I can't afford to save money - MoneySense

I can’t afford to save money

People have all sorts of great reasons why they’re not saving. And the granddaddy of all excuses is “I don’t make enough to save.”


That might be true if you’re spending not one nickel above what it takes to keep your roof over your head and food on the table. Maybe you don’t make enough to save, in which case you’ll have to make do with social assistance later.

In all likelihood, however, you do make enough. You simply don’t have a clue where your money is going. Have you ever heard yourself saying, “Money just goes through my fingers” or “I can’t figure out why I never have any money left”? It’s time to start paying attention and bring what you’re spending your money on from the unconscious to the conscious. Once you see where your money is going, you’ll be able to find the money to save.

Saving takes a commitment. It requires that you have a sense of discipline or self-control. Whatever you call that commitment, you’ve got it if you are saving. If you aren’t saving, and you believe you should be (after all, you’re reading this column, right?) how are you going to create that sense of “I MUST SAVE” for yourself?

You don’t have to save a lot to get busy saving. Can you find a dollar a day? That’s enough. Put it in a jar and every five weeks or so deposit it to your high-interest savings account. Now you’ve put momentum on your side. You’re no longer “not saving.” Now you’ve moved to “saving” and it’s only a matter of how you’ll find more money to grow your savings.

Set a goal. You’re going to move from saving $7 a week to saving $14 a week by the end of next month. Track your savings on a savings chart to keep yourself motivated. Look for ways to trim back on an expense so you can add another dollar to your savings each week. Little steps will get you to where you want to be. And momentum will keep you moving forward.

See how easy?