Making, managing, and multiplying money are the basic principles of building financial freedom and stability. Saving is one of the ways to multiply money.
However, most people do not know that, like every endeavor, there are barriers to saving money effectively.
In a time when many apps and online tools make saving easy, it can be surprising to know that many people still need help saving money consistently.
This leaves us with a lot of unanswered questions like, “What hinders people from saving?” or “What problem do people have with money?”
Failing to save can limit the growth of your finances. Along with indiscipline, a poor saving habit can make you miss out on rare opportunities, put you in debt or leave you powerless in an emergency.
However, it is essential to know that anyone can learn and grow into a pro at saving. Of course, there will be times when you might spend carelessly or forget to save, but if you continue at it, saving money will become as natural as breathing.
There is no better way to develop a skill or habit than getting familiar with the challenges you might face as you grow.
Getting familiar with these challenges makes handling them easier, especially when you come up against them as you learn to save.
In this article, you will find answers to common questions about saving, understand the most common barriers to saving money, why you are experiencing them, and how you can get over them.
Why Do People Have Trouble Saving Money?
A question like “Why do people have trouble saving money?” is one of the many questions people ask when they want to learn how to save money.
There are many reasons why people struggle to save, but the main reason is simply a lack of willpower. Learning or deciding to save begins with a firm decision to remain committed until your savings goals are achieved.
The primary reason why people fail at saving money is that they do not have a strong and well-defined reason for doing so. A solid and clear reason for saving will keep you going even when you do not feel like being disciplined with your finances.
What Are The Challenges Of Saving Money?
Another vital question people ask when they get curious about saving money is, “What are the challenges of saving money?”
The challenges or barriers to saving money are numerous. However, they vary from personal reasons like procrastination to factors like emergencies.
Here are the top 10 challenges or barriers to saving money that people experience in their attempt to save.
10 Barriers To Saving Money
“Never put off until tomorrow what may be done the day after tomorrow as well.”—Mark Twain.
Procrastination is one of the primary reasons why people are very poor at saving. If you ask a person why they failed to save today, they would come up with an excuse and would promise to save the next day.
To understand how procrastination affects our ability to save, we must first understand why people procrastinate.
The thing is, procrastination is more about psychology and mindset than it is about the action itself. People procrastinate because they prefer instant satisfaction to waiting for something more pleasant.
Spending or splurging on your favorite food or clothes is more satisfying than saving money and watching it pile up. This is the major reason why most people procrastinate.
Just in the same way, procrastination can affect your productivity; it can also make it difficult for you to save properly.
The key to dealing with procrastination as one of the many barriers to saving money is consciously prioritizing delayed gratification over instant satisfaction. Choosing to live by this mindset creates a principle and foundation that you can use to handle your finances.
2. Lack Of Self-discipline
“With self-discipline, almost anything is achievable.” —Theodore Roosevelt.
Self-discipline is the ability to do what you should do, even when you do not feel like it. Self-discipline is forgoing instant gratification for something that has long-term value.
For success in any area of life, self-discipline is the basic skill required for excellence, including the habit of saving. The unpleasant truth is that saving is not a very enjoyable habit.
To save properly, you need to learn to put your needs before the things you love and enjoy. That takes a degree of willpower and motivation that only self-discipline can give.
One of the many reasons it is sometimes difficult to save money is that most people either have low self-discipline or do not have it.
A lack of self-discipline will support bad spending habits, increase debt and place you in situations where you cannot handle your financial responsibilities.
If you want to learn how to save consistently, you will have to take your self-discipline more seriously. You might wonder, “If self-discipline is so important to saving money, why do people struggle with it?”
A big reason is negative emotional behaviors. One of the reasons why being self-disciplined can be tough is simply because of existing behaviors that are hard to break. Self-discipline threatens those existing patterns (habits).
So, it becomes a tug of war between what is necessary and what is easy. A classic example is a habit like retail therapy or spending money because you feel sad. After a long period of engaging in them, breaking free become a serious challenge.
3. Awful Spending Habits
“Do not save what is left after spending but spend what is left after saving.” —Warren Buffet.
Terrible spending habits do not allow us to make the best use of the money available to us at a time. It makes us satisfy immediate wants or cravings without an awareness of tomorrow’s needs.
Among the many barriers to saving money, terrible spending habits are among the most dangerous. Nothing can wreck a person financially like impulsive spending.
