Are Your Excuses Making You Broke And Unsuccessful?

The title of this post is very straightforward, and I wanted it to be that way. Everyone is guilty of making excuses, and I know that people will continue to make them until they realize that excuses are just that- excuses. Just think about the last time you said “That won’t work for me because…

Michelle Schroeder-Gardner

Last Updated: May 24, 2023

Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links, meaning if you decide to make a purchase via my links, I may earn a commission at no additional cost to you. See my disclosure for more info.

If you make excuses, then you're quitting before you even begin. You should stop making excuses ASAP so that you can reach success!The title of this post is very straightforward, and I wanted it to be that way. Everyone is guilty of making excuses, and I know that people will continue to make them until they realize that excuses are just that- excuses.

Just think about the last time you said “That won’t work for me because (insert your excuse here).”

As a personal finance expert, I hear a lot of reasons for why a person can’t save money, pay off debt, live the life they want, reach retirement, and so on.

There are plenty of legitimate reasons for why some people have financial setbacks, but there are still many people making excuses for why they can’t achieve their goals or why their life is bad.

Common excuses include:

  • “I’ll hate my life if I start saving money”
  • “I’m not lucky enough to save money”
  • “I don’t have time”
  • “That person had everything paid for by their parents, and that’s why they are successful”
  • “I deserve and/or need the things I buy”
  • “I enjoy my job and can always make money later”
  • “The city I live in is too expensive to save money”
  • “It’s too late for me to start saving money”

The problem with making excuses is that this bad habit can hold you back, which means that you may never reach your financial or life goals.

To put it simply, excuses prevent you from living the life you want. You’re giving up before you’ve even begun.

To reach your goals and get what you want, you’ll have to work hard and stop making excuses. No one has a perfect life, so it’s a waste to make excuses for why something is impossible for you.

Trust me, I know how easy it is to make excuses for things, and I’ve made plenty of them.

However, I no longer make excuses for everything and this has significantly changed my life, my outlook, and my mindset.

Sure, it’s nice every now and then to make an excuse for yourself whenever you’re stressed or you just feel defeated. But, that just won’t get you anywhere!



Stop wasting time by making excuses.

Making excuses means that you’re wasting time.

Instead of finding reasons for why you shouldn’t pursue a goal, you should spend your time creating a plan to achieve your dream life.

Next time you’re about to make an excuse, remember that being negative and making excuses is just a huge waste of time. You’re better than that!

Related: 11 Ways You’re Wasting Time And How To Change


You won’t fix your problems by making excuses.

The average person isn’t doing well financially.

  • 68% live paycheck to paycheck.
  • 26% have no emergency savings.
  • The median amount saved for retirement is less than $60,000.
  • The average household has $7,283 in credit card debt.
  • The average student loan debt is $32,264.

If you want to stop living paycheck to paycheck, have money in savings and for retirement, and to take control of your financial situation, you’ll have to start owning up to your mistakes and finding a way to change things for the better.


Stop comparing yourself to others.

When making excuses, you may find yourself comparing yourself to others and coming up with reasons for why something is impossible for you.

By comparing yourself to others and minimizing their accomplishments, you are just holding yourself back.

Sure, you may not be able to reach a goal as quickly as someone else or it may require more hard work, but that doesn’t mean that everything is impossible for you. Everyone is on a different path, and there are people who are better off than you and people who are worse off.

Instead of comparing your path to those around you, you should focus on what you can do to make your dream a reality.


If you truly want something, you’ll make it happen.

If you really want something in life, you’ll put the needed effort towards making it a reality.

By making an excuse for why something is impossible for you, you’re already quitting.

Who wants to be a quitter?

Reaching your goal will take time and there might be setbacks, but your goal is only impossible if you quit before you get there.


Find out why you make excuses.

People make excuses for all sorts of reasons. By figuring out why you make excuses, you’ll be closer to tackling your problem.

Common reasons that people make excuses include:

  • Fear of not reaching a goal, failure, hard work, etc.
  • Being scared
  • A belief that life is unfair
  • Not really wanting it (i.e. you’re not motivated)
  • Lack of confidence

And more!


Start believing in yourself.

Success isn’t easy. If it were easy, then everyone would be extremely successful and that word wouldn’t even exist.

To take control of your life and to be successful, you need to start believing in yourself and stop making excuses.

Next time you think “That’s not possible for me because of (your excuse),” you should think instead about how you can make your goal a reality.

You NEED to admit that you are making excuses, because until you admit that, you will most likely just continue making them.

Yes, it may be a little difficult to change your mindset in the beginning, but as time passes you’ll realize that your excuses were just a waste of time and thought. Because, if you really want something, you can find ways to make it a reality.

Related: Be More Confident And Get What You Want In Life

What excuses have you made in the past? Do you believe that making excuses can hold a person back?


Filed under:

Michelle Schroeder-Gardner

Author: Michelle Schroeder-Gardner

Hey! I’m Michelle Schroeder-Gardner and I am the founder of Making Sense of Cents. I’m passionate about all things personal finance, side hustles, making extra money, and online businesses. I have been featured in major publications such as Forbes, CNBC, Time, and Business Insider. Learn more here.

Like this article?

Join the Conversation

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

  1. is never too late to strt to save, yes is better do it soon but isn’t a mission impossible I’m sure is fun also find good things to do with your friends that are absolutely free (your wallet and soul will thank you)

    1. Yes, there are tons of things to do for free ๐Ÿ˜‰

  2. Oh yes, excuses definitely hold me back. My “old” excuses were that I didn’t earn enough in my job to get ahead, and that everything was so expensive. Those excuses weren’t really true, and they definitely weren’t helping me get ahead.

