Thereâ€™s little doubt that nobody wants to be broke, and that most people would love to start winning with money! But as I look around at the millions of people who struggle with money and live on the edge of financial disaster, I have to askâ€¦Why?!?! Why are so many people avoiding making the necessary changes to finally get ahead?Â Â
Full disclosure here, in the past (and still sometimes in the present) I have been very good at making excuses when it came to managing my money, following a budget and denying myself my wants. Because Iâ€™ve been there, I want you to know that I am sympathetic to the reasons why we make excuses for ourselves. And by no means am I here to cast stones at anyone. There are a million reasons you can give yourself for not making a financial plan that works. But this is your money and your life and itâ€™s time to make a change.
So letâ€™s take a look at The Top 8 Lame Excuses That Keep You Broke!
1. â€œI Donâ€™t Know Where To Begin!â€
Of all the excuses I hear, this is by far the most frequent. â€œI want to get a grip on my money, but I donâ€™t even know where to start.â€ That confession is the perfect place to start, and you are definitely not alone. Millions of Americans feel completely clueless when it comes to managing their money. No one teaches us this stuff growing upâ€¦but as adults itâ€™s our responsibility to reach out for help and get the necessary knowledge so that we can start to make a change.
Why Itâ€™s Lame: Some people make up their minds that money and finances are just concepts that are over their heads. Either they have tried and failed, or they have never even given it a shot. So they say, â€œI canâ€™t,â€ and this gets them off the hook for even trying.Â But the truth is that you can manage your money, it will just require you to put forth a little effort, gain some new knowledge, and find some accountability to make it happen. Ask for help, get a coach, read a book, take a course. Get in there and start working with your money, and donâ€™t let â€œI Canâ€™tâ€ be an excuse.Â
2. â€œIâ€™m So Broke, I Donâ€™t Have Any Money To Manage!â€
â€œI am just barely scraping by. I canâ€™t possibly save money or pay off debt right now.â€ Many people believe that they are just stuck financially, and thereâ€™s no way to get ahead. You get to the end of the month and wonder where all the money goes.
Why Itâ€™s Lame:Â The reality is that most people are living paycheck to paycheck because they arenâ€™t managing their money correctly. Either people are spending too much on wants or sinking in debt and monthly payments that are eating up their income. If you were to track all of your spending for even 2 weeks, chances are that you would see quite a few areas where cuts could be made. The areas where Katy and I were able to make the most cuts were restaurants, groceries and entertainment. Donâ€™t let pizzas, movie rentals and Playstation games be your excuse for not getting ahead financially.Â
Take a look at our Recommended Spending Percentages worksheet. This will help you determine which areas where you are overspending.
Now, I am sympathetic to anyone working 2 jobs just to make ends meet, and you have my utmost respect. And if you are truly down to wire, your only other option is to increase your income. Ask for overtime opportunities or special projects at work, take a 2nd job, start an online business. You have to be thoughtful and persistent to be able to get off the edge.
3. â€œSure I Overspend, But I Need and Deserve the Things I Buy!â€
Every day, we are exposed to thousands of advertisements that tell us this very thing. â€œYou work hardâ€¦you deserve the bestâ€¦you need thisâ€¦â€ You work hard, and you should do things to reward yourself. But needing and deserving things is a poor excuse for allowing your finances to be in chaos.
Why Itâ€™s Lame: The truth is that you need food, shelter, clothing and transportation. Everything else is a want. And the sooner you are able to distinguish between needs and wants, the sooner you will be able to make the decision to take control of your money and your spending instead of letting it control you. I am not denying that you deserve to enjoy some of your hard-earned money. But, all of us need to develop a balanced approach to spending and saving. If we can learn to delay some gratification now, we will be able to enjoy financial security and peace throughout the rest of our lives.
4. â€œIâ€™m Too Old to Start Now!â€ Or â€œ Iâ€™m Too Young to Start Now!â€
This is another excuse I hear a lot. Itâ€™s either, â€œIâ€™m too old now, and itâ€™s too late for me to be able to change my financial status,â€ or, â€œIâ€™m too young to worry about saving for the future. I have my whole life ahead of me.â€ Maybe youâ€™re over 40 with plenty of debt and little or no savings. Maybe youâ€™re in your early 20â€™s and think that you will start managing your money down the road. Youâ€™re definitely not alone in this way of thinking. However, on average the less you saved back then, the less likely you are to save now. Conversely, the less you are concerned with managing your money now, the less likely you are to manage it well in the future. But you can turn this way of thinking around.
Why Itâ€™s Lame: Age isnâ€™t an excuse. This is like saying, â€œIâ€™m too old to lose weight to make sure I donâ€™t die of a heart attack,â€ or, â€œIâ€™m too young to get in shape in order to ensure that I can walk when Iâ€™m 60.â€ There is no time too late or too soon to start taking back control of your money and your life.
If you feel like itâ€™s too late, you need to know that you can catch up and you can win. It will just take extra work and determination, and a willingness to sacrifice today so that you can enjoy tomorrow. To meet your goals, you need to get help from a coach or advisor who can help you develop a game plan. It is never too late to start.
Think youâ€™re too young to start worrying about all this financial stuff? Think on thisâ€¦depending on which studies you read, at least 43%, and up to 70%, of baby boomers (current 50-60 year olds) are not financially prepared to retire comfortably. Do you think they wish that they had started managing their money earlier in life? You better believe it! As fun as it is to have a nice car and go on fun trips and wear fancy clothes, it is irresponsible to ignore your future needs for todayâ€™s wants. Of course youâ€™re going to spend some money and have some fun. But keep in mind that your future will be here faster than you realize. You and your future family will be so thankful that you had the foresight to start winning with money early on.
Whatever excuses you have been making for yourself, I want you to know that I believe in your ability to overcome your fears, your self-limiting beliefs, and your current habits. Most importantly, I hope you will start to believe in yourself and know that you can start winning!
Stay tuned for part 2 of The Top 8 Lame Excuses That Keep You Broke
Let us know if thereâ€™s anything we can do to help!