Apart from the fact that it leaves your bank account empty, it makes it challenging to meet up with financial plans for the future or handle responsibilities.
Spending carelessly begins with being unable to manage your cravings or wants, making you make impulsive financial decisions. Squandering money is proof of poor self-discipline.
The absence of self-discipline gives room for many harmful habits, and careless spending is not exempted from the list. When people spend carelessly, they prioritize their wants over their needs.
That decision makes it difficult for them to pay debts or handle emergencies. Three factors are common among people that overspend. They’re usually in debt, regret their overspending habit, and have no savings to fall back on.
If you struggle with spending carelessly, there is no better time to control the habit than now. We live in an age where money and financial trends are as unstable as ever.
Building a solid saving culture should become a priority to avoid finding yourself in a dangerous financial state. Here are three reasons why you overspend or spend carelessly.
-You struggle with low self-esteem, so spending money boosts how you see or feel about yourself.
– You do not know how to budget or plan your money.
-You are easily influenced by peer pressure of some sort.
Controlling careless spending to improve your saving skills begins with cutting off certain things you spend money on. Check out 15 things you should stop buying to save more money here. It explains ways you can control your spending to manage your finances better.
4. Lack Of Priorities And Goals
“Don’t tell me where your priorities are, show me where you spend your money, and I’ll tell you what they are.” —James W. Frick.
Priorities are what we place above every other thing in our lives. Our priorities range from our dreams and desires to habits or interests.
Although our priorities may not be the same, they directly affect the kind of goals we set and how we achieve them.
For example, if a person prioritizes financial stability and growth, their goals revolve around supporting that priority, like learning to save and invest money.
As the quote above shows, how you spend, use, or manage your money clearly shows your priorities.
One of the many barriers to saving money is the absence of priorities or clear financial goals. A person who doesn’t have financial priority of any sort will fail to save, budget, and eventually spend carelessly.
Priorities help us focus on the most pressing and essential things rather than frivolous things that can wait.
Clear priorities and goals keep you mindful enough to save money and spend wisely. Having priorities and clear goals is one of the many solutions to managing overspending habits.
Having no priorities or goals for your finances is like trying to drive a car with a wet windscreen. It will be difficult because your view is blurry, making it almost impossible to see compared to driving with a dry, clear windscreen.
With the right financial priorities and goals, you can easily focus on saving and managing your money. If you do not know where to start with setting goals, read about the 15 simple financial goals you can set here.
“Better be born than untaught, for ignorance is the root of misfortune.” —Plato.
Ignorance includes lacking the skills, knowledge, or tools to make smart decisions. Ignorance is dangerous for anyone, especially when it involves finances.
When discussing the barriers to saving money, being ignorant of how to manage finances is one of the many reasons it is sometimes difficult to save money.
Ignorance isn’t always deep-seated. Sometimes, it is as simple as not knowing that taxes on savings interest can hinder saving culture, not knowing that there are online tools to help you save or track spending.
It might even be as simple as not knowing that saving money is a healthy habit for building financial stability. However, in an age where information can be easily accessed, being ignorant of how to manage your finances is a choice.
Here are possible reasons why ignorance is a barrier to your attempts to save money.
1. You do not read books or spend time learning about financial topics.
2. You lack a growth mindset.
3. You expose yourself to the wrong environment of people and information.
The best way to handle ignorance is to make learning a priority. Make it a habit to read at least a book based on finances once a month. Take courses, and attend seminars or lectures on financial-related themes.
If you have a short attention span, threads on Twitter or articles can help. Read 15 simple ways to improve your finances today here to learn about building financial stability.
And if you do not like books, then video content on YouTube and TikTok or audio content like podcasts/audiobooks are excellent replacements. However, no matter the learning channel you choose, prioritize learning daily.
6. High Cost Of Living
“What some people mistake as the high cost of living is really the cost of living high.” —Doug Larson.
Sometimes, our inability to save isn’t always our fault but the fault of our immediate environment or situation.
Among the many external factors or barriers to saving, the high cost of living is another reason why people struggle to save.
The high cost of living refers to the money it takes to live comfortably in an environment. It ranges from food prices, transportation, and other expenses that must be met for the average person to survive in the modern world.
Saving money is an act of financial discipline that every person interested in financial stability should learn.
