Over the last few years working on my own personal finances and discussing with friends, I’ve come across plenty of money excuses.
But I’m not here to shame anyone. Because many of these excuses I made myself prior to taking control of my financial situation back in 2014. So there is no real judgment from me.
It’s a bit cringeworthy to look back at my old mindset, but I’m also not ashamed of those ideologies on finances I had.
And unfortunately, having financial excuses is all-too-common and causes many people to delay their financial literacy and their future financial health.
If your friends, family, or even you are making money excuses or delaying taking your finances seriously, then this post is for them and you.
“Personal Finance is too hard to learn or understand”
Out of all the money excuses I could make, this was my go-to! And I’m willing to bet, many, many others have this same mindset.
And of course, people would feel this way because the majority of schools do not teach the basics and the finance industry (and media) can make finance appear really complicated.
So I get why it can appear to be confusing. Plus, there is A LOT of ground to cover with personal finances like budgeting, investing, loans, banking, saving money, etc.
However, the truth is, personal finance is not that hard. There is a lot of material to digest for sure, but take a few steps like:
- Read some finance and investing books like these
- Listen to some money podcasts in your spare time
- Focus on one area of personal finance at a time
- Dedicated 2-3 hours a week to your finances
This is a basic framework approach I took. Within a few months are saw a difference and within a year, I couldn’t believe what I had learned and was applying.
“Eh, I’ll worry about it later”
Out of all the money excuses in the world, this is by far the most cringe-worthy. And also, probably a more common one among younger people.
(Ha, I sound old saying “young people.”)
By no means do I want to scold you here. I also had the, “Worry about it later” mentality in my mid-twenties.
Here was my thought process awhile back.
Why should I worry? I’m fairly young, I have plenty of time, and I’m not going to retire for 40+ years, so why does it matter? Plus, I have student loans to worry about.
With investing and saving for retirement, you can miss years of compound interest, costing you thousands of dollars and even years off your retirement.
This is just by delaying saving and investing. Hell, I know people in their mid-30’s still not saving for retirement!
The point is, you have to get out of this thought process.
The sooner you start something with your personal finances, the better. Even if it seems small or insignificant, it can have a big impact on your future. If anything, it gets your practicing and being consistent.
“I just don’t have time to look at my finances”
While this might be a common money excuse, not having time is just a common life excuse too. We all have busy schedules whether with work, family, school, etc.
But, most people spend time doing a lot of other things that really are not that important. Binge watching Netflix, joining sports teams, shopping, etc.
And there is nothing wrong with these things in moderation. I myself enjoy binging some good stuff on Netflix.
No matter how busy you are or think you are, there is also some time to squeeze in for your finances. It might not be as glamorous or entertaining, but it’s incredibly important.
Even if it’s finding just 30 minutes every other day, this impact and time spent can make a world of difference. Prioritization will be crucial, but so necessary.
“I do want to fix my finances, but I don’t know where to start”
Maybe you do realize you need to make some changes in your finances or you are ready to start, yet you have no idea where to begin.
Don’t worry, you are not alone in this feeling. As I mentioned above, personal finances can seem intimidating and overwhelming to you. It certainly was to me at first as well.
If you do not know where to start, that’s completely fine. But don’t give up before you even start just because you have no clue how to go about it.
I was really interested in finances in 2013, but just had no clue where to start. So I put it off for basically a year until, I just started to dive in. I wasted a whole year by being intimidated!
Doesn’t matter where you start, just put something in motion.
But if you do want to figure it out, understand what your goals are and write them down. Figure out a simple spreadsheet of what money comes in and what money goes out.
You’ll get a bigger picture of what your personal finance needs are and get start learning accordingly.
“I don’t make much money and can’t save, why bother?”
For years, I did not make much more than $36,000 per year pre-tax. I had student loans, car payment, utilities, rent, etc. and at one point was living paycheck to paycheck.
But just because I didn’t make much money, didn’t mean I couldn’t save anything or at the very least, start learning.
I wasn’t saving very much at first, but that little bit added up over time. By the end of year one of my new found love for finance, I had a few grand saved and couldn’t believe it.
Don’t worry, what your savings rate is, how much, or what others are currently saving. Focus on your progress and keep it moving.
“Investing seems like gambling, I don’t want to lose money”
This is a common theme for those who usually have no clue how investing works because yes, there are of course some financial risks with investing.
Or that they know someone who lost a lot on an investment or they read that someone did, etc.
It’s only gambling if you start blindly throwing money at stock or piece of real estate hoping for a massive payout.
It’s why it’s so important to learn about investing, investing scams, read money books, and have a long-term investing strategy in-place.
Stock markets, for example, will fluctuate daily, weekly, monthly, and yearly. The goal is to diversify that money between stocks and beyond and hold for the long-term.
The market will recover, grow, and compound interest will help your money grow. But you also need to be smart, and not go all in on something. Start off small and build your investments over time.
I started in Vanguard with $500 and didn’t contribute much more for a few months.
Final Thoughts on Money Excuses
All the above money excuses in this list, I’ve personally thought or have said during my lifetime at some point. It’s common and it’s okay if you have said them too.
But the real challenge is, identifying that these money excuses are what holds you back from your potential success.
It’s normal to be afraid of the unknown or unsure of how to go about something. But going for it is when the best lessons are learned and an insane amount of knowledge can be absorbed.
Have you made any of the above money excuses? Have you made other ones? How are you conquering those excuses to change your financial future? Let me know in the comments below.
Previously published on Investedwallet.com.
If you believe in the work we are doing here at The Good Men Project and want to join our calls on a regular basis, please join us as a Premium Member, today.
All Premium Members get to view The Good Men Project with NO ADS.
Need more info? A complete list of benefits is here.
Photo credit: istockphoto.com