Why Can’t I Save Money? 11 Ways to Save Money Fast

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Many people seem to have a lot of excuses as to why they can't save money. Discover reasons why your bank account might be looking sorry.

If you ever thought to yourself, “Why Can't I Save Money?” then these tips are for you.

A ton of people spend their money and don’t save any of it, year after year. The truth is that there needs to be an abundance of money in most cases for people to decide to save. The problem is that most people never have that kind of abundance and they procrastinate the process of starting to save money.

The problem with not saving is that you are living your life in a very dangerous way. You are leaving your life to luck when it comes to any emergencies that could require that you have an emergency fund. In this article, we are going to talking to you about some of the most common excuses that people have when procrastinating their financial planning.

1. You Have No Idea How to Get Started

The initial process of starting to save is a tough one if you aren't used to it and are living paycheck to paycheck.

A good way to do this is the good ole cookie jar method for saving money. Forget those new shoes or that new pair of pants and save that money to put it in this jar. Eventually, you will see that you have enough money in there to stock in your savings account. You can stop using the cookie jar once you get in the habit of saving money and just use your savings account as the cookie jar.

The idea is for you to have something that reminds you of the importance of saving money. This will be very useful for that purpose alone. If you want to start a savings account, you don't even need to go to a bank to open one and can open one online, in minutes.

 
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Pros:
  • Free budgeting tools
  • Retirement planner
  • Free portfolio advice
  • Robo plus human advisors
Our Pick
Pros:
  • Automatically invests spare change
  • $20 new user bonus
  • Cash back at select retailers
Pros:
  • Get control over your subscriptions
  • Stay on top of your spending
  • Put your savings on autopilot

2. You Don't Have Enough to Save

This is another reason why people think they can't save money each month.  It is quite common and the truth is that the economy can be bad at times and everyone has to work hard just to stay afloat. But a lot of people turn to making extra money on the side or getting a part-time weekend job to make it work.

However, the easiest way to have enough money to save is to trim your expenses. It’s important to identify that there is a good chance that you are still wasting money on things you don’t need.

Magazine subscriptions, extra TV channels on your cable bill, a Spotify membership, or fast food weekend expenses can add up. These are all things that you can definitely live without having to buy, so the only thing you need is to take the time to check your expenses and cut back on those things. You can also use apps that can comb over your monthly subscriptions and weed out the junk.

3. Life Is Too Hectic

You may feel like your life is too hectic to even have time to sit back and take a look at your expenses.

It’s true that we are living in very hectic times and we have now started to count the minutes of each day and not just the hours.

We all have a million excuses as to why we can't do something, but everyone has the same amount of hours per day. I'm sure you can watch one less show, or stop mindlessly scrolling through Instagram or Facebook for an hour, so you can invest your time in starting a good savings plan.

4. You Aren't Educating Yourself

This is also not a good excuse to avoid financial planning. There are many individuals who have saved a ton of money without any financial education. It’s important to understand that to save money, all you need is to take the time to set some of your earnings aside and store it in a safe location. The amount is eventually going to grow and you will get the results you want.

The only knowledge you need is to simply understand that you have to start setting money aside for savings. You have to take the time to consider this to be an important thing in your life. You don’t need any special training or a master's degree in Finance to save money, so don’t use that as an excuse to procrastinate this important change in your life. If you want to be able to learn more on how to work smarter and not harder with saving money, you can check out money-saving apps that help you save money and do all the work for you.

5. You Are Riddled With Debt

When you have a lot of debt, you need to get rid of that debt no matter what. Your first step is to create an emergency fund while still paying the minimum balances on your debts. Once you have an emergency fund built up, you should use the snowball method to pay down your debt.

If you have credit card debt, you need to stop using that credit card or cut it up since you should focus on paying it off and not adding to it. This is going to help you stop the vicious cycle of spending money with it and maintaining that debt and those high interests going.

If you want to get out of debt, you need to make as many sacrifices as possible. People think that their 10-dollar subscriptions to movie streaming services each month are nothing, but the accumulation of all of those small expenses is always going to lead to major expenses that keep you from getting out of debt. Just analyze your situation and your expenses to speed up the process of getting out of debt and achieving your goals.

Non-Obvious Ways Millennials are Wasting Money

wasting money

When you combine how expensive college is and how much money you waste, having a leak in a budget doesn't sound like a good idea after all. Especially if your college tuition estimates around $30,000 and you take into consideration all the grants and loans.

This, however, doesn't seem to affect our judgment when it comes to money, and we always end up ‘making it rain' at Starbucks instead of making coffee at home.

Because of the poor economy, students have to cut down on expenses, not only because those are a burden to pay, but also because student loans tend to stick around for a long time.

