Stories by Omodele Adigun
If you’re not saving money, the first question to answer is why? If you cannot give yourself a convincing answer, experts can probably help you out. For instance, analysts on aol.com itemise possible reasons that may apply to your condition. Here they are:
You’re wasting money haphazardly
If you’re spending all you make or more each month, you should do your best to locate your budget drains, says a Wealth Advisor.
Wasteful spending can come in many different forms, and it’s not the same for each person. For a large percentage of people, however, it’s food spending that’s to blame for their money troubles. If you’re heading out to a restaurant for lunch each day, for example, you could literally be eating your savings away.
“Stop going out to lunch at work and bring your own lunch. If you have a job that is conducive to bringing your own lunch, you can save over N1500 per week. That is N78,000 per year. If you do it for 10 years you would have saved over N780,000 and you will be healthier as well.
You don’t have any goals
Not having goals hurts more than people realise. If you’re going to save towards a goal, you should start with the end in mind then working backwards. For example, after fiddling around with a retirement calculator and speaking with your financial advisor, you might figure you need N6 million to retire. If you have 30 years left until you reach retirement age, you should determine how much you need to invest each month and how much your investments need to earn along the way.
You’re not taking action
Often times, people honestly believe they are doing the best they can with their money. They think they’re stashing plenty of money away. They think their savings account is growing. They think they’re keeping up with their bills and avoiding debt.
But at the end of the month, the situation doesn’t look anything like they perceived it would. Despite having good intentions, too many otherwise capable people find themselves out of cash, behind on bills, or worse, spiraling into debt.
Just like anything else in life, good intentions only get you so far when it comes to your money. If you feel positive about your situation but constantly fall behind, a lack of action is probably the culprit. One way to manage this debilitating syndrome is to automate. If taking action is not your strong suit, you should set up and automate withdrawals to your savings accounts, contributions to your brokerage accounts or Retirement Savings Account (RSA). By taking action just one time, you can get the bulk of your finances humming along indefinitely.
You can’t tell yourself ‘no’
The advertising industry exists to separate us from our money, and far too many of us fall for the pitch – hook, line, and sinker. We stand in line for days to get a new iPhone, often paying a week’s salary or more to do so. We buy overpriced clothing, new cars with outrageous monthly payments, and pricey gadgets. And if we can’t afford to pay in cash, we charge it. Most people are not willing to postpone the instant gratification of spending now. And far, far too many of us just don’t know how to tell ourselves ‘no’ to the things we want.
Learning to delay gratification, save for a goal, and prioritise your spending are hallmarks of real adulthood.
You’re not making your finances a priority
Too many good people don’t put their finances first and simply let the chips fall where they may. Sadly, letting your finances happen naturally is the worst way to get ahead, mostly because life happens, bills happen, and it’s easy to get off track.
This line of reasoning is on par with saying you don’t have enough time. Time can always be found, but rather what we are saying is that it’s not a priority for us. This is the exact same excuse as saying you can’t afford to save any more. Extra savings can definitely be found in the budget, but it’s just not a priority for most people.
When you don’t make your finances a priority, it’s inevitable that your situation won’t change much. If you really want to get ahead, you have to put your money first and take actionable steps to save, pay down debt, and invest.
You’re not using a budget or tracking your spending
Even high earners can benefit from keeping a watchful eye on their spending and keeping a monthly budget, but too many people feel they are above these tried and true methods for getting ahead.
And if you’re not tracking your spending, chances are good you’re wasting all sorts of cash each month. Track your spending religiously as much as you track your earnings. This way, you will always know exactly where you can cut a little bit of the fat out of your budget.
when you need to stash some cash away for a rainy day.”
If you wish you were saving more money but fail to do so month after month, it’s likely there is some disconnect between your thoughts and your actions. Meanwhile, it’s possible there are some roadblocks standing in between you and your financial dreams – whether those hurdles are mental, physical, or spiritual.
Want to get ahead but can’t? Figuring out your “why” might be the only thing that can save you. Chances are, the power to change rests in your hands.