Why You Can’t Save Money, No Matter How Hard You Try

Saving can sometimes feel impossible. You map out your forecasted expenditure against what you’re earning and it seems simple, but it only takes a few lazy nights of opting for takeaway and a few cheeky visits to the shops before you’re left with next to nothing in the day before payday.

Being broke SUCKS, and having zero in savings can be caused by a number of reasons – we’re here to break it down for you. Break up with your bad spending habits, ‘new me, who dis?’ style by identifying your sucky spending habits.

You’re too much of a baller

Trying to live a champagne lifestyle on a lemonade budget is honestly impossible, and getting too caught up in the finer things in life can cost you – big time. For some of us, having a flashy set of wheels or being kitted out with the finest threads is very tempting, and it’s probably hindering the chance to save. ­­­­

Look, it’s fine – everyone has different values and I’m certainly not condemning anyone who decides to spend their hard earned cash on flashy presents for themselves, but if you’re serious about giving saving a real crack, you might need to cut back.

First point of business: looking back on transaction histories. Yes, this can feel like pulling teeth but it’s necessary – trust me. Go through your purchases and ask yourself: “which of these did I really need?” This will allow you to identify trends in your spending that are avoidable, allowing you to make some solid changes.

If you make a savings plan and stick to it, you’ll have more moolah to still treat yourself – from time to time. 

why you suck at saving


Money scares you

Having excess funds in your bank account can be enough to scare some into spending. It’s just sitting there, and you convince yourself you need to burn it –otherwise, why’d you earn it in the first place?

This is a pretty destructive to your savings goals so don’t be scared! Having an emergency fund is a must – think of all the times that you’ve been strapped for cash and had wished you were responsible enough to have devised a savings plan.

Next time car rego is due, you won’t frantically try and conjure up the funds – you’ll already have some extra cash put away.

You’re too generous

When it’s the first few days after payday, you might feel on top of the world. You’ve got all this extra cash and might want to splash it around a bit, but before you announce that next round’s on you, please remember your newfound riches have to last longer than tonight.

why you suck at saving

Only Oprah is allowed to do this.

Generosity is a good feeling, but when it’s compromising your savings it can become damaging. There is such thing as being too generous, so next time you’re spending hundreds on a present to take to your housemate’s second cousin’s 21st, take a step back and be a little more realistic.

You keep comparing yourself to others  

One of the biggest bank account killers is trying to keep up with the people you think have their lives in check. I get it though, after spiralling down an Instragram wormhole, I’ve certainly convinced myself I need a new watch, an entire new wardrobe and return flights to some picturesque beach where I can spend the rest of my days in relaxation.

When you find yourself in this position, remember that people live very different lives and it’s sometimes based on their income. If someone’s making double what you do, it’s no wonder they’re living a more glamorous lifestyle.

Just remember that you can only make do with what you’ve got – money doesn’t buy happiness.

You have no financial goals

Saving is rough when you don’t really have any rhyme or reason for doing so. Sure, we’ve established it’s good to have an emergency fund, but without the drive of saving for something you really want, finding motivation can prove difficult.

why you suck at saving

Trying to save without a goal…

Figure out what exactly it is you want to start saving towards. Start with a small attainable goal, like putting all the change you come across into a jar, and using that to buy your weekly coffee fix.

Once that hurdle is jumped, you can start looking at what you really want to save for. Whether it’s a holiday, a new bike, a car or even a house – all savings plans start with finding out what you want, and finding the motivation to go through with it.

You can’t say no

Not having the ability to say no to things can be hard, and we are all guilty of it. Whether it be post-work beverages, dinner with a friend or even a trip home to visit your parents the excuse: “uh, sorry I can’t exactly afford it right now,” is never easy to say.

It’s important to know that it’s OK to sit out of social events when it’s impeding your finances. Your mates will surely understand if you’re up front with them, and even if they’re not, bugger it – chuck a sickie.

Image credit: NBCUniversal, Inc.

Bradley is a writer from Newcastle who enjoys travel, Tina Fey and is a connoisseur of cheap red wine.

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