If you’re one of the millions of Americans who think you don’t make enough to be able to save, then this is for you. The fact is, there are people making 6-figure incomes and living paycheck-to-paycheck while other people are making $30,000 a year and have a healthy savings account. It has nothing to do with how much you make and everything to do with how you spend what you have.
Here are seven great reasons why you never have enough money and what you can do to change that.
You live too comfortably.
Do you have a premium cable package and only watch a handful of channels? Or maybe you go out to eat several nights a week instead of cooking. These are things you’re spending your money on that you could be saving instead. If you don’t have enough to put anything in savings after you’ve paid all your bills, then you’re living beyond your means. Find some easy ways to cut back and put the money you don’t spend into savings.
You’re shopping without thinking.
If you find yourself frequently going to a store to buy just one or two things and come home with several bags, then you’re doing too much impulse buying. A great deal is only a great deal if it’s something you really needed anyway and would have paid full price for. Next time you need to shop for something, take just enough cash to cover your purchase and commit to only spending the cash you have on-hand.
You spend more than you make.
If you’re paying your bills with credit cards every month, than you’re spending more than you can afford and creating more debt. Look for ways to reduce your utility bills and grocery spending to get your budget more in line with your income. And, if you still don’t have enough, it may be time to think about getting a part-time job or starting a side business to generate some additional income for savings.
You’re buying stuff you don’t need.
Do you really need to eat lunch out every day and stop for a morning latte? It’s time for a spending reality check. Pack your lunch and learn to make your favorite brew at home. It may only be a few dollars, but that’s a few dollars to add to your savings account.
You’re not paying yourself.
You need to pay yourself first, even if it’s only a few dollars out of each paycheck. Your savings account is the thing that will rescue you in a financial emergency or support you in retirement. If you don’t start putting something away for yourself first, you’ll give your money to everyone else and have nothing left for you. Take a look at where you’re spending your money and determine what you can cut to put more money back in your own account.
You’re not paying attention to where your money goes.
It’s time to get a handle on your money situation by creating a budget. And sticking to it. Take a look at your expenses, everywhere you spent money, for the last three months to create a realistic budget of where your money goes. Once you have this written down, you’ll be able to identify areas where you can cut back or even eliminate.
You don’t have commitment.
If you’re really determined to save, you have to learn to say no. No to the friend who wants to go to the movies. No to the last minute discount appointment available at the spa. No to happy hour. There are plenty of ways to cut back if you just look for them.
If you feel like you never have enough money and no matter what you do you can’t seem to put anything into savings, then it’s time to get real about your money situation. There is always a way, you just have to be willing to give some things up and commit to a better financial future for yourself.