Admit That You Suck at Saving Money and Take Action Today

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saving money

You know you haven’t done a great job saving money and you keep avoiding it. Admitting that you’ve done a poor job at it is not admitting defeat, but rather getting ready to face the issue head on. The question is: are you going to continue sucking at it or are you going to take definitive action to improve your financial picture?

You read stories about people doing incredible things with money, like retiring early or reaching financial independence, and you think: “No, that can’t be me. I have X,Y, Z and Ñ reasons why I can’t save money.” I’m here to tell you that, yes, you can save money, but you need to take the first step after reading this post.

First, let’s admit that you really suck at saving money. Agree? Yes? Awesome, now that we got that out of the way, let’s move on to saving money. Oh wait, are you not convinced that you suck at saving money yet?

Let’s see how good you manage your money. Do you:

  1. have an income tax refund spending already planned out before it even hits your bank account, but have nothing scheduled to go to savings or debt payoff?
  2. spend lavishly at the bar with your friend while owing him/her a couple of grand for bailing you out of your money-sucking trouble?
  3. avoid stopping by a family member’s house because you owe him/her money from the last time you made a bad money decision?
  4. have a credit card balance that goes unpaid every month?
  5. have a good income but have nothing to show for it other than fancy depreciating cars and brand-spanking technology?
  6. prioritize spending over saving because all you care about is keeping up with the Joneses?
  7. make more than enough to cover food, shelter and basic transportation and still don’t save?

These are just a few of the many situations where you just suck at managing money and therefore, are not saving much. If you really try, you can carve out a couple of dollars here and there to start building your stash.

“Do I really need to save money? I’m counting on getting lucky one day and making it big by building a multimillion dollar business, winning the lotto or speculating with something like bitcoin.”

You can keep dreaming or you can start working on making your dream life a reality today. Yes, you need to start saving money, if you want to flip your life around for the better.

How are you handling situations that come your way?

  • If your idea of an emergency fund is to cover whatever comes your way with your next paycheck, then you need a better plan.
  • If you think you’re too young to start saving for retirement, you’re not! There’s already a 3 year old modeling and contributing to his Roth IRA. And no, the parents weren’t born with a silver spoon in their mouths. They are self-made millionaires.
  • If your idea of saving for a house is to put down as little money as possible and get PMI (private mortgage insurance), then you don’t have enough saved and are not ready to buy a house. Paying PMI is throwing money out the window.
  • The same goes with counting on a monthly payment to afford a car, having the need to borrow from others or put stuff on credit if you lose your job.

You’re not doing a great job with money management if these are your ways of handling these situations.

You suck at money. Period.

Now, do you agree with that statement?

Yes? Great, the good news is that you can take action today to fix your relationship with money. There’s no need to stay in the gutter feeling all down, just living to pay the bills. I also sucked at money before. and I worked my way out of sucking into rocking at it, and so can you!

Spend less than you make

You see, there’s an easy solution to your problem: you need to spend less than you make. You need what is called a surplus.

“So I need a ‘sirplus’? Un señor más?”

No, un “surplus” no  es un “señormás”! You don’t need another man. (Although who you choose as a partner may alleviate the situation.) You need a sobrante. Es bien simple. You need to have money left over at the end of each month.

If you make $100, you need to do whatever it takes to set aside $20. You take those $20 and you put them in the bank if you don’t have an emergency fund. That’s a 20% instant savings rate!

Can’t put away 20% now?

No?

Then start with 1-5% of your income and then increase it as much as you can. Five percent of a $500 weekly paycheck is $25. Boom!

You just have to start somewhere. That 5% of a $500 weekly paycheck is $100 that you can save in one month. The number one thing stopping you from becoming great with money is your inability to take action.

saving money

Start by saving whatever you can from your next paycheck and continue to do this every time money comes your way.

Saving money is about paying yourself first

We are committed to help you by teaching you money management habits, but if you don’t take any action, no matter how simple we make it seem, you’ll get nowhere. Not only are you getting nowhere, but you’ll run out of excuses when you hit traditional retirement age without a dollar to your name.

The ball is in your court. If you’re serious about kicking ass financially, then prove it to yourself by taking action today. Start by saving whatever you can from your next paycheck and continue to do this every time money comes your way. Pay yourself first!

Don’t leave saving money as an afterthought. Many people spend first and then save the leftovers. If you’re thinking of savings as the last bucket item, you’re doing it wrong. Saving should be your priority. Also, consider tying a goal to saving to make it more enjoyable.

We’ve been on a strong savings journey since 2012. After I paid off my credit card and other debt that amounted to about $53,000, we set aside some money for emergencies and started saving for financial independence and then continued by saving for a house. After we’re done saving, our investments will fund our lifestyle, so we won’t need to save anymore. 🙂

Closing thoughts

The idea of saving money is not revolutionary, but the actions that you take will revolutionize your life! It’s not enough to admit that you suck at saving without taking the necessary steps to remedy the situation. If you’re in a hole, you have to stop digging!

I spent the first 36 years of my life sucking at saving money. During the second half of those years, I charged stuff on credit that I couldn’t even pay off by the end of the month and I thought this was normal. I also bought into the so-called American Dream by mortgaging a big house and borrowing money to buy cars. It’s amazing how buying on credit is such a big part of the American culture. I now realize that I was actually a fool living the American Nightmare instead.

I made stupid, dumb money moves and didn’t even realize it at that time. It wasn’t until the beginning of 2011 that I started to dig myself out of the hole. And here I am, seven years later telling you that it’s all possible. I haven’t paid a dime in interest in years.

How do you start digging yourself out?

By finding ways to put away a buck or two, or twenty, 🙂 and keep doing this until you reach your financial goals. The good times will not be here forever, so start saving while you’re young or before life passes you by. Pay yourself first by spending less than you make.

You need to be committed to building wealth if you want to see results. Self-made millionaires obviously didn’t sit around waiting for miracles to happen. They took action to create the lifestyles they desired. Slowly, steadily and surely. Now, go and start creating your surplus!

Let’s hear from you. Where are you on the money-saving spectrum? Do you pay yourself first? If you don’t, what’s stopping you from doing it? For those who are crushing it, what kind of tips do you have for others that need to get on the savings bandwagon?

Please like & share:
Our 2017 Household Spending: Reaching FIRE Without Feeling Deprived
Our 2018 Household Spending: How We've Been Saving Money on Our Child Since Day One

Mr. Enchumbao

I work for a large investment management company helping people save for traditional retirement. During my spare time, I write about our FIRE journey here, at Enchumbao. My journey to FI began in 2012. I was in a lot of debt back then, but I turned things around and became debt free a few years later. My wife and I reached financial independence in 2017 and are preparing to retire soon.

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