5 Common Roadblocks to Saving Money
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While saving money is an desirable goal that most people have, are you jeopardizing yourself without even realizing it? Saving money takes the right mindset, a good plan, a realistic way to execute it, and a commitment to following the execution in every day life.
Oftentimes, these five common roadblocks sabotage even our best efforts. Being aware of these roadblocks is the first step to make saving money a success.
So, are you up against these common roadblocks to saving money?
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1. Lack of confidence
We read all the success stories of others, and we make the assumption that they had an easier set of circumstances, less problems or issues, or are more able to handle money than we are for some reason. Then, we lack the self-esteem to believe that we can use their plan as a model. We assume that we are not smart enough, not disciplined enough, not persistent enough to follow through. So, we don’t even start. We write off a plan before we even take the first step in accomplishing it. We let it overwhelm us in any number of ways, and then we are doomed.
2. We are waiting for our spouse to get the ball rolling
Most plans to save money include making a budget and sticking to it, doing some research, and making some really painful decisions that quite frankly, just aren’t all that appealing to make. Although each person in a marriage may want to save money, neither one is wiling to get the process started.
Other times, one thinks the other one is for some reason responsible to get the process started. Maybe it is because their spouse is the spender, or their spouse is the one who typically researches things, or because their spouse is the one who handles the finances.
Whatever the reason, one spouse feels it is the other person’s duty to figure it all out while the other person in the relationship has their reasons for believing just the opposite. No one gets started, and no money is saved.
3. We have an unrealistic picture of where our money is going
So you’ve created a budget, however, it can’t end there. We need to compare where our money is going on paper with where it is going as it leaves our hands. Oftentimes, these don’t match. On paper it may look like we have a certain amount to devote to savings each month, but when the month rolls around the money just doesn’t seem to be there to save.
Living by a budget is creating a realistic budget by tracking expenses, putting it in writing, and comparing the money that goes out as it goes out to see if it is going where we think it is. If we have savings worked into our budget and the money is leaving as it should, the money will be there for savings. If it is not, that is a red flag that signals that there is a major problem that we need to get to the bottom of.
4. We let great things steer us off course
If you are a reader here you know that I am all about being frugal, shopping smart, and living on what we earn, but even the best deal is not a deal if it deters us from the overall goal. We can have the best plan in mind, a realistic and accurate budget, and the best of intentions, but if we get distracted by even the littlest of things often enough, it will push us off course.
I have written of how my husband and I got completely out of debt, and one of the ways we did this was by being focused like a laser beam on our goal of becoming debt free. There were so many great opportunities that we had to say no to. But being out of debt means that we can say yes to many of these things now. Because we paid tens if not hundreds of thousands of dollars less through less interest paid, we can then say yes to so much more than if we had gotten off track along the way.
5. We don’t have a realistic action plan
The best laid plans quickly fall apart if they were never attainable in the first place. Just as when I wrote about determining the attainability of our goals, your savings goals need to be filtered though this same lens. What works for one may not work for the other.
Although you can take as many of the things that we did to get out of debt as your own, make sure they will fit in your life and be attainable. You can set a goal that is far off in the future as we did, but the steps you take to get there will need to be attainable with the life you live.
For instance, if you are used to stopping for coffee and breakfast every working morning, it may not be realistic to say that you are not stopping for breakfast ever again. In this case, starting with only getting breakfast two or three times a week would be a more realistic first step.
In all reality…
Saving money is something that most people strive for, but these common roadblocks can keep you from getting very far or even getting started in the first place. Being aware of these ahead of time will allow us to make savings goals that are attainable and even enjoyable.
As you get off and running in the saving process or even if you are already well on your way, revisit these concepts from time to time to make sure none of these roadblocks have slowly crept in.
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I agree with what you said about saving money. One thing that has helped me and my family when saving money is having a monthly budget.
I can’t say enough on how important a budget will help you save money.
Having a budget and sticking to it means can take control of your finances easily.
I couldn’t agree more. In my course, How to BE Frugal, we create a budget in the first lesson. I really do feel it is that important as well! Thanks for sharing!
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