Stop Feeling Bad For Yourself: Quit Making Excuses For Why Life Isn’t Better

He that is good for making excuses is seldom good for anything else. ― Benjamin Franklin Excuses are what holds a person back. I know this because I hear excuses nearly every single day, and I have made many of my own as well. People make excuses all the time, but then claim that it’s…

Michelle Schroeder-Gardner

Last Updated: May 26, 2023

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He that is good for making excuses is seldom good for anything else. ― Benjamin Franklin

Excuses are what holds a person back. I know this because I hear excuses nearly every single day, and I have made many of my own as well.

I have heard people making excuses countless times for why they don't have a good life. Instead of feeling bad for yourself, start changing your life and stop making excuses. #excuses #quotePeople make excuses all the time, but then claim that it’s not actually an “excuse” that they are making.

But, what exactly is an excuse?

The definition of excuse (from Google) is “a reason or explanation put forward to defend or justify a fault or offense.”

People make excuses for all sorts of things. There are excuses for why a person can’t get the job they want, why debt can’t be paid off, why a person needs a brand new car, why a person can’t improve their lives, and so on.

Now, I’m not saying that life isn’t difficult or that everyone else’s life is perfect. Everyone has experienced difficulties – no matter how great you may perceive a person’s life to be.

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 (fill in the blank with 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.

So, right now, I want you to stop feeling bad for yourself, stop making excuses for why someone has a better life than you, stop making excuses for why you can’t reach your dreams, and more.

Start improving your life right now – don’t wait until tomorrow (please, don’t give me that excuse!), don’t wait until next year, don’t wait until you have saved more money, and so on.

Start changing your life for the better, NOW.

Yes, this is a “tough love” article. I’m not going to baby anyone, and sadly, making excuses holds a lot of people back. I see excuses nearly everyday on social media, and it just makes me sad.

Excuses are a waste of time, they won’t fix your problems, they hold you back, and they won’t help you and/or your future at all.

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Stop making excuses!

When was the last time you said:

  • That person had a better start than me so there’s no point in me even trying.
  • I can’t pay off my debt because _____ (fill in the blank).
  • I need a new car or I can’t work!
  • I don’t have time to make extra money.
  • 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, so saving for retirement isn’t something I need to do.
  • The city I live in is too expensive to save money.
  • It’s too late for me to start saving money.

The problem with finding 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 when you’re stressed or when you just feel defeated. But, that just won’t get you anywhere!


By making excuses, you’re wasting your time.

I have a motto in life that I say to myself and to my husband quite often.

Will I spend more time thinking about doing something than it would actually take me to do it?

Instead of wasting time thinking about excuses, eventually dwelling in regret, living a life of “what- ifs”, and so on, I usually just say yes to something and find a way to make it happen. It can be hard, but new experiences can be great, and stepping outside of your comfort zone can change your life.

Making excuses means that you’re wasting time by not even trying.

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.

And, you’re better than that!

Related content: 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.

As you can see, the average person has a lot of work to do to get their financial life on track.

Now, like I said earlier, I realize that some people have situations that they cannot help, such as medical debt, an unexpected job loss, etc. However, making excuses will not fix your problems either.

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.

So, stop finding excuses and start realizing how you can change your life.

So, please Stop Using These Ridiculous Excuses For Not Saving Money.


Stop comparing yourself to others.

When making excuses, you may find that you are 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.


Quit making excuses for why things can’t happen for you.

If you truly want something and you want to learn how to better yourself, you’ll make it happen. Instead of feeling sorry for yourself and believing that you can’t reach a goal, figure out what YOU need to do in order to be successful.

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 are constantly finding 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 or lacking motivation.
  • Lack of confidence.

And more!

A lot of the time, the reason you make excuses for certain things is deeply rooted in past experiences, a lack of confidence, lack of motivation, and more. However, by finding what’s holding you back, you’ll be able to move forward in reaching your goals.


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.

Think about what you are good at, think about successes you have had, and see those things as evidence for how you can succeed. Everyone has it in them, but sometimes we forget that we have already overcome things.

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

You also 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

Are you guilty of finding excuses for why things don’t or can’t go your way? What are you doing to stop making excuses?

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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.

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  1. Great post Michelle. If I had a kid the one thing I would teach him or her early on in life is that life is indeed unfair. Period. Accept it and get over it.

    Once you realize that reality you can accept the bad things that happen to you for what they are, and do something to fix them.

  2. Whymances

    Well said! I’ve heard that most behaviour changes only after it’s more painful to keep things as is than it is to change it. I’m pretty sure that would change drastically if there was a way to quantify the intangible impacts. Like measuring the emotional stress of debt.