  3. Kalie @ Pretend to Be Poor

    I’ve definitely made excuses due to fear. Fortunately my fearless husband doesn’t let me get away with it, though! These fears probably didn’t hold me back financially as much as in other areas.

    1. Yes, everyone’s made excuses. It’s all about facing those fears!

  4. Kate @ Cashville Skyline

    Yes, I’ve done this a lot in the past because I was scared. First, I was scared to change careers, then I was afraid to work for myself. Excuses, everywhere! But both of these moves have made me much happier and helped me earn more money.

  5. David @ Thinking Thrifty

    I was this very person less than 12 months ago. I didn’t earn enough, my outgoings were too high, I’d have to live like a nun, I don’t have the same wealthy parents to help me with a house! I could go on and on, but in short I was lying to myself. I just didn’t have a plan and lacked the motivation to make one. As simple as that first budget seemed last year, it was the making of me. It got me focused on where my money goes, I quit the champagne lifestyle, kicked smoking into touch, made meal plans and viola, ยฃ500 per month spare already! Until you switch to an abundance mentality and open your eyes to the possibility of opportunities rather than the scarcity of them you’re jogging through quicksand!

    1. Great job on stopping the excuses!

    2. Great points and congrats on quitting smoking!

  6. Amanda

    I think we’re all guilty of making excuses from time to time. I try to keep in mind that I tend to make excuses when I feel uncomfortable (usually due to fear) about doing something. But the only way to make real progress is to get a little uncomfortable. When I think about it that way, it’s easier to overcome the excuses.

  7. Mrs. Picky Pincher

    This is great advice. I think this is the reason we struggled with our finances for so long–we didn’t think any of this was possible. But after reading Mr. Money Mustache, who can be a little extreme, we found ways to mold Mustachian Frugality into our lives without sacrificing a few creature comforts.

    We used to live paycheck to paycheck and weren’t able to save anything at the end of the month. Now we have emergency savings, financed a kitchen remodel with cash, and save 50% of our income. We just started our badass student loan payoff plan ($65,000 in 18 months!), and it’s all thanks to ditching the excuses. I’ve done things I never imagined I would do.

    Just remember that it’s okay to be the “weird” one, especially if it means having financial freedom.

    1. Yes, it’s always okay to be the “weird one” ๐Ÿ™‚

  8. Josh @MoneyBuffalo

    I’m real good at making excuses. I like how you mentioned to quit comparing ourselves to others. The stats of how many people live paycheck & haven’t saved for the future is reason enough beyond the typical “Keeping up with the Joneses” cliche.

    But, comapring yourself to a bootstrap millionaire or somebody who got out of debt can be a great motivation if you can follow their success steps in baby steps.

    1. Yes, comparing yourself isn’t always bad, but it’s bad if you’re being unrealistic and doing so in a negative way.

  9. Nicki

    Boy… you hit the nail on the head with the excuses list. I’m guilty of quite a few. I realize I need to change,but don’t know where to start. Motivation I have, just a faulty compass. Lol

    1. Haha! ๐Ÿ™‚ Thanks for reading.

    2. I am experiencing the same, Nikki! After a night out with an old classmate and chatting about our positions all he could tell me was “quit making excuses” I know I want out, I’ve made a “budget’ page 12 times lol. I know I’ve got what it takes but it’s like I’m spinning around [in the same place] in a cloud of smoke…but I finally think it’s sinking in.

      Good luck to you, N!

  10. I’m the Queen of excuses and it drives me mad! All of it is down to fear of failure for me which is crazy too.
    I’m really working on getting rid of the excuses and just doing it!

  11. Lindsey

    I used to make so many excuses as to why I couldn’t be successful or why I couldn’t save any money. I once believed I didn’t have any time to do the things I wanted. Come to find out, I just needed to reprioritize and spend less time in front of the TV

  12. Great post! I did have a time in my life where I literally could not save any money. My budget was literally down to the dollar and I felt like crap about it, but there just wasn’t anything I could do about it. I think there are times when you truly cannot. However, it was a temporary and not something that I could have allowed to go on forever. I’d have had to do something about it, and I did.

    1. Glad you did something about it ๐Ÿ™‚

  13. re: “Instead of finding reasons for why you shouldnโ€™t pursue a goal, you should spend your time creating a plan to achieve your dream life.”

    Love this! Making a plan is great – it’s empowering to know that you’ve figured out a way to get what you want, that you’re no longer going to be a victim of circumstance. And even if one hasn’t figured out a plan just yet, taking steps towards creating one (even if only at the brainstorming stage) is a step towards getting to the dream life stage – we all have to start somewhere!

  14. Natasha

    You preached real good on this one! I’ll soon not be an average person. Got 3 out of 5 in the bag. Working on the first two. Thank you!

  15. Yes!! This post is so great. It’s all about intentional living and being thoughtful with your life.

  16. Rohit Malhotra

    I agree to your post as I am guilty of comparing myself to others and have made excuses of not starting and doing something. I have started focusing on doing just one thing a day for my business which will help my goals.

    Rohit I Lifeselfmastery

  17. Excellent post. People don’t realize that they become what they say and think. If someone keeps saying that they will never do well with money, they won’t. Those excuses and negative thoughts need to be replaced with positive ones. Once they do that, I’m sure things will get better for them.