4 Lame Excuses For Not Saving Money That Everyone Needs To Stop Saying
Saving money isn't always easy, but it becomes extra hard when you set out to convince yourself you can't do it.
Let's face it -- humans are very good at making up excuses to explain away why something didn't get done or why they fell short of their goals. Heavy traffic, alarm didn't go off, ran out of time, and a host of other convenient obstacles run amok wherever failure lurks.
This applies to saving money as well. We all recognize that saving money is important, but so few of us actually do it.
Back in the mid-80s, the average American saved 11% of their income each year. This gradually dwindled down to an abysmal 2.6% in 2005.
While the scare we all got from the Great Recession prompted savings to jump up to 6% in 2009, those hard lessons didn't last long, and as of 2013, we're only saving 4.5% of our earnings. Unless you're Bill Gates or the Sultan of Brunei, that's not enough to live on in case something horrible happens.
Unless you're unemployed, grossly underpaid, or hopelessly in debt, there is almost no excuse good enough to make not saving for the future acceptable. From now on, if you catch yourself saying any of the following, slap yourself and pledge to never listen to that part of your brain ever again:
"I Don't Make Enough Money!"
For some people, this is certainly true. If you're making $20,000 a year for example, chances are saving isn't in your immediate future.
But if you're making a decent income, there's no excuse not to save 10-15% of it. Most likely, you only think you don't make enough because you spend too much money on frivolity and toys.
If you cut back on eating out, excessive cable, shopping at expensive stores, and downgrade your phone, you might find that saving money isn't as hard as you once thought.
"I Have Too Many Bills!"
Bills certainly suck, especially the part where you have to pay them. But using your hefty bill load as an excuse only works if you have so much debt that 80% of your paycheck goes directly to bill collectors and debtors.
Otherwise, your best bet is to sit down and get yourself organized. Gather up all your bills and put them all into one big budget sheet. Add up the totals, and you might be surprised how little it actually is in comparison with what you earn.
Writing all your information down like this is a great way to prove to your eyes and brain that your fears aren't justified, and that saving at least $100 a month is not out of the question.
Let Mint help you start that budget, and keep your bills and savings organized from now on. Click here to start!
"My Stock and Investments Will Get Me Money When I Need It."
If you're still clinging to the idea that stocks will make you rich, or even net you money exactly when you need it, even after the stock market crash of 2007, then you're deluding yourself.
While smart investing can certainly help your financial bottom line, it can't be seen as guaranteed income because it's quite frankly unpredictable. It's like basing your 401(k) on how much money your grandparents send you at Christmastime. You simply don't know.
Saving money needs to happen independently of thinks like stocks and bonds. If you make extra off those things, that's awesome and means more savings.
But your inability to do so shouldn't be due to your portfolio suddenly going boom.
"I Keep Forgetting!"
Then stop forgetting. Remind yourself a hundred times a day if you must. Make your cell phone wallpaper one big reminder note. Have your significant other nag you about it need be.
You can forget milk no problem, but forgetting to save money for emergencies and your future is just plain unacceptable.
Your budget is a treat way to remind you to save. Right below all your bills, devote a section to monthly savings, and check that budget often. If it hasn't been checked off as completed yet, go to the bank and do so. Then you've done your good savings deed for the month.
When you start up a budget sheet at Mint.com, you can easily add a section for monthly savings. Click here to find out how!