Bad Reasons for Not Saving
Posted by Gail | Filed under Saving
People who don’t save have “great” reasons for not doing so. (Now replace “great” with “dumb!”) Here are some of my favorites:
I don’t have anything left to save. Waiting to see how much money is left at the end of the month is a sure way to never have anything to save. People can blow through money faster than a hot knife through butter. You’ve seen me peek into people’s refrigerators. Inevitably when there’s no food in the house, the spending analysis shows gobs of money spent in restaurants and for take-out. If you want to have some money to save, make a menu for the week, shop with a grocery list, stock your fridge with fresh food, and use your freezer to save time on busy nights or for when you’re just too tired to cook.
I’m paying off debt. Yes, walking around with a bunch of debt means mortgaging your future income. But you can’t sacrifice your future for past mistakes. If you can’t find a way to get your debt paid off and save money for the future, you’re not trying hard enough. Whether you get a second job, a third job or a better job, you have to find a way to make more money so you can get rid of the debt AND save.
I have to look good. This is one of my all-time faves; people will spend all kinds of money to look good even as their financial foundations rot. If you’re paying a premium to flaunt a famous name and you’re not saving for the future you’re a fool. If you’re defining yourself by the brands that some starlette who makes 100 times what you make wears then you’re a pathetic fool. Dontcha know that many designer items are made in the same factories as less expensive goods? Expensive brands are no substitute for a solid financial future.
I can’t stop shopping (said in a soulful and pathetic voice.) Really, you have no self-control and you’re using that as your excuse. The easiest way to not spend – and therefore to have money to save — is to stay out of stores. If you’re shopping for entertainment find something else to do. Never go into a store without a list. And pay cash or have the cash ready to pay off the credit card if you’re disciplined enough to use them as a tool and not as a financial bridge.
Cars, insurance and gas are expensive. Canadians routinely overspend on their vehicles. If you’re using more than 15% of your net income to get you from here to there, you’re spending too much. I’ve always considered a car a means of transportation, not a reflection of my identity or success. I scratch my head at young people starting out who think they should be driving a $50,000 or $60,0000 luxury vehicle. Even if you buy one second hand, they are more expensive to maintain and insure. I guess the big question is this: Is it more important to look rich or be rich?
I’m too (pick one) — young, old, rich, poor, or busy – to save. Everyone thinks their situation is special and their challenges unique. But we’re more alike than we want to admit. And everyone needs to set something aside for when they’re old and gray. It’s never too late to get started. And it’s never too soon. If you haven’t set a penny aside, making just a small commitment today can make a huge difference to your financial future. So it doesn’t matter how little you have to start, the important thing is to start.