Are Excuses Causing You To Be Bad With Money?

If it is important to you, you will find a way. If not you will find an excuse.” ― Anonymous As a financial writer, I hear a lot of reasons for why a person can’t pay off debt, save more money, retire, travel more, and so on. While some of these are legitimate reasons and…

Michelle Schroeder-Gardner

Last Updated: May 27, 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 it is important to you, you will find a way. If not you will find an excuse.” ― Anonymous

Are Excuses Causing You To Be Bad With Money? #badwithmoney #moneymanagementtipsAs a financial writer, I hear a lot of reasons for why a person can’t pay off debt, save more money, retire, travel more, and so on. While some of these are legitimate reasons and there are people who are stuck in a bad situation, I find that some people are just bad with money.

I honestly do know that some people have a much harder life than others.

But, I’m talking about people who keep justifying poor financial choices with excuses that prevent them from living the life they want.

These are things like why someone “needs” a brand new car or huge house. Choosing those things doesn’t make you bad with money, it’s when you let them be the reason you aren’t able to work towards more important financial goals.

If you want to be better with your money, you’re going to have to stop making excuses and start making better choices.

Just think about the last time you said, “That won’t work for me because (fill in the blank with your excuse here).” Again, 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 they are bad with money.

So, today’s blog post is going to be a “tough love” article about changing your mindset so you can stop being bad with money.

I want you to start improving your life right now – don’t wait until tomorrow (please, don’t give me that excuse!), don’t wait until next year, and so on.

Start making better financial choices right NOW so that you can change your life for the better.

As you read through this post, I want you to think a lot about the excuses you’ve made in the past and remember that they won’t help you make better financial decisions, they hold you back, and they won’t help you and/or your future at all.

Related content:


Have you told yourself any of these reasons for why you’re bad with money?

When was the last time you said:

  • What if I fail? I don’t want to look stupid.
  • That person had an earlier 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 brand new car or I can’t go to 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. Good luck trying that on the east (or west) coast.
  • It’s too late for me to start saving money.

These are all excuses I’ve personally heard.

Now, I know some of these are legitimate reasons. But, I’m talking about when you use them as excuses that hold you back from reaching your goals.

Think about this quote: “If it is important to you, you will find a way. If not, you will find an excuse.” – Anonymous

If something is really important to you, you will find a way to make it happen.

However, if you keep making excuses for poor financial decisions, you are starting a bad habit that can hold you back from ever reaching 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 to stop being bad with money, 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 used to be very bad with money. I bought clothes I never wore, spent too much money on going out to eat, and so on. I told myself I deserved those things, but really I should have been making better choices with my money.

Now, if I want to do something like that, I plan for each purchase and think about what other things I could be doing with that money.

Sure, it’s nice every now and then to just spend freely, but unless it’s in your budget, this will keep you from reaching your goals.


Excuses are a complete waste of your time.

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

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

So many people spend time thinking about excuses for things, dwelling in regret, and constantly living a life of “what-ifs.” But, that’s time and energy you could be using to change your life.

It can be hard, but stepping outside of your comfort zone and challenging yourself 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


Don’t use averages as an excuse for why you’re bad with your money.

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. So, don’t just look at those statistics and think that it’s okay if your finances aren’t doing well.

There are lots of people who fall into those statistics for legitimate reasons.

But, there are others who use those statistics to justify not working harder for the things they want.

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 using averages as an excuse for why you’re bad with money and start realizing how you can change your life.

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


Stop trying to keep up with others.

Often, people are bad with money because they want to keep up with what other people are doing. You see your friend buy a brand new car and think you need one too. You get on Facebook and see someone from high school going on an amazing vacation and think you deserve a vacation.

However, you don’t know anyone else’s financial situation but yours.

Maybe these people went into tons of debt to “afford” these things. Maybe they really can afford them. You don’t know and it doesn’t matter.

The only thing that matters is what’s going on in your life.

If you want to go on vacation, start saving to make it happen. If you want to buy a new car, think about how having a large monthly car payment will affect what you can put towards retirement. 

You don’t deserve something because someone else has it – you deserve it if you can make it happen.


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 for why people make excuses include:

  • Fear of not reaching a goal, failure, hard work, etc.
  • Being scared.
  • A feeling/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 why you are bad with money is deeply rooted in past experiences, a lack of confidence, lack of motivation, and more. But, when you find out what’s holding you back, you’ll be able to move forward in reaching your goals.


Believe in yourself.

You might be bad with money now, but that doesn’t mean you can’t change your life for the better.

To take control of your life and to be successful with your finances, you need to start believing that you can do it.

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 energy. Because, if you really want to make a better financial life for yourself, you can find ways to make it a reality.

Reaching your goal will take time, and there might be setbacks (there probably will be – that is only normal!), but your goal for making a better financial future is only impossible if you quit before you get there.

Do you think that a person’s mindset can impact how well they do with money? What excuses have you made in the past?

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. I must admit that I’m guilty of spending like crazy in the past buying all kinds of stuff, such as Polo Ralph Lauren, Nike Air Jordan retro sneakers, dress shoes, recently purchased suits at very good prices, and venturing occasionally to and from the Polo outlet store in Rehoboth Beach, Delaware. I calmed down my spending now as a “side hustle millionaire” in the making, because I’m now a new PPC advertiser on the Microsoft Bing paid advertising network, and slowly but surely transitioning into heavily promoting affiliate links. I must admit that I’ve been bad with money in the past. But the good news is, I’m doing the transformation work today to re-rail my new financial habits as a [side hustle millionaire] in training. Hopefully my past experiences in being bad with money will help me make better financial decisions today. ๐Ÿ™‚

  2. Cheryl

    Hi Michelle,

    This is a great article about bad spending habits and I can definitely relate to the difficulty of differentiating between “needs” and “wants”. Sometimes we ask ourselves what the point of earning money is if we don’t get to spend it but you definitely hit the nail on the head with this article. I am also a strong believer that if you really want to do something, you’ll always find a way to do it.

  3. Thanks for the tough love, Michelle! I love the no-nonsense tone of it, as it reflects how I view life ๐Ÿ˜‰ I agree 100% with you. We often assume a “victim” stance and allow our excuses to become our reasons. Trying hard to make positive changes and having setbacks is normal, and to be expected… not trying at all is a direct path to failure.

  4. Hi Michelle, thank you for sharing this post. I enjoy how you linked excuses with time. You have been able to help me reorganize my priorities.

  5. Shari J

    Michelle this is a great article! In the past I remember telling my self I can’t pay off my debt because I make too little, but it was honestly out of the fear of the unknown. That fear of how will I survive after I make this steep and hefty payment. You really nailed those thoughts and feelings people have regarding paying off debt right on the head! Thank you for this great article.