6 Reasons You’re Horrible At Saving Money

6 Reasons You're Horrible At Saving MoneyHello everyone! Today is my birthday. I am the big ol’ 25 today! :) I plan on relaxing and eating a ridiculous amount of sushi today as my birthday treat.

Anyway, as a personal finance blogger, I hear a lot about everyone else’s money stories.

For the most part, I hear a lot of excuses for why people can’t do things. I’m not saying that there aren’t real excuses out there, but for the most part there are several ways for you to make active changes in your life that will help you reach your goals.

Some of the excuses I hear include:

  • I don’t have money to travel.
  • I don’t have money to pursue my passion.
  • I don’t have money to go back to school.
  • I don’t have money to start a family.

The thing in common here?


Why do people let money stop them from enjoying life?

There are so many things that you can do to reach your money goals.

I understand that some things in life cost money, but I believe that saving money can help most people reach their realistic dreams. Of course, if you make $30,000 a year then going on a $30,000 one week vacation is most likely not possible. The key is to be realistic with your goals and find a path to reach them!

Side note: Also, I do understand that I make a decent living. Last time I created an article about budgeting, someone actually told me that what I have to say doesn’t matter because anyone can live off of the amount that I make. Well, let me tell you - all sorts of people have money problems, not just those who make lower salaries. Also, I know families who earn $30,000 a year and couldn’t be happier. I know others who make $100,000 a year and feel like they can never get ahead. When I first moved out on my own I was barely making minimum wage but I was still able to survive. No, I wasn’t the best person ever with my finances, but I made what I had work for me.

Here are 6 reasons for why you are horrible at saving money:


1. You don’t have a budget.

If you don’t have a budget or if your budget is not a good one, then this can be a big reason for why you suck at saving money.

A good and realistic budget can help a person and/or a family manage their money better. Yes, a simple piece of paper where you jot down your budget can actually do this.

A budget can help you realize where you might be going wrong with your finances and how to fix a financial issue that you may be having.

Many people are afraid to create a budget because it means that they will have to actually face their spending. If this is why you don’t have a budget, then please just face your fears and start creating one today.

Read Does Your Budget Suck?


2. You think you deserve everything.

I won’t lie – I’m guilty of this one. Whenever I would have a bad day at work (at my old day job), I would “reward” myself with something like going out to a restaurant or buying myself something because I would use the excuse of “I deserve it.”

However, I eventually realized that this is a horrible habit to be stuck in. I shouldn’t have to reward myself with material things in order to be happy with my life.

Just because you think you deserve something because you’ve had a hard day or because your friend has it, you really need to sit down and think about whether or not you should actually spend that money.

You probably don’t even want that item, and you might even regret it the very next day!


6 Reasons You're Horrible At Saving Money

3. You confuse “wants” with “needs.”

Another area that applies to people is when a person thinks that things past basic life necessities are all “needs” as well.

Please remember that the only things that are actually needed in your life include a place to live, a certain amount of clothing (no, a $1,000 dress is not a need!), and food and water.

Some think cell phones, massive homes, gym memberships, pets (I love my pets, but pets are expensive and if you can’t afford things in life then you need to think hard before you sign up for a pet) going to restaurants, and so on are all a need, but they really are not. If you cannot afford things then you need to start cutting items out of your budget and your life.

Erin has the perfect article for this It’s My Money, I’ll Eat Out If I Want To. Here’s a little snippet:

“Let’s start with furniture. Guess what? You don’t actually need almost all of it. Therefore, it is nonessential. A mattress on a floor is enough to live… I don’t own a couch, a chair, a real desk (I use a refrigerator…), a table, or a dresser. Yet somehow I am magically surviving without them.”


4. You think you will have time to save later.

So many people think that they don’t have to save now because they can save when they are a little bit older. Well, what are you going to do if something happens to you or if there is an emergency?

Starting now will help you later.


5. You don’t think little amounts will add up.

I once overheard someone saying that they don’t save money at all because they don’t think it matters. So, even if they have an extra $100 in their budget each month, they will just find a way to spend it because they don’t see the point of saving $100.



Seriously, put that extra $100 in the bank and save it. After one year you will have $1,200.

$1,200 is much better than ZERO DOLLARS.


6. You don’t earn enough money to live off of.

The final reason for why you might not be able to save as much as you would like is because you don’t earn enough money.

No, there is not one number that fits all.

However, if you are watching TV for 40 hours a week, and you complaining about not having enough money, then I’m going to have to say that you need to at least get out there and try to find something. If you are trying, then good job! That is the first step. I understand that the economy is hard out there, but trying to find something is key.

If your expenses are higher than your income, then you are simply not making enough money.

It’s as simple as that.

You either need to make more money or cut back with your expenses. You will never save money if your expenses are higher than your income.


Do you let money control your life? What are you doing to change that?

What are you currently saving for?



Do You Really Need That MASSIVE House?

Do You Really Need That MASSIVE House?A few weeks ago I published the article Would You Move To A Completely New Place? In it I mentioned that we have put the home-buying process on hold, and we plan on staying in our current house for at least a few more years.

We have put it on hold because we don’t know where we want to live. However, that doesn’t mean that we stopped looking at houses.

I am definitely a crazy person and I probably look at houses on Realtor.com and Zillow at least once a week.

It’s a habit and an obsession…

To backtrack: We bought our current house when we were 20. We weren’t making a lot of money back then, but the market was great for buyers and we needed a place to live, so we decided to buy (we, of course, thought about other things as well). We like our home and it will do for the next few years, but I also don’t see it as our forever home.

