While it is commendable that the average amount of savings in America has jumped from around 1% to 3.1%, I believe we can do even better. Unfortunately, excuses pop into our heads to stop us from saving that much needed money for our future or a rainy day.

Excuses are the nails used to build a house of failure.   
~Don Wilder and Bill Rechin (Cartoonists)

Those excuses that we fall back on pave the road to the future that we will be living in and dealing with. If we want a future that has a better safety net, whether it is 3 months from now or 30 years from now, we have to toss away the excuses and venture onward to a better quality of life. The excuses won't bring you the savings that you hope for. You have a mind and a will, use them to your advantage and, not to bring yourself down.

1. I Don't Know How

Truly? Think about it. We collect shoes, comics, artwork and other items that make us happy. It is a matter of changing our thoughts about money and deciding to collect that. We know how to do it, we do it with other items. We have need to decide to do it and then determine how much. 

Start with a $2 savings plan, find small ways to trick yourself into saving or make your savings account a bill each pay period.

2. I Don't Have Enough Money

With determination you can find a way to save money; it may not be much, but it is something and that something is "money in the bank" better than an excuse! You can always find a way to do something if you are determined enough to look past the roadblocks and like a little two year old walking over their toys to get to Mommy, you too can walk over those roadblocks to the prize.

It is amazing the ways that we come into money when we least expect it, whether it is money found on the ground, gifts we receive or saved money we didn't expect. And let's not forget those vices that pull money out of our pocket that can be plugged and used to start that new savings account. 

3. I Don't Have Any Time

Saving money is one of the least time consuming areas of personal finance. You can set up an automatic withdrawal from your paycheck to go to a retirement fund or a savings account. The time in setting this up is usually smaller than 15 minutes because companies have all the information ready to help you and banks are more than willing to talk with you on the phone to get you started with a paycheck deduction plan. 

I love reading about teachers, garbage collectors, librarians, and the list goes on, who most people would not view as rich but with each dollar they set aside, they built up for themselves a better future and eventually a better future for someone else by donating their estate. 

I always read those and am inspired that if they find the time to set aside their money, find the time to figure out what they value most and get rid of the excess, than I can as well. Ultimately, it isn't about not having the time to save money, but taking the time to save the money. If we can make time for when we go to the gym, when we watch a tv show, even when we help out others, then we can move up that priority to take the time to start saving as well. 

4. I Don't Have the Education

Saving money doesn't need to be about stocks, bonds, CD rates or best banks. Just the fact that you are stuffing $20 in a jar and not spending it means you are $20 smarter than the person who isn't. 

As your money grows larger in that jar you may feel that you want to gain more for your time with a good interest rate and that takes a few minutes to find a decent bank with a high interest rate. 

And if you aspire to retire at 50, then as you save up your money, you have time to find the best route to attain your goal. But don't ever let a lack of education stop you. Determination can move you toward the goal you desire. Did you know that Dave Thomas, the founder of Wendy's, had dropped out of school at 15? Or that Simon Cowell dropped out of boarding school at age 16? 

In Summary

If you are determined, you will find out how to save money, whether you have enough money, time or education. The question you first ask yourself is, "How much do I want this?

Helen Keller said, "When one door of happiness closes, another opens; but often we look so long at the closed door that we do not see the one which has been opened for us."

We have a wonderfully creative mind that is made to move beyond obstacles, to take a look at life and create a better life from what we area given. Stop making excuses for yourself and step out into a better financial future for yourself.

Photos courtesy flickr/cc - brad montgomery and Nic's events


  1. HollisKC // Wednesday, June 09, 2010 7:47:00 AM  

    Great post! Another excuse is assuming someone else is saving money for you, AKA your partner or spouse. The only one who can save for or be in charge of your retirement and future is you. So don't relinquish that responsibility.

  2. Tim Gray // Wednesday, June 09, 2010 9:14:00 AM  

    Saving money is counter productive if you have a lot of Debt. Pay down the Debt first.

    Why save at 0.05% interest while you are paying 30% interest on those credit cards... put the money you would have saved into debt reduction first.

    I have friends that are proud they have $10,000 in savings yet have that amount in Credit card debt that they pay the minimum payments on. Cash in the savings, pay down the debt.

  3. Jim // Thursday, June 10, 2010 1:01:00 PM  

    Tim: I do agree that it doesn't make sense to have a lot of money in savings while paying so much interest on debt, but it might be a good idea to get a "small" emergency fund set up (not the ridiculous 6-9 months worth of bills fund that most financial experts mention), maybe even a few hundred dollars, to cover any situations so that you don't have to resort to credit cards.

  4. Ryo // Thursday, June 10, 2010 10:04:00 PM  

    Great posts! I seem to always put up mental blocks that hurt my goals, it may be about saving money or working or going to gym. Its knowing that you are the one creating the blocks and learning to overcome it. Once you do that almost anything is possible.

  5. Parag // Friday, June 11, 2010 3:38:00 AM  

    One needs to have positive attitude to save money. Excuses should not be on the path towards saving's. Cut all unnecessary expenses and live only with what you need to live a good life.
    Personal finance