Saving money can be hard when there is so much stuff that needs to be taken care of, the pipe under the sink is dripping into a bucket or their is an oil stain on the ground under the car. It seems being an adult just makes me want to look around and sigh a lot.

I know that many of these procrastination ideas have gone through my own head, here is how I counter them.

1. I don't have time to save, and it's cousin, it takes too long:
Since it depends on the price tag of the item saved for it can take weeks, days or months. But how many times have I bought little frivolous items, maybe even put them on a credit card that I pay minimum on and end up paying double for it in the end?

If I start putting aside $10 a paycheck I can have enough in 3 months to cover most of the cost of a decent pair of much needed new sneakers. I can set up an extra savings account with my bank in less than 10 minutes and have them take the money out automatically and write it down as a bill.
Recently I set up a SmartyPig savings account to get started on next holidays gifts and a summer vacation. The reason I don't do it with my bank is that the interest is better and if I don't see the money every time I log into the bank, it isn't a temptation.

2. What's the point of savings if I don't have a goal.
If a certain item isn't appealing, then go with a certain amount within 6 months and see if the challenge can be met. Of course let's say a co-worker has tickets to the local NFL game they are willing to part with at half price, that is a spur of the moment decision that savings goals can't predict. So forget the goal of attaining a certain amount or item, just tell yourself you won't stop putting $25 into savings for 4 months, no breaks, no distractions and see if the challenge can be met.

3. Saving money is impossible when I'm the only one in the family doing it.
Wait a second, so popping $1.25 into the vending machine can be done without the family but putting $5 a week into a savings can't be done without the family on board? That doesn't make sense. Money tears a whole in my pocket, literally. I play with it so much and put holes in my pocket that I need to spend it so I don't jingle it constantly. Now I don't keep cash on me, except a dollar at most, no change. If I carry anything more than that it goes into savings or it will be spent.

4. Saving money means I will never have anything good
Unlike food where you can eat all the bland rice and beans you want and none of the fun Twinkies, saving money isn't like that. Most people's spending goes towards basics like food, rent, and transportation, but that's an average, not a rule. If you want to rent a cheap room in a run-down neighborhood so you can afford designer clothing, go for it. Saving money means honoring your own priorities.

5. I have to set up a dreaded budget to save money
Actually, that isn't necessary at all, since savings could technically be considered a bill. This saving of $5 a week or $50 a paycheck will now be part of the ongoing bills like rent, gas and food. See how simple and much fun that is, plus no budget necessary!

6. I don't want to live in a dump to take vacations
Then if lowering the standard that you live on isn't appealing now is the time to get creative and figure out ways to save money on the things being bought today or just making money on the stuff hidden away in the storage room. Heck, this coming tax season, take the refund to the bank, put the raise you get into the bank and live on what you made last year. If the raise is only 20¢ an hour for 80 hours of work, then there is $16 a paycheck to be put away for savings and the standard of living hasn't changed.


  1. Hollis Colquhoun // Friday, November 27, 2009 11:14:00 AM  

    Great article!