  3. really interesting post, thanks for sharing!!!

  4. Mike – Budget Kitty

    You’re so right. People are always quick to make an excuse when they don’t have something they want (I confess I’m guilty of it too) but making excuses and complaining about how unfair life is won’t solve your problems. Eventually you have to look in the mirror and decide to make some changes if you want to improve your life.

  5. Sean @ Frugal Money Man

    I believe the comparison game is what starts the majority of excuses for those who struggle with their finances. They see someone who seems to have nicer things, and then automatically assume that they can’t get that same thing. They feel like it will be to much work to catch up to that person, so they don’t even end up trying. Unfortunately for those who make excuses, that will never help their finances.

    Personal Finance is a simple math equation that doesn’t care about emotions. You need to increase your income/assets and decrease your liabilities. It’s really that simple when it comes to improving your financial situation. Crying about it won’t help your situation!

  6. Interesting. Did you like the book?

  7. I agree with this. I hate when I hear the excuse “That person had a better start than me so there’s no point in me even trying.”

    I’m SURE I’m guilty of making excuses myself, but when I see a success story I see a possibility. Some of my peers see something totally unobtainable. But it’s a matter of turning those big pictures and success stories on Forbes, and your blog (!), and seeing how you can take SMALL lessons to make BIG changes for yourself.

  8. If a person wants to change their life, they have to change their mindset and do the transformation work.

  9. Oh, I love this! The one that really sticks out to me is “comparing yourself to others.” The comparison trap used to get me all the time–ALL THE TIME!

    I’d see someone in a similar niche as me and immediately start comparing my progress and results. It’s taken years of experience for it to really sink in that everyone’s story/journey is different.

    Instead of comparison, I think collaboration and creation mode instead–this has helped me tremendously!

    Thanks for this post! xoxo

  10. Bernz JP

    Excuses, excuses, excuses! Heard this so many times. One of my favorite books is Brian Tracy’s “No Excuses”. Here he says making excuses is a disease and he calls it “excusitis”. Self-discipline and self-control is the key. You cannot keep making excuses and expect progress. This is a great reminder post to all of us who procrastinates all the time. Back to work folks!

    1. I’ll have to check that book out!

  11. Mrs. Picky Pincher

    I really do think excuses are a mental barrier that make us poor. I remember telling my husband once that I didn’t think we’d EVER get out of debt; it was impossible because of X, Y, and Z. But the second you stop listing reasons something is impossible, you can invest that time thinking up actual solutions.

    1. Yes!!!! This is true for so many people.

  12. I have a note above my desk, saying “do you know anyone who has the same excuse that is successful anyway?” It’s very motivating!

    1. That’s a great way to stay motivated 🙂

  13. Tyler DeBroux

    Awesome post! Sometimes we can be our own worst enemy, our brains try to put so much energy into convincing outselves (coming up with excuses) for why we can’t do something or a tasks sometimes. It’s differently a mental game sometimes.

  14. MissSaraBee

    I agree with everything you say about excuses. They are toxic, and prevent us from reaching our full potential.

    I feel excuses have become more prevalent recently, and I feel this is due to the increase in media, social sites, and advertisements. Marketing forces us to compare ourselves to others. The more you compare yourself to others, the more you tend to think you cannot accomplish goals without external assistance.

    I think the first step to stop yourself from making excuses is to recognize the prevalence of marketing in your life.

    After going on a low-information diet, I found myself taking more initiative. I was no longer comparing myself to others every second of the day, so I didn’t have an automatic comparison barrier to my goals. A low information diet is an easy action item you can implement immediately to take the first steps toward an excuse-free lifestyle. I highly recommend it to anyone feeling confused on where to start their journey.

    1. That’s a great idea. Thanks for sharing!

  15. Christine

    Ok so I’m obviously SUPER behind on my blog reading but I REALLY needed to hear this right now! I’ve had some things come up in my life that I WANT to have money for but unless I bring in some other income, it’s just not feasible! At first, I was feeling bad for myself that I wasn’t able to do this thing, and then I started thinking that if that REALLY IS my goal, I need to work harder for it! Thanks for the kick in the pants. 😉

  16. Ahhh just the post I needed to read today! Thanks for the tough love. Instead of feeling sorry for myself, and making excuses of why I’m not successful, I need to use that energy to better my life.

  17. This was a great article. Excuses ruin so many chances for positive change in people’s lives. You have to push past the doubt. You have to realize when you think you’ve given enough to accomplish your goals, you’ll actually need to give 5 times that much. It’s hard work, but this is a great reminder that it does pay off!

  18. Totally agree! We are a product of our decisions not our circumstances:) great article thanks Michelle