Are you struggling to save money?
Do you often wonder how you end up without putting a penny to savings after each paycheck?
I remember the first time I put every penny I earned into my bank account.
I was saving up for my first trip abroad.
I worked out how much I’d need for the entire trip and then worked my socks off while studying.
As soon as I accumulated the exact amount, I took off and had the time of my life.
I was at uni, working two, sometimes three jobs while attending lectures and submitting assignments within the deadline.
So I couldn’t understand why I found it so hard to save money during my full-time employment.
I was financially in a far better position with stable routines.
It’s not because I didn’t know how to budget, increase my income source, or watch my spending like a hawk.
I had done it for my trip, remember?
When I thought long and hard about it, the answer was pretty simple.
Drawn from my personal experience and observation, below are 6 reasons you’re having a hard time saving.
6 Reasons You Have a Hard Time Saving
1. You Have No Financial Goal
When I planned my first international trip, I had delayed any sort of instant gratification.
I had an amazing plan that triumphed over everything else.
I was so set on travelling that nothing was important.
The plan was so thrilling that I saved every penny with anticipation and excitement.
I didn’t feel I was sacrificing anything.
Yes, it was tiring to work 2 or 3 jobs while studying.
But the adventure and excitement played out in my mind kept me going.
You need a powerful reason you want to save. So powerful that you forgo short-term pleasure.
2. Your Environment Sucks
You may have a sound reason to save, but if everyone around you is a spender, you’ll have a hard time saving.
They talk about the latest gadget they bought, trips they took, or the seasonal collection they ordered.
They showcase everything on social media.
You feel like missing out.
You want to fit in and chase after what everyone is talking about.
Even with enough money to save, it’s difficult to save because you spend on things you feel pressured to buy.
3. You Always Put Savings in a Back Seat
You most likely thought about savings before, in fact, more than once.
Maybe even opened a saving account.
Before your payday, though, there comes a list of things to buy yet again.
So you immediately tell yourself you’ll start saving after taking care of the list.
You end up putting savings in a back seat (again).
4. You Think You Need A Lot to Save
So you bought everything on the list. You still have some money left.
But the money doesn’t seem enough to trouble yourself and put it into a saving account now.
You tell yourself you’ll start saving the following year when an annual pay increase will surely make it worthwhile to save.
The trouble is, around the same time next year, another To-Buy list will magically appear and the list is significantly longer.
There’s a vicious cycle that stops you from saving.
What we often forget is developing a habit of saving (and discipline that comes with it) is far more important than the actual money we save.
5. You Developed Bad Money Habits
With no financial goal and not so financially savvy people around, it’s inevitable we develop bad money habits.
Unless we save 80% of income like some people do, saving is likely a fraction of the total income.
Which means saving doesn’t have to stop us from living.
We can still save 10% of the income and spend the rest.
The problem lies when we overspend to the point we have nothing left to save, or worse, borrow money.
So watch out if you overspend and do your best to eliminate bad money habits.
Remember, it’s not because you don’t have money that you don’t save. It’s because you keep feeding bad money habits.
6. You Think Saving Prevents You from Gaining Something Today
It’s very hard to put ourselves into our future and ensure our future self can live in a financially secure environment.
Unlike today’s imminent pleasure, future seems too far away.
Therefore, saving may feel like robbing us of today’s pleasure.
When I saved up for the trip, though, I didn’t feel two or three jobs robbed me of other activities like clubbing.
Because when time permitted, I allowed myself to have a quality time.
If you’re able to save (I suspect you mostly are) but having a hard time saving, one of the six reasons described in this post is likely causing it.
Draw up a financial goal that’s powerful, so it incentivises you to save.
Spend time with savers, not spenders. Your environment can easily influence you. Join online forum where people discuss saving and investment.
Put saving in the front seat. Start small and make saving a habit.
Eliminate bad money habits leading you to overspend.
And remember, you have the responsibility to look after your future self.
So ensure you live for both of you.
♣ If you’re struggling with saving money, The Richest Man in Babylon will give you the simplest and straightforward money advice. It’s a must-read if you want to achieve financial freedom.
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