Why is it so Hard to Save Money? (And what you can do about it)

You know what I want to know? Why is it so hard to save money? Why isn’t it easier? You know, like spending money. That’s easy. That’s super easy. But saving it? That’s a whole other challenge.  I don’t know about you, but I’ve asked myself many times before, “why is it so hard for me to save money?”

Well, the truth is, I do know why it’s so hard to save money and today I want to talk about that. Because if we break down why it’s so hard to save money, we can start looking at ways to fix the problem.

Once you realize why the problem is happening, that’s when you can solve it.

I grew up without a lot of money. During my whole upbringing my family struggled financially. When I hit my 20s I wasn’t great with money management. I didn’t get into any kind of crazy financial trouble, but one of my biggest issues was that I wasn’t saving any money.

Why is it so important to save money anyways?

But why should you save in the first place? I mean, maybe you are one of those people that are fine with not travelling, don’t have an eye on any big ticket items, and are fine living day to day with whatever expenses you have. Maybe you cover those expenses just fine and you don’t see the need for saving money.

But the truth of the matter is, even if you don’t have your eye on anything worth saving for, sooner or later you will have an emergency that will require money you don’t have. Whether it be something breaking in your house, or an illness that leaves you unable to work, eventually it will come. It’s not a matter of of if, but when.

Why is it so hard to save money?


1. Because we haven’t been properly taught.

Many of us just haven’t been taught how to save money. It’s not really something they teach in school, and not all parents think to teach this life skill, or some parents haven’t learned it themselves. The good news is, just because we haven’t been taught doesn’t mean it’s hopeless. You can learn, and it’s never too late to start saving.

2. Because our living expenses are super high.

Living expenses are getting crazier by the day. It’s hard to save money when you don’t have any wiggle room in your budget, yet you are only paying for necessities. We’ll talk a little later in this post about what to do in this kind of situation.

3. Because we aren’t good at delaying gratification

Let’s be real with ourselves here – we want what we want when we want it. Most of us are guilty of this at some point. I know I am. It’s hard to wait, especially when the world tells us we deserve it, or we should have something because everyone has something.

4. Because unexpected expenses come up

And this is exactly why we need to save money. Because a dental bill you didn’t plan for comes up, or a child’s glasses broke, or your shoes fell apart and now you need a new pair. It always seems to be something.

So, we now know WHY it is so hard to save money. Let’s talk about how to overcome these challenges and save regardless of the obstacles in our way.

How to save Money when it’s so Difficult


1. Learn how to budget.

If you are someone who hasn’t been taught how to save properly, you are in luck. Thanks to the Internet you can find resources very easily to teach you. If you need extra ways to save money, here are 80 ways to save money. If you need to learn how to budget, check out this post here by Jessi Fearon.

2. Cut expenses, even if your living expenses are high.

Look at your expenses and cut what you can from your budget. But what if your living expenses are too high and there is no extra money above and beyond what you need to pay for to live? Well, it might be time to consider downsizing.

I know it isn’t easy to make that decision, but it is possible. My husband and I just made the decision to downsize by selling our country home and moving 7 hours north to an area where there is more affordable housing. It wasn’t an easy decision but financially it was a wise decision for us.

If moving seems too scary, check out all these ways you can downsize without moving.

I’ll be writing more about this move we made and the financial impact it is having as we become more settled over time, but to sum it up, we wanted more wiggle room in our budget. We loved our current house but at the time we bought as much house as we could afford and we didn’t like the stress that came with that decision.

3. Learn to delay gratification

In recent years I’ve learned to very rarely buy something I decide I need while I am in the store. It’s amazing what you think you need when you see it on the shelf, but by the time you’ve returned home you’ve forgotten all about it.

For example, one day I was shopping and I saw this shiny, pretty, red kettle that I suddenly had to have. Sure, I’ve never needed it before that moment, but suddenly it was all I could think about as I was mesmerized by it’s beauty (some people like shoes, and cars, but for me, my weakness is apparently a red kettle.)

Anyways, I did not get it. I somehow mustered the self-control I needed to get out of that store without that kettle.

And not long after I had forgotten about the kettle. And now, years later, I realize I have a perfectly good kettle, even if it isn’t red. I don’t need to spend money on another one.

If you are struggling with impulse control at the store, consider the 30 day rule (or even a 14 day rule.) The rule is that if you are in the store and see something you want, wait the set amount of days. If 14 or 30 days pass by and you still can’t stop thinking about it, go out and buy it –IF YOU HAVE THE MONEY.

I think you’ll find more often than not you don’t need it anymore.

Also, while we are on the subject of impulse buys, consider saving for as many items as you can instead of financing them. We try to stick to only financing our house, and the odd time financing a vehicle, though most of the time we buy those outright too. The less financing you do, the more money you have for savings.

4. Put away whatever you can for those unexpected expenses.

Even if you can only put a little money away at a time, this will go a long way to covering those unexpected expenses, allowing you to save for more. If you can only put away ten dollars a month, put it away. It may not seem like much but it’s at least SOMETHING that can help ease the burden if something happens that you need some extra money for.


Slow, baby steps are better than nothing

Sometimes we compare ourselves to others and feel that if we can’t save a whole lot of money why even try. But if you take small, slow baby steps you will make progress. Progress is still progress, no matter the speed.

It can be difficult to save money, but you can do it with a few changes to what you are doing right now.

1 thought on “Why is it so Hard to Save Money? (And what you can do about it)”

  1. When the posts mentions about not having enough money and the need to downsize.
    What about working more to meet those needs.
    There is only so much that we can rely on others to help.

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