So, the solution is to manage money smartly and reduce the amount of money spent on outlandish things, like brand clothing or super-expensive coffee.

That being said, here are some things you may be wasting money on that prevent you from saving money:

6. You Use Uber Instead Of Taxi Services

Before you click away in outrage, take a look at this; according to Lifewire's comparison between Uber and Taxi, it can be concluded that Uber costs more approximately $0.25 to $1.00, depending on the geographical location, time of the day and demands of the ride.

Even though the overall experience of using Uber might be extremely practical and convenient, think twice next time before you call an Uber. Unless you have an Uber promo code, the variables and fluctuations in pricing will leave you in awe.

This is called ‘surge pricing’ and depends on whether your driving demands are too high or there aren’t enough drivers in the areas. Even without surge pricing, UberX can be more expensive than taking a taxi, especially for shorter trips.

uber vs lyft

Taxi prices, on the other hand, are regulated and constant, depending on the state and the maximum price that is regulated for that state. The price doesn’t change, regardless of the demand or the number of drivers that are available. Not to mention that all taxis have security cameras and GPS tracking systems, and many deem Uber as not completely safe.

7. You Buy Brand Name Products

According to the Private Label Manufacturers Association, the purchase of name brand products has increased by approximately $5 million in the last few years.

This means that people, especially students, turn to brand-name products rather than store and generic brands, which is a massive waste of money.

Regardless of whether you are buying food, clothes, school supplies or even over-the-counter medicine, you are spending around $1 to $2 more on brand name products than you would on generic brand products.

Need proof? Here it is; according to a Dave Ramsey article where there are comparisons between costs of generic-brand and name-brand products, you could save from $2 to $8 by buying generic brand products in a day.

That would be around $20 per week, $80 a month and a whopping $1,040 a year. If you still need proof, then make sure to hit the local grocery store and compare the prices, even the quality and ingredients of the products.

Chances are, the components are the same, which means, you don’t have to spend money on big brand names anymore.

8. You Own A Car

If you own a car, then you should consider selling it or stop using it. Why you may ask?

Well, you are a student who already has a lot of expenses, why make car expenses such as maintenance, fueling, insurance, and parking be a part of those expenses when you can use public transportation.

Need proof on this too? Let’s check some number then. It can take you around $15,000 to only purchase a car unless you are using your parents’ car.

Moreover, it can take up to $22,000 to operate it, without the cost of insurance, which can be pretty high even with student discounts. So, you are pretty much wasting your money on private transportation, when you could be using a bike, public transport or even your feet, which are free.

On average, by reducing your car-owning costs by simply not driving it, you could be saving up around $20,000 over the course of the four years of college. And, you’ll be saving our planet too.

9. You Don’t Skip On Parties And Social Events

I know, college should be fun. But, I am sorry to disappoint you, college should be associated with education, not partying. And before you click away again, take some time to think about how much money you have spent on socializing, even when you didn’t want to. I would guess, a lot.

That is because socializing is expensive. For example, alcohol is extremely expensive, or even worse, joining a fraternity or sorority can be even more costly in the long run. Next time you decide to throw a party, make sure to ask your friends to bring their own drinks, or at least one food item, and watch how much money you’ll be saving.

Moreover, if you don’t want to ditch your social life altogether, which you shouldn’t, make sure to go out and drink during happy hours, or simply, be more responsible about how much you drink.

10. You Buy Textbooks

Everybody knows that buying textbooks from the campus can be too expensive. Each year you need a new textbook for each of the classes, and since one textbook price ranges from $60 to $100, you could be spending a couple of hundred dollars more than you should be doing.

Thanks to the holy Internet (which you can use for free at campuses), you can now find, buy and sell textbooks online through retailers like Barnes and Noble, SlugBooks or Amazon.com so you save money on college textbooks.

You can also rent textbooks, buy used ones or simply not buy them if they are not required. You should never buy new textbooks if you also have the option of splitting costs with your roommates and friends if they attend the same classes or if you can find the e-versions.

11 Painless Ways to Start Saving Money Today

Becoming money savvy begins with how you think about it.

Just because you have a monthly budget, doesn't mean you can't have fun anymore. It simply requires you to make sure your spending is less than your income — and that you are living below your means.

Here are daily money saving tips and monthly saving tips you use to start saving money today:

Daily Money Saving Tips

1. Cut down money expenditure on buying costly items: The first and foremost technique that one can make use of in order to save money is by cutting down the money expenditure that one carries out on purchasing costly items. Try to purchase those accessories that are cheap and have a warranty option available on them.

2. Unplug appliances when not needed: Vampire electricity can cost you hundreds every year. It's a smart move to unplug appliances that aren't used very often. Keeping these appliances plugged in when you're not using them leads to a higher electricity bill. So even if you can save a few bucks on your monthly electricity bill by unplugging a toaster, every penny (or dollar in this case) counts.

