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4 Reasons You Are Bad at Saving

4 Reasons You Are Bad at Saving

To address the concern of your bad saving habits, you need to figure out first if you’re really bad at saving, or if other issues come into play. If you answer yes to the following questions, then there’s a high possibility that you are:

  • Have you ever experienced the feeling of guilt when you spend money for something that isn’t considered a necessity?
  • Does the statement of account of your savings or checking account include frequent withdrawals and debits?
  • Do you think that your wallet is a perpetual black hole that magically absorbs your money and leaves you with nothing behind?

If you nodded your head and said yes to all of these, then you might be bad at saving.

As the saying goes, though: “You’re not alone!” Plenty of people are admittedly lax with their finances. Most aren’t that concerned about money management yet. No one wants to hear about investments or the stock market. Everyone wants to work hard and party hard, not knowing that saving hard and investing hard are actually the keys to attaining financial freedom.

As a result, you end up broke, weak-bodied and bitter when you get older. You simply couldn’t set aside money to be invested for your retirement fund because you weren’t able to adopt the habit of saving regularly when you were younger.

Why, exactly, are you mishandling your hard-earned money? Here are four reasons to help shed light on this issue:

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1. You’re the victim of lifestyle inflation.

As you grow older, gain more experiences, and get more chances to work at your job-related skills, you’re also more likely to earn more income. But, instead of saving more because of the increased inflow of cash, you tend to spend more. Thus, you think of yourself as being bad at saving.

Real Talk:

Most of us think that an increase in cash automatically means an increase in expenses. While this may be true in some cases where we get more responsibilities, all that extra doesn’t need to be spent recklessly.

If you got a sudden tax refund, a bonus, or a raise, don’t spend everything. Instead, save at least 20% and then allow yourself to spend the rest as you’d like.

2. You’re attracted to that sense that money = power.

Soap operas, fantasy movies, and even real-life celebrities and politicians perpetuate the notion that having money means having the power to control the situations and the people around you.

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You know this isn’t necessarily true. But, whenever people admire your branded clothes and whenever people treat you nicely as you flaunt your luxury bag, you can’t help but believe the idea that money is power.

Real Talk:

Money does seem to demand respect from others. But think of it this way: would you want to be admired because of your money, or would you rather be respected because of who you are as a person?

3. You procrastinate.

Why should you save up an emergency fund? You haven’t experienced an emergency yet.

Why should you invest for your retirement? You’re not going to retire yet.

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Why should you get life insurance? You’re still alive.

Real Talk:

You’re bad at saving money because you love to wait and wait and wait. Just because something hasn’t happened, doesn’t mean that it won’t happen tomorrow. You can either start now while everything’s still manageable, or you can start tomorrow when everything’s already a mess: it’s your call.

4. You think of saving as a chore; you don’t consider it a priority.

Saving is usually associated with being cheap or miserable, so most people don’t appreciate its importance. Instead, they choose to “live in the now” and prioritize automatic gratification.

Real Talk:

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Every life goal has a price tag associated with it. Do you have dreams that you’d like to achieve in the future? Home ownership, college, buying a car, going on vacation–all of these have a corresponding financial value!

Yes, it makes sense to spend for now. But it also makes greater sense to spend in the future.

Now, how can you find money to spend in the future?

You save and subsequently invest for it.

Yes, you can move from being bad at saving money, to being awesome at saving money. All it takes is a small start, and a lot of commitment.

Featured photo credit: cohdra100_1640.JPG/cohdra via cdn.morguefile.com

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Published on November 20, 2018

The Best Ways to Save Money Even Impulsive Spenders Can Get Behind

The Best Ways to Save Money Even Impulsive Spenders Can Get Behind

The truth is, there are many “money saving guides” online, but most don’t cover the root issue for not saving.

Once I’d discovered a few key factors that allowed me to save 10k in one year, I realized why most articles couldn’t help me. The problem is that even with the right strategies you can still fail to save money. You need to have the right systems in place and the right mindset.

In this guide, I’ll cover the best ways to save money — practical yet powerful steps you can take to start saving more. It won’t be easy but with hard work, I’m confident you’ll be able to save more money–even if you’re an impulsive spender.

Why Your Past Prevents You from Saving Money

Are you constantly thinking about your financial mistakes?

If so, these thoughts are holding you back from saving.

I get it, you wish you could go back in time to avoid your financial downfalls. But dwelling over your past will only rob you from your future. Instead, reflect on your mistakes and ask yourself what lessons you can learn from them.

It wasn’t easy for me to accept that I had accumulated thousands of dollars in credit card debt. Once I did, I started heading in the right direction. Embrace your past failures and use them as an opportunity to set new financial goals.

For example, after accepting that you’re thousands of dollars in debt create a plan to be debt free in a year or two. This way when you’ll be at peace even when you get negative thoughts about your finances. Now you can focus more time on saving and less on your past financial mistakes.

