why you can't save money

8 Reasons Why You Can’t Save Money

“Why can’t I save money? I should be able to do it…”

Do you find yourself asking that question a lot?

You make a decent salary, many others would be happy getting paid as much as you. Maybe you have a few debts, but nothing that’s not manageable.

So why can’t you seem to put any amount into savings? You know something needs to change.

But don’t be discouraged! Many people are in your situation. Whatever your salary, you can save some of it.

Let’s take a look at some reasons why you can’t save money along with solutions:

1. You were never taught how to save money

We’re not generally born with good money sense. This is something that has to be taught and practiced. If you were never taught how to save money beginning at a young age, it’s quite possible you still don’t know how to save money as an adult.

Solution: The good news is that you can still learn how to save money! You can do this by reading helpful articles, tracking your spending, and implementing smart money habits with the tips you learn.

2. You are an impulse spender

Spending money is fun. I get that, I really get that. There are studies out there that prove that shopping can be therapeutic. But did you know that dopamine (the feel-good hormone), is actually released before you make a purchase? It begins before the purchase happens. You don’t even have to make a purchase to get that good feeling. If you find yourself making impulse purchases to make yourself feel better, this could be a reason why you can’t save money.

Solution: Just browsing or window shopping can positively impact your mood and release dopamine. If you find yourself making many impulse purchases, take 48 hours, a week or even 30 days to think about a non-essential purchase. You might be surprised to discover that you don’t actually need that item and feel content leaving it at the store.

3. You don’t track your spending

A big reason why you can’t save money might be because you aren’t tracking what you spend. When you track your spending, you can track overspending and you can eliminate wasteful spending habits. This is also a great way to discover you are paying for a subscription that you no longer use.

Solution: Use a notebook or a simple app to write down your expenditures. You might also find the idea of a Spending Journal perfect.

why you can't save money

4. You don’t use cash

One possible reason why you can’t save money might be because you aren’t using enough cash. You mostly swipe that credit or debit card. I know when I have cash in my wallet, I think harder about any purchases I want to make. I often decide I don’t need something when I think of the bills leaving my wallet.

Solution: Start using cash. This doesn’t mean you need to use cash for every single thing. (there can be benefits to using credit cards.) But perhaps you can try using cash for your clothing or entertainment budget. I have a set of printable cash envelopes and spending trackers that might be useful too.

5. You are dealing with lifestyle inflation

Lifestyle inflation or lifestyle creep is when your expenses increase along with any increase to your income. Maybe you think every time you get a raise or receive a promotion, you deserve to treat yourself with something new. For example, with your increase in income, you might think a new car is a good idea. But really, this just means the more you earn, the more you spend.

Solution: Take the time to learn contentment. If all of your basic necessities and bills are taken care of, with any increase to your income set up automatic deposits to your savings account with the difference. You should start seeing a healthy savings account grow!

6. You think you need something you want

A house is something you need and a car is something you need to get to work. (Although, we often overspend on this necessity because we want a certain vehicle, when we can simply focus on one that we need. Which is any reliable vehicle, really.) A fridge is something you need but a 65′ TV is something you want. Not knowing the difference between and need and a want can be the reason why you can’t save money.

Solution: Take a hard look at your thought process when it comes to purchases. Is it something you need or is it something that you want? If it’s something you want, start saving your dollars so you can purchase it guilt free.

7. Everyday expenses are rising (inflation)

As I’m sure you are aware, we are seeing big price inflations on pretty much everything these days. Housing, groceries, gas… While you can’t stop it, there are things you can do to alleviate the pressure on our wallets. (I like this article on the causes of inflation, if you’re interested to read more.)

Solution: Think of this as an opportunity to be creative. Think about ways you can create more income. Or trade your garden vegetables for fresh eggs from your neighbor. Go through your expenses with a fine tooth comb to weed out the expenses that are not 100% necessary in this season. Consider eating more vegetarian meals. Brainstorm to get your creative ideas going.

8. You don’t have a savings goal

Having a savings goal in place for something specific can be a great motivator. When you are just putting money into the bank for the sake of putting money into the bank on a regular basis, it can be easier to withdraw for unimportant reasons. When you implement a savings goal, you are more likely to save more money. It helps to create healthy and productive money habits.

Solution: Implement a savings goal. An emergency fund is a common, but great savings goal to start with. Once you’ve established your emergency fund, you can move onto paying off a debt. Then you can keep going with something else. Like a vacation fund, or new appliance fund, or a new to you car fund. With a goal in place, you’ll start to see how every money decision impacts your greater financial health.

One thing is for sure though, if you’re struggling to save money, you’re not alone. With the help of these 8 solutions, you’ll be well on your way to reaching your savings goals. Which of the 8 reasons do you resonate most with?