The REAL Reasons You Struggle To Save Money

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Ever find yourself wondering why you struggle to save money and find it SO difficult?

Well my friend, you’re not the only one.

Saving money can feel like an uphill battle. I know first-hand how hard it is to save. I’ve been there with trying to budget, failing, trying again, penny pinching, cutting expenses, and still feeling like I’m getting nowhere.

Frustrating is an understatement!

And while you’ve probably read countless tips and tricks about how to save money, there are a few quiet villains that often go unnoticed. They hide in the shadows, quietly sabotaging your financial goals and leave you wondering where your hard earned money disappears to each month…

In today’s post, I’m going to shine a spotlight on the genuine saboteurs of your savings dreams – the ones that don’t get talked about enough. I’m going to uncover the real reasons you struggle to save money, and it’s not what you might expect!

So prepare to be enlightened, surprised and equipped with the knowledge you need to conquer your money troubles and finally achieve your financial goals.

It’s time to take control of your finances and stop letting these invisible enemies dictate your financial future.

Are you ready to find out the truth?

Let’s dive in.

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1. Psychological Barriers

Your mind is way more powerful than you might think.

Did you know that there are certain psychological factors that play a big part with how you manage your money? And can stop you from saving money without even knowing it?

Reasons such as fear of success or an unconscious belief that you don’t deserve to have money, can seriously hinder you from saving. Sadly, there are many people who subconsciously believe they don’t deserve financial prosperity. As you can imagine, this belief can sabotage their savings efforts, as building wealth would contradict their self-image or perceived self-worth.

This can also pair in with the need to spend money impulsively for that instant gratification feeling. And since a big part of being able to save money requires delayed gratification, you can feel really out of control with your money and spending habits.

But! It’s not all doom and gloom.

The good news is that you can become aware of these habits, and make lifelong healthy changes. It might be that you haven’t found the right budgeting system yet. Or, you need to deal with some self-esteem issues before tackling your financial situation. There is zero shame in this! In fact it’s an admirable thing to do – tackling your demons and finding a way out of bad money habits.

I used to spend all of my paycheck on anything and everything without asking myself why I was spending so much without any care. I realized I was spending because it made me happy in the moment, as I’m sure many of you can relate to. But, I managed to learn about budgeting and personal finance so I could build a more meaningful life for myself. And it’s one of the best things I have ever done!

Need some motivation and inspiration? Read my post 20 Inspirational Money Quotes That Can Change Your Life.

2. Financial Dependence on Others

Are you financially tied to family and friends? Here’s the thing. It can be comforting at first, but it might actually be harming you and keeping you from learning to ride solo.

Picture it like this: You’re getting some help from your loved ones, which is nice, of course. But, it can sometimes lead to a cushy, ‘someone’s-got-my-back’ mindset. And when you’re not solely responsible for your financial wellbeing, it’s easy to miss out on learning the ropes of managing money on your own. You might not feel the urgency to budget, save or invest for your own financial future because you’ve got a safety net to fall back on.

What’s more, when you rely on others for financial support, it can turn into a bit of a hamster wheel. And look I get it, breaking free and becoming financially independent can feel scary! Especially when you’re in this cozy cocoon of support, you might not see the need to save up for a rainy day or work toward long-term financial goals.

I’m not saying that family and friends aren’t being kind and well-intentioned, but this dependency can dampen your motivation to build your own financial safety net.

In a nutshell, being financially dependent on loved ones, while comforting in the short term, can keep you from developing financial self-sufficiency.

To gain financial independence, it might be time to set some personal boundaries and gradually reduce your reliance on others. When you start to take active steps to build your own financial stability, it’s a really good feeling!

3. Sunk Cost Fallacy

Have you ever found yourself holding onto something just because you’ve already invested so much in it, even though it’s clearly not worth it anymore?

Examples could be things like an expensive subscription, hobby or business investment. That’s what we call the sunk cost fallacy. It’s like going to a movie you don’t enjoy and thinking, “I’ve paid for the ticket, so I might as well stay.”

Well, this psychological quirk can mess with your ability to save money. Imagine you’ve been shelling out for a costly gym membership, and you hardly ever use it. You’re still forking out the monthly fee because, well, you’ve already invested so much. It feels like a waste to cancel it, right? But the thing is, you’re throwing money away on what used to be a good thing, and that money could be going into your savings instead.

The sunk cost fallacy can make you stick to financial commitments that no longer make sense, preventing you from making better choices that would actually help you save.

So, next time you catch yourself holding onto something just because of what you’ve already spent, remember that your financial future could be way brighter if you let go of those sunken costs and focus on saving for what truly matters. 🙂

4. Lack of Financial Accountability

Another reason why you might struggle to save money is not having anyone to hold you accountable.

