Why Is It Hard To Save Money? (2 reasons)

The simple answer to “Why is it hard to save money?” is it’s easier not to… in the short term at least. We tend to follow the path of least resistance. Just as with most things we know we should do, whether it be exercise, eating right or drinking more water, saving money doesn’t just come naturally. It needs to become a habit, a continual practice, or better yet an automated system of doing the right thing for ourselves and our loved ones.

There are many things we intend to do or wish we did, but they are never done and that often leaves us feeling worse about ourselves. Continually not doing those things strengthens the inner voice of our self-limiting beliefs. That voice that says you’ve never been good with managing your money, that your parents never taught you, and you’ll never be good at it, so why even bother?

There are ways to overcome those shortcomings. So let’s look at the reasons why you find it so hard to save money and some ways to overcome those reasons.

All the reasons for not saving money come down to one of two things:

1) A lack of money (by this I mean you have absolutely no money to save, you aren’t earning any form of income). Or,

2) A lack of financial literacy or the application thereof.

Piggybank and coins on the floor - Why is it hard to save money

1) A lack of money

This is probably an obvious one. If you don’t have any money, how can you save? The only way to overcome this is to start earning money. Or if you already are earning an income, start making more by taking on extra work or starting a side hustle. Another article, 34 Ways to Make Extra Money, by Ramsey Solutions might offer a few options you could consider.

2) A lack of financial literacy or the application thereof.

You’re in too much debt

No one is omnipotent and what might have seemed like a manageable instalment to a student loan, mortgage or whatever commitment you took on stands before you like a mountain. A mountain made up of all the little instalments that just started piling up when you weren’t looking, and all of a sudden you start missing payments.

Getting out of debt can seem like an impossible struggle, but it is possible. Have a look at some of these articles on getting out of debt. The first, 27 Ways to Get Out of Debt, is by Ramsey solutions and it gives you many helpful tips on what to do and what not to do when trying to get out of debt. Another, Dig Your Way Out of Debt in 8 Steps, by Investopedia also offers great advice on what to do to get out of debt.

You don’t have a plan or budget in place

With no plan or budget in place, you are just moving through life in a state of wilful blindness. There is nothing stopping you from spending the money you have in your account, no voice in the back of your mind telling you to check your budget first. Having a budget won’t physically stop you from spending the money, but it adds barriers to mindless spending, it puts checks and balances in place, something to answer to.

I know that a budget can feel like an oppressive tyrant, but it doesn’t need to. Find one that works for you, I really liked this article on How To Budget by clever girl finance. It covers a few different budget categories and methods, and most importantly, how to stick to a budget.

You aren’t living below your means

Most of us aren’t living below our means, and it’s usually because we don’t have a budget in place. Living beyond your means is easier now than ever before since we have such easy access to credit. Banks and other companies have removed almost all the barriers to opening a new credit card or getting a personal loan. Even the credit score apps which are supposed to help us manage our credit scores are always advertising personal loans and other forms of credit to us.

Just look at online shopping, you don’t even need to leave your house, which is incredibly convenient, don’t get me wrong. There is nothing wrong with convenience, but it’s when we overuse it that we run into trouble. With the so-called consumer culture and lack of barriers in place, it’s no wonder we’re spending more than we should.

We often spend our money in a misguided attempt to impress our friends or significant others. There are many fun things you can do even dates you can go on that cost very little or nothing at all. This article offers 15 Affordable date ideas you’ll love. Have a look at them and take that special someone out without spending much.

With the cost of living constantly rising due to inflation, it’s getting more and more difficult to live below our means. Which makes living a frugal life a great idea.

In conclusion

It usually comes down to bridging the gap between our intentions (saving money) and our actions (putting money somewhere it’s not used for any reason other than its intended use).

The first step is to identify the problem, to measure, quantify and see for ourselves how much we are wasting. Don’t start by doing something about the problem, just become aware of it, and then measure it to see the full extent thereof. Then find ways of addressing it.

So the only way to overcome this shortcoming is to make it easier to save than not to. Our environment determines a lot of our behaviour, especially if we’ve become accustomed to it. Put the right environmental cues in place and watch your behaviours change. Remove the need for willpower, especially since that runs out quickly. Good luck with your journey!

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