However, it becomes challenging to put money aside for future use when there is barely enough to attend to the daily needs and responsibilities of the average person.
It is exceptionally worse in nations or locations experiencing a recession, inflation, or economic crisis. Living in an environment like that indirectly implies that most of your finances must be directed towards basic life needs like feeding and bills.
Here are a few reasons why the high cost of living might affect your ability to save.
1. You do not earn enough money.
2. You stay in an environment where living costs are way above your earning power.
3. You are poor at managing money.
Unlike what most people know, staying in an environment where the cost of living is expensive has more effects on personal finance than they think.
The best way to curb it is to either increase earning power and improve money management skills or move out of that environment.
7. Low-earning Power
“Never depend on a single income. Make investments to create a second one.” —Warren Buffet.
Another one of the many barriers to saving money is your earning power, i.e. how much you earn on a weekly or monthly basis.
Your earning power determines and influences a lot of things about your finances. First, it affects the quality of life you live. Secondly, it influences how much you can invest or save.
This means that low-income earners will have less quality of life and even struggle to save money. It also means that more discipline and management skills will be required to make the best use of their income.
This is completely different for people earning higher since they can afford to handle their bills easily and still have enough to save.
If you earn less money, factors like a high cost of living can make it challenging for you to consistently. What is the point of saving money when you don’t even have enough to handle your feeding and other needs?
Whatever category you fall into, your earning power is not permanent. What this means is that you can work toward improving your earning power. You can start by gaining high-value skills, scouting for a job, or starting a business.
There are jobs or career paths to choose, but whichever one you choose, make sure that it increases your earning power and makes it easier to save money.
“Debt is like any other trap, easy enough to get into but hard enough to get out of.”— Henry Wheeler Shaw.
Debt is one of the barriers to saving money that should be avoided as much as possible. As the quote says, getting into debt and accumulating it is easy, but paying it all back can be an intense struggle.
Being in debt leaves you with more financial loads to carry. The money that should be saved or invested becomes a tool for clearing debt. No matter how small it might look, debt slows down your savings and prevents you from saving money.
The problem with debt most times is that when it is not managed correctly, it evolves into a vicious cycle. In this cycle, instead of saving money, you have to pay up your debt.
And then, when other expenses come, you borrow to cover them. The cycle continues with paying your debt instead of saving, and then more expenses show up.
The key to breaking out of debt is building self-discipline and learning how to manage your finances.
9. Poor Planning/Budgeting
“A budget is telling your money where to go instead of wondering where it went.”— Dave Ramsey.
There are a lot of barriers to saving money, and one of them is poor planning and budgeting.
Money is an unstable entity. It flows; hence it must be managed appropriately to remain with whoever owns it. Failure to do so will result in loss.
One trait you will notice about people with poor saving habits is that they fail to budget or plan how they intend to spend their money. Hence, spending carelessly is inevitable.
Budgeting helps you choose your current priorities and allocate money to handle them while giving room for accountability. Living by a budget lets you track where your money goes and improves your ability to make smart financial decisions.
If you struggle with saving money, then there is a high possibility that you do not budget or plan your expenses.
10. Unforeseen Circumstances And Emergencies
“It is better to be prepared for unforeseen life events that you’ll experience rather than experiencing unforeseen life events that you are not prepared for.”— Patrice Samuel Robinson.
Nothing limits your ability to save, like a situation you are unprepared for. Like debt, emergencies can sweep you clean of money or savings you already have. One of the most significant barriers to savings is emergencies or unforeseen situations.
Emergencies like accidents and unpleasant life situations can hinder your ability to save, especially when you find yourself in them consistently.
Unforeseen circumstances and emergencies be a barrier to your saving culture. It shows you why people should be committed to saving money—to be prepared for the best and the worse of what life throws at us.
Emergencies do not occur every day, but a single unpleasant situation can strip you of your previous savings and hinder your ability to save for months.
The barriers to saving can make the difference between financial success and failure. Managing or getting rid of them will catapult you from being broke and in debt to investing in your growth.
You must never forget that getting out of these barriers is possible no matter how long you might have struggled with them.
You can build a solid and healthy habit of saving money using what you have learned in this article and other resources like the 21 Days To A New Habit Resource.
The road to financial success and fulfillment begins with small baby steps. Be brave enough to take yours.
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