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How to Effortlessly Track Your Spending

Stop manually tracking your spending.

Leverage powerful analytic tools such as Personal Capital and these money management apps to do the work for you. This tool has worked for me and has kept me motivated to why I’m saving in the first place. Once you login to your Personal Capital dashboard, you’re able to view your net worth.

When I’d first signed up with Personal Capital, I had a negative net worth, but this motivated me to save more. With this tool, you can also view your spending patterns, expenses, and how much money you’re saving.

Use your net worth as your north star to saving more. Whenever you experience financial setbacks, view how far you’ve come along. Saving money is only half the battle, being consistent is the other half.

The Truth on Why You Keep Failing

Saving money isn’t sexy. If it was, wouldn’t everyone be doing it?

Some people are natural savers, but most are impulsive spenders. Instead of denying that you’re an impulsive spender, embrace it.

Don’t try to save 60 to 70% of your income if this means you’ll live a miserable life. Saving money isn’t a race but a marathon. You’re saving for retirement and for large purchases.

If you’re currently having a hard time saving, start spending more money on nice things. This may sound counterintuitive but hear me out. Wouldn’t it be better to save $200 each month for 12 months instead of $500 for 3 months?

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Most people run into trouble because they create budgets that set them up for failure. This system won’t work for those who are frugal, but chances are they don’t need help saving. This system is for those who can’t save money and need to be rewarded for their hard work.

Only because you’re buying nice things doesn’t mean that you’ll save less. Here are some rules you should have in place:

  1. Save more than 50% of your available money (after expenses)
  2. Only buy nice things after saving
  3. Automate your savings with automatic bank transfers

These are the same rules that helped me save thousands each year while buying the latest iPhone. Focus only on items that are important to you. Remember, you can afford anything but not everything.

How to Foolproof Yourself out of Debt

Personal finance is a game. On one end, you’re earning money; and on the to other, you’re saving. But what ends up counting in the end isn’t how much you earn but how much you save. Research shows that about 60% of Americans spend more than they save.[1]

So how can you separate yourself from the 60%?

By not accumulating more debt. This way you’ll have more money to save and avoid having more financial obligations. A great way to stop accumulating debt is using cash to pay for all your transactions.

This will be challenging, depending on how reliant you are with your credit card, but it’s worth the effort. Not only will you stop accruing debt, but you’ll also be more conscious with what you buy.

For example, you’ll think twice about purchasing a new $200 headphone despite having the cash to buy them. According to a poll conducted by The CreditCards.com, 5 out of 6 Americans are impulsive spenders.[2]

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Telling yourself that you’ll have the discipline to not buy things won’t cut it. This is equal to having junk food in your fridge while trying to eat healthy–it’s only a matter of time before you slip. By using cash to make your purchases, you’ll spend less and save more.

A Proven Formula to Skyrocket Your Savings

Having proven systems in place to help you save more is important, but they’re not the best way to save money.

You can search for dozens of ways to save money, but there’ll always be a limit. Instead of spending the majority of your effort saving, look for ways to increase your income. The truth is that once you have the right systems in place, saving is easy.

What’s challenging is earning more money. There are many routes you can take to achieve this. For example, you can work long and hard at your current job to earn a raise. But there’s one problem–you’re depending on someone else to give you a raise.

Your company will have to have the budget, and you’ll have to know how to toot your own horn to get this raise. This isn’t to say that earning a raise is impossible, but things are better when you’re in control right? That’s why building a side-hustle is the best way to increase your income.

Think of your side-hustle as a part-time job doing something you enjoy. You can sell items on eBay for a profit, or design websites for small businesses. Building a side-hustle will be on the hardest things you’ll do, be too stubborn to quit.

During the early stages, you won’t be making money and that’s okay. Since you already have a source of income, you won’t be dependent on your side-hustle to pay for your expenses. Depending on how much time you invest in your side-hustle, it can one day replace your current income.

Whatever route you take, focus more on earning and save as much as possible. You have more control than you give yourself credit for.

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Transform Yourself into a Saving Money Machine

Saving money isn’t complicated but it’s one of the hardest things you’ll do.

By learning from your mistakes and rewarding yourself after saving you’ll save more. What would you do with an extra $200 or $500 each month? To some, this is life-changing money that can improve the quality of their lives.

The truth is saving money is an art. Save too much and you’ll quit, but save too little and you’ll pay for the consequences in the future. Saving money takes effort and having the right systems in place.

Imagine if you’d started saving an extra $100 this next month? Or, saved $20K in one year? Although it’s hard to imagine, this can be your reality if you follow the principles covered in this guide.

Take a moment to brainstorm which goals you’d be able to reach if you had extra money each month. Use these goals as motivation to help you stay on track on your journey to saving more. If I was able to save thousands of dollars with little guidance, imagine what you’ll be able to do.

What are you waiting for? Go and start saving money, the sky is your limit.

Featured photo credit: rawpixel via unsplash.com

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