You know what’s a lot like trying to follow a healthy diet? Sticking to a healthy budget! It’s somewhat similar to managing your money without any financial accountability partners. Without someone to give you that nudge or high-five when you’re staying on track, it’s easy to fall off the financial fitness bandwagon.

When you’re the only one tracking your expenses and setting savings goals, it’s tempting to take the easy road. You might skip budgeting sessions, make impulse purchases, or dip into your savings when you shouldn’t. Having no one to share your financial journey with can make it feel like a lonely solo mission. And let’s be real, most missions are way more fun with a friend!

Financial accountability partners can be your secret weapon. When you have someone to discuss your financial goals and progress with, it keeps you on track. They’ll remind you why you started saving in the first place, and they can be there to celebrate your wins or offer support when things get tough.

So, if you’re finding it hard to save, maybe it’s time to consider recruiting a financial friend to make the journey more enjoyable and, of course, successful. You might also want to try these clever ways to trick yourself into saving money. They really helped me keep myself accountable while I was getting out of debt and building my emergency fund.

5. Decision Fatigue

Decision fatigue is like that sneaky little gremlin that can put a dent in your ability to save money without you even realizing it!

Our brains are like muscles – they get worn out too. So, if you’re dealing with a constant stream of decisions throughout your day, especially big ones, by the time you get to your financial choices, your brain might just want to take a nap. 🥱

Think about it this way. You’ve had a long, demanding day at work where you’ve had to make critical decisions at every turn. When you finally get home and face another decision, like whether to cook dinner or order takeout, it might be tempting to opt for the easier (and a lot of the time more expensive) choice. This can become a pattern, where you’re too mentally drained to make wise financial choices, especially when it comes to saving for the future.

So if you find yourself saying “I’ll start saving tomorrow” or “I can’t deal with this now,” it might not be a lack of motivation, but simply your brain begging for a break.

To beat decision fatigue and improve your savings game, consider automating some of your financial decisions and setting up regular transfers to your savings account. That way, you’re freeing up some brain space and giving yourself a break.

6. Peer Pressure To Spend Spend Spend!

It’s no wonder we struggle to save money when these days, spending money to have fun isn’t just desirable, it’s a requirement!

Or is it?

This is something I think about often – spending money to keep up with the Joneses. You only need to scroll Instagram for a minute to see how lavishly some people are living!

Beyond this, peer pressure to spend involves social activities and obligations that require big spending. Like regularly dining out at high-end restaurants with friends, lavish parties, overseas trips or extravagant gift exchanges. This kind of social pressure will hinder anyone’s ability to save money while they strive to fit in or maintain their social circle.

The solution? Following a realistic budget and setting your priorities in order. Being disciplined, learning when to say no and making sacrifices while you reach your savings goals. If you know you can’t really afford something, resist the temptation and stay focused on your savings goals.

You might also be interested in this post 10 Free Things To Do During a No Spend Challenge.

7. Financial Procrastination

It’s perfectly normal to procrastinate in areas we find to be a massive chore. Emptying the dishwasher, dealing with taxes, going to the dentist, repairing a broken something, to name a few!

The same can go with procrastinating on managing our finances.

We’ve all been there thinking, “I’ll start saving next month” or “I’ll get to that budgeting thing eventually.” But here’s the thing: ‘eventually’ can quickly turn into ‘never.’ One of my favorite quotes is:

“If not now, when?”

Because it helps you to kick into gear, and realize that time waits for no-one!

The opportunity to save or invest will slip away, and your money stays stuck in neutral, all because we put it off or throw it straight in the “too hard” basket.

Now, don’t get me wrong; we all deserve to be able to chill. But when financial procrastination becomes a habit, it can start to cost you. Those little delays can add up, and before you know it, you’re missing out on the magic of compound interest, retirement savings, saving for a house and other financial goals.

So if you’re serious about saving, don’t let procrastination steal your financial dreams. Get organized, set goals and tackle those financial tasks head-on. You’ll be very glad you did!

Final Words

As I’ve revealed the real reasons behind why people struggle to save money, one thing becomes clear: understanding these less-discussed barriers is the first step toward conquering them. Would you agree?

The battle isn’t purely about budgets and spreadsheets. It’s about psychology, healthy habits and navigating life’s financial twists and turns.

Whether it’s psychological barriers, the allure of instant gratification or those invisible financial foes, it’s time to tackle them once and for all. The power to save, invest and secure your financial future IS within your reach. It’s about making the right choices, learning from your mistakes and embracing the journey.

Your financial goals aren’t just dreams; they’re achievable milestones that you can start working towards. Start today and take that first step toward a brighter, more prosperous tomorrow. Remember, the REAL reason you struggle to save money is no match for your determination and newfound insights.

So, go out there and make your financial dreams a reality! I’ll be rooting for you!

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