Can’t save money this month? I’m calling bullshit.
Saving is a habit you need to get into right now, even though you might have to ditch other more fun habits (impulse buys, taxis home, and drinks at the pub every night) to make it work.
Here are some of the most common excuses I’ve heard from people who can’t get their shit together (me included).
“I Can’t Afford It”
This is the worst excuse out there. You’ll never afford anything with this mentality, so good luck living week-to-week in your parent’s basement until you’re 35.
If that doesn’t appeal to you, remember that saving isn’t about how much you earn, it’s about how much you put away.
Start small, even $20 a week counts (that’s $1000 a year) and work up from there. Figure out what you need versus what you want.
You’ll probably have to sacrifice buying some things to save money, but chances are you didn’t need them anyway.
“I’ll Start Next Month”
If I had a dollar for every time I heard this, I’d be living the high life on a superyacht in the Bahamas and wouldn’t be sitting here telling you how wrong you are.
“Next month” is a nice vague point in time in the future, which quickly turns into two and then it’s Christmas and no one can save at Christmas and before you know it you’re 30 without a cent to your name.
So start today. Put $50 in a high-interest account, put your coins in a non-breakable money box, or set up a direct debit to come out of your paycheque. Whatever you do, do it now. Starting next month means you’re already behind.
Yeah, you only live once, and you deserve to spend money on things you want, to a point. But YOLO has consequences.
If you want to outlive your money, go for it. Otherwise, reign in the impulse buys and stop splashing out on things you really can’t afford. Future you will be grateful.
“I’m Too Busy”
You and everybody else.
Saving isn’t a time-consuming task you need to sit down and do each week, so get a grip. Setting up an automatic direct debit from your everyday account to a separate savings account takes two minutes.
Check-in on it whenever you check your other account and you’re done.
“I’m Too Deep In Debt”
Out of all the excuses, this one probably holds the most weight. Just. To hit savings targets, it’s important to slowly clear debts and redirect that money towards savings.
Start by focusing on one debt, paying it down, and moving on to the next one and doing the same.
This doesn’t mean you’re off the hook. It’s still important to start saving so there’s an emergency fund and to feel like you’re getting somewhere.
“I’m Too Young”
Sorry to break it to you, but you’re not. You’re never too young to save.
Why do you think they hand out those Dollarmite savings accounts in primary school?
Saving for long-term stuff like retirement or a house might seem a long way off, but the sooner you get started, the better off you’ll be.
Salary sacrificing some of your income into super now means you’ll retire with more. It also means those contributions are only taxed at 15 per cent, plus the reduction in your gross income means you’ll pay less income tax. Something to think about at least.