I’ve always wanted a bigger kitchen, a bigger bedroom, and some land. Our house (by my standards and Midwest standards) is small. Our house is currently 1,200 square feet. We do have a finished basement though that adds another 1,200 square feet to our home.

I grew up in apartments because my dad hated houses (he hated the maintenance, lawn mowing, HOA’s, and so on), so I guess I’ve always wanted a big house since I didn’t have that when I was a kid.

Anyway, I have been catching myself searching for homes that are 2,500 square feet and above. I don’t know why.

Does anyone really need a house that big? Do I need a house that big?

According to MSN, the average home in the U.S. in 1950 was approximately 983 square feet, and in 2004 it was 2,349 square feet. That is a HUGE increase!

I don’t think there is anything wrong with whatever decision you make regarding how big your house is, as long as you can afford it. Some people are fine with a 400 square foot home, whereas others like 3,000 square foot homes.


But, if you really want to save money, below are reasons for why you should rethink that massive home:

Bigger homes usually have a higher price tag.

Of course, this all depends on the location, but in general a bigger house will cost more than a smaller house on the exact same lot. The different in price can easily be a few hundred thousand dollars.

You will find yourself paying for a larger mortgage, and you will also have to pay higher property taxes. Don’t forget about higher home insurance as well!


Bigger homes will cost a whole lot more to cool down and heat up.

Many newer homes have vaulted ceilings, which can easily increase the heating and cooling costs. Even if you don’t have vaulted ceilings, a bigger house will lead to higher utility expenses because there are more rooms to heat up and cool down.


Bigger homes will need more maintenance.

If you have a bigger home, that means the possibility of something breaking is a little bit higher than if you had a smaller homer. You might have a larger lawn to mow, more to paint, more to repair, and so on.


Bigger homes may lead to hoarding.

If you have a McMansion, then you may find yourself with a lot of extra rooms that you feel you need to fill up with things.

You may find yourself buying furniture and other items for a room that you only step into a few times a year. Furniture is not cheap – you may spend thousands to furnish a room in which you will just close the door and forget about.

I know someone who has FOUR living rooms in their home. One is the actual “living room,” the other is a “sitting room,” one is a “play room” and I don’t know what the fourth is. Oh, and then they have a basement living room as well, so I guess that is FIVE. It just seems like a lot of wasted space to me…

I also know a few people who have a dining room, a formal dining room, a breakfast room, and a lunch room. WHAT THE HECK? And they usually only use one room to eat in, whereas the others are maybe used once a year. Can you imagine having to buy four separate dining tables?


What is your ideal square footage in a home?

Do you want a McMansion or are you more of a minimalist person?


Would You Move To A Completely New Place?

Would You Move To A Completely New Place?Last year here on Making Sense of Cents, I talked a lot about us buying a new home. However, I’m sure you’ve noticed that we have not bought a new home yet. Some of you have even emailed me asking if something went wrong.

So, what gives? Why haven’t we bought a house yet even though the plan was for us to buy one in 2013?

Well, the thing is, we don’t know what we want to do. Do we want to stay here in St. Louis? Do we want to move to Memphis where W’s parents just moved? Do we find an entirely new place that has awesome weather and is beautiful?

Now that we are both location independent (because of the business), we can really live anywhere as long as we can afford it. We don’t have to feel stuck in any one area. We have a lot of options and a lot of things to think about, so we are trying to take our time and not rush the process.

There are many different factors that we are thinking about:


Living where you are comfortable and have a life already.

We have both lived in St. Louis for a very long time. I lived in Chicago for a little bit when I was younger (from the ages of around 8 to 13), but for the most part I have always been here in St. Louis.

Many people have asked me why I would even want to live in St. Louis. Well, I like it here! It’s affordable, there are outdoorsy things to do, all my friends are here, I grew up here, and it’s a great place to eventually raise a family.

However, I have lived in St. Louis for all of my adult life, and it sometimes makes me wonder if I am missing out by not moving somewhere else and trying something new.

I wish I could just pick up my friends and move them with me honestly! A recent article on Newlyweds on a Budget pretty much summed up what I’m afraid of – leaving my awesome friends and being lonely wherever we move to.


Moving to save money.

St. Louis is a cheap place to live. However, there are even cheaper places to live. We were looking at homes in Memphis, and the homes are incredibly cheap. They are a great value compared to what you can get in many other cities, including St. Louis.

I will say that I am not interested in moving to a place where housing is super expensive. Just can’t do it. I’m too cheap :) I like my low cost of living cities.


Moving for the perfect weather.

Hawaii would be amazing, but it’s expensive. If you are interested in Hawaii (many people are), I recommend that you read Budget and the Beach’s article The Cost of Living in Paradise, and also Young Adult Money’s article Why Living in Hawaii Sucks.

We’ve ruled Hawaii out of our list (it’s expensive and far away), but we are now thinking about Florida. I’ve been reading a lot about it, and there are many positives, but also many negatives that I found as well. If you live in Florida, tell me what you think about where you live!


Moving somewhere to be closer to family.

W’s family moved to Memphis earlier this year, and we have been thinking about following them there. My sister is planning on moving to Chicago, and once that happens I won’t have any other family here in St. Louis. We will have W’s side of the family here still, but we still want to be closer to his parents and his younger siblings.


Do you plan on moving eventually? Maybe for retirement? Why or why not?