3. Plan out your expenses: Many people admit to spending money recklessly, that is it is easy to spend money on things which we don't really require. Thus the best strategy is that we should plan out their expenses in advance (E.g. budgeting for home improvements) so as to avoid spending money on useless articles.

4. Use an automated tool: It can be difficult to save if you aren't automating it. Digit and Qapital can help by taking out small amounts from your accounts to a savings account. By automating your savings, you have no choice to save money each month.

5. Get discounts on everything: Take advantage of cash back sites that offer discounts on things you spend on every day. If you are planning a bigger purchase like a laptop or TV, utilize coupons from sites like SlickDeals to get the best price.

6. Make your own gifts: Birthday gifts, fathers and mothers day gift, wedding and other types of presents can add up. You can save money by making your own gifts and they are much more thoughtful as well.

Monthly Money Saving Tips

7. Lower your car payment: If you have a huge car loan payment that's eating your monthly budget you can look into lower your interest rate to save $1,000 over the life of the loan. Discover how you can lower your interest rate on your car with LendingClub, the online refinancing process makes it easy.

8. Bundle cable and internet: A lot of budgets are eaten up by hefty internet bills, but did you know that there are providers that now offer monthly services for only $30 or less per month? I imagine that's less than what you're paying now. Find more ways to get discounted or even free internet.

9. Monitor your electric bill: Big or even small changes in your electricity usage at home can help you save as much as $600 annually on your electric bill. Companies like Arcadia even pay Americans to save on energy, simply by turning off the lights for an hour, you get paid. Discover how to get paid to save on energy.

10. Lower your student loan payments: Refinancing your student loans can lower your monthly student loan payments by several hundred dollars each month ($300 on average).

If you are interested in refinancing student loans, it's simple to check. Here are our top 5 picks for refinancing student loans. You can get your new rate in under 2 minutes by visiting the lender to check your rate (doesn't affect your credit score):

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APY from: 5.24%
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11. Simplify your bills: Cushion is your go-to app for simplifying bills, building credit, and managing your finances. With Cushion, you can effortlessly organize and pay your bills while also gaining insights to budget better.

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Meet Cushion, the app that simplifies your bills and helps you build credit with ease. This user-friendly app is designed to streamline your financial life by organizing and managing your existing bills and Buy Now Pay Later (BNPL) purchases. You can effortlessly stay on top of your payments, track due dates, and gain valuable insights to budget better.

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Make sure to commit to your saving and check how you're doing every month. Not only will this help you stay on track on your financial goals, but you can make adjustments as needed. These money-saving tips can help you save money every day and reach your goals and live a better life.

Why Can't You Save Money

You are going to have a much easier time saving money once you start making a conscious decision to stop spending money on things that you don’t need. This might be hard at first and the first steps to save money and cut back on certain expenses can be difficult, but once you do it, you will develop a habit to prioritize savings and to remember that rainy days will eventually come your way. If you feel your debt is out of control, just look for ways to pay it off faster.

They might take years and even decades, but emergencies will eventually come knocking on your door, and being prepared for them is going to be essential. Once you start saving, you will be glad that you decide to stop spending all of your money day by day without anything to show for it in terms of savings.

More Ways You Can Save Money

Still wondering why you can't save money? Here are my favorite articles on creative ways to save money:

Best Apps to Help You Save

 
Our Pick
 
Pros:
  • Free budgeting tools
  • Retirement planner
  • Free portfolio advice
  • Robo plus human advisors
Pros:
  • Automatically invests spare change
  • $20 new user bonus
  • Cash back at select retailers
Pros:
  • Get control over your subscriptions
  • Stay on top of your spending
  • Put your savings on autopilot
Pros:
  • Free budgeting tools
  • Retirement planner
  • Free portfolio advice
  • Robo plus human advisors
Our Pick
Pros:
  • Automatically invests spare change
  • $20 new user bonus
  • Cash back at select retailers
Pros:
  • Get control over your subscriptions
  • Stay on top of your spending
  • Put your savings on autopilot

About the author

Brian Meiggs
Hi, I'm Brian Meiggs! A personal finance expert, entrepreneur, and the founder of My Millennial Guide. My drive is to help others unlock the wealth of freedom and pave the path to financial success. With my bachelor's degree in finance, I help millennials follow the smart money in order to increase their earning potential and start building wealth for the future. I write regularly about side hustles, investing, and general personal finance topics aimed to help anyone earn more, pay off debt, and reach financial freedom. I have been quoted in major publications including Business Insider, Yahoo Finance, NASDAQ, Discover, GoDaddy, BiggerPockets, Fox News, Debt.com, Quick Sprout, Money Geek, MSN Money and many more!