of all adults in the US only have several hundred dollars in their savings account. Unfortunately, 34 percent have zero. That’s the dark truth of the number of people who are unable to save.
Believe it or not, my wife and didn’t have anything saved when we got married. Actually, I was indebted to the tune of $40K. It’s not the best feeling in the world to be newlyweds and burdened by debts.
We turned our situation around for good. Now, we have more than 300K, which we made in less than 5 years.
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- How To Create A Profitable Blog in 15 Minutes or Less
- How We Paid Off $40K Debt and Saved $70K At The Same Time in 2.5 Years
6 Excuses for Not Saving and How To Overcome Them
When asking why savings don’t go up when income goes up, there are more reasons than simply stating that the expenses increase at the same time, too.
Here are some of the common excuses for not saving more and what to do to overcome such challenges:
1. Unable to save because of debts
According to the U.S. Census, the median debt for households was $137,063. Debts will haunt you unless you do something about it. Inability to address debts will mean more interests, penalties, stress, and others.
You can always get out of debt. Period. Look into your expenses and see where you can cut down.
Don’t know where to begin? Your first stop should always be checking your credit report. This way, you can find out what you owe, how much, and to whom you owe these debts.
Don’t bother paying companies to get your credit report. Use Credit Sesame because it gives you your credit information such as your debts, credit scores, and others. Plus, it will show you the best ways to payoff your debt. To top it all, Credit Sesame is FREE for all.
With Credit Sesame, you can see opportunities to further lower your interest payments on debts, dispute invalid inquiries, safeguard your credit from hacks, and others.
Click here to get a Credit Sesame account for FREE and start understanding your debt situation and the best ways to solve it.
What are the best ways to save money to pay your debts?
If you can cut out some unnecessary bills like cable service or gym membership, that’s even better. In order words, stop paying for activities or things that really aren’t necessities.
You have to sit down and re-assess your situation and ask yourself which expenses you can live without.
The more money freed from paying the unnecessary bills, the more money you can put towards your credit cards.
2. Do not know where to cut
Even when you want to save, sometimes you just can’t because you don’t even know where to begin. You aren’t alone. My wife and I have been there and done that. I’ll tell you being in that situation is not for the faint of heart.
I kept telling myself I couldn’t save because there’s nothing to save. When in reality, I just didn’t know where, how, and when to cut expenses.
Here’s a solution: Just start trimming down your expenses a little at a time. Start from those expenses where you can easily make a cut like groceries, gas, and entertainment expenses.
If you want to cut more with less stress and effect on your overall lifestyle, I highly recommend you consider Trim. It’s user-friendly and it’s FREE. It analyzes your accounts to find recurring subscriptions and find areas where you can save more money.
Trim searches for ways to save you money on everyday expenses like groceries and utilities, negotiates your cable and internet bills, finds you better car insurance, and more.
Even when we still have a phone contract with Verizon, Trim cut our bill by $20/mo. That’s $240/year.
Here are some savings from other people who use Trim all the time:
- Asad saved $228 a year in just 1 minute when Trim cancelled Boingo Wireless and Graze
- Sophie saved $15 per month on her Comcast bill
- Matt saved $22 in the first week of using Trim
If we could save money in the way we didn’t think we could, so can you.
Click here to start using Trim, let it start slashing your expenses for good, and start saving for good.
3. Unable to handle money properly
In general, when people have more money, they become lavish, spend on things they don’t need, or invest on something they know nothing about. Read the unfortunate stories of some of the lottery winners. These people won the lottery but a few years later their money vanished in thin air.
If you are making more money this year than last year, don’t change your lifestyle and spending habits. If you were able to live and save some last year with what you had, then, you can certainly live within the same standard.
It doesn’t mean that you don’t go a little over than what you spent last year because that may be impossible knowing that the prices of goods continue to rise.
What I meant is that you need to take control of your money and not the other way around. If you do that, the extra money you make can go towards your savings.
You can always seek professional advice for investment, planning, and money management, if needed. Of course, there are free ones that are as equally great as the paid ones.
There are personal finance apps like Spentapp that can keep you on your feet with your finances. Spentapp (specifically) will analyze your expenses, identifies money mistakes, and provides tips to help you handle your finances better. It’s user-friendly, FREE, and gets the job done.
To put into perspective how effective it is, Spentapp tremendously helped my wife and I pay off our $40K debt and save $70K at the same time in 2.5 years, live on $37,000/year for a family of 6, save money for our new house (disclaimer: we now have a house), fully-fund our retirement accounts, etc.
Click here to get Spentapp for FREE, get your $10 bonus after first cash back purchase and better control your finance for good.
4. Unable to make enough money
I always hear this excuse as one of the main reasons for not being able to save. It is really hard to save when there’s not enough money to begin with.
But not being able to save should not be a reason to stop you from trying to make an effort to better the situation. There are various things or activities that you can do to improve your situation.
There’s always a room to tighten the belt. Look into your expenses and see which ones you can cut out or cut down. You’ll be surprised that some of what you call necessities are really just wants that are costing you a few dollars here and there.
In addition, if you are willing to get another job, then, please do so. This job could be your ticket to solve your problem of not having enough money.
Some of the side hustles you can do to make money on the side is take surveys. My wife and I have made over $3,000 from surveys alone. Some of the surveys we love are Survey Club, Ipsos Panel, MyPoints (Desktop l Mobile), and Vindale Research.
You can also start blogging. I took a plunge, started blogging 2 years ago without knowledge on website development, and spent $2.95/mo. Now, I earned over $20,000/mo blogging 5 hours/mo. That’s $20K for 5 hours. Where are you going to get such money that easily?
With blogging, my family bought a house, a new car, fully-fund our retirement accounts, fund our kids’ 529 college plans, travel the world, etc. (see image below).
It goes to show blogging can be profitable. If I was able to make money from it, so could you. Just think of it as sacrificing your coffee fix at your favorite coffee shop in exchange for earning through blogging. Sounds like a good sacrifice to me.
Click here to get started with blogging for $2.95/mo with Bluehost, get a domain name for FREE, and be on your way to making money without working full-time.
5. Unable to change
The inability of a person to change is one of mostly used excuses for not saving. Changes do happen. They happen whether we like them or not and they can happen anytime.
It is best to welcome and make room for changes. If you keep on saying that you can’t change, then, even the best financial gurus may not be able to help you. In order to save more or start saving, something has to change and change starts within you.
6. Unable to determine where the money went
For many, a positive change in income means a substantial change in expenses, which tend to go up than go down. Every time this happens, people ask where their money went, look around, assess the situation, and still can’t figure out what happened to the money.
It is always a good practice to have a budget that tracks both income and expenses. It is easy to get blinded by extra dollars in your bank accounts and get sucked in the world of impulse buying.
The budget doesn’t have to be elaborate but should be realistic that you can understand, use, and live by.
The list of excuses for not saving (as listed above) can be heard from a lot of people. If ever you hear them from those you care, please take time to lend a hand and help them with their situations.
Sometimes, people are just shy and don’t want to ask for tips or information on saving. It’s never a bad thing to give advice to those who need one.
What are your best pieces of advice to overcome these excuses for not saving money? Have you been in a situation where you feel you can’t save because of different reasons?
Allan Liwanag is a personal finance blogger who paid off at least $40K debt in 3 years by adopting simple and extreme saving techniques while ensuring his family’s needs were taken care of. An analyst by day and dedicated blogger by night, he loves to share his thoughts – based on his research, personal knowledge, and experience – on topics related to family, life, and money. Allan lives with his family in Maryland, USA.