According to a report done by Bankrate, 66 million Americans have zero dollars saved for an emergency expense and only 28% of Americans have 6 month’s worth of savings. Below are some of the common excuses people give for not saving:
I don’t have enough money to save, I’m living paycheck to paycheck.
- While that may be a valid excuse, the truth for the majority of us is that we can reduce our expenses if we really looked hard enough at what we spend. This could be eating out less and cooking more, it could mean cutting subscriptions for cable tv, Netflix, or other streaming subscriptions, or it could mean cutting down on impulse buys on items that are wants rather than needs.
I don’t think an emergency will happen to me, it’s never happened before.
- That can be a very dangerous assumption to believe in. Unexpected things will happen because as long as we are here on this earth, unexpected expenses will occur. Rather than being caught by surprise when it does happen and digging yourself into debt, the prudent choice is to anticipate and prepare for them by saving.
I’ll get around to it.
- Vaguely stating wanting to save and actually being intentional are vastly different. If I get around to saving at the end of the month when I’ve spent all my money, there is no money left for savings. The key is to pay yourself first by allocating a portion of your paycheck to savings and being consistent. Over time, you will adjust to having less money to spend because you already know a set amount will be taken out. A lot of banks offer automatic transfers each month. You can make sure the transfers coincide with your payday so that you have one less thing to worry about.
The bottom line is we need to save more. Not only will saving more reduce stress, it provides more options and freedom. The best time to start is now.