There are many excuses that can wreck your finances. And if you don't learn how to recognize these excuses, you might sabotage your financial future. As a personal finance writer, I've heard many excuses from people over the years. Some excuses have been valid, but others are nothing more than a scapegoat – a lazy person's approach to personal finance. At the end of the day, everyone has to decide the best moves for his or her money. But if you're tired of being in the hole, here are seven bad excuses that can wreck your finances.
1. Everyone Spends Money
There are several excuses that can wreck your finances. However, justifying your spending by saying ‘everyone spends money,’ is an easy way to get into debt and never improve your money situation. Yes, everyone spends money. There are things we all need. But this is not an excuse to spend so much outside of your budget that you don't have cash for necessities. Prioritize your spending and only buy what's necessary.
2. I’ll Never Get Ahead, Why Bother?
No, you won’t get ahead with this attitude. Talk to anyone who's been down financially and they'll say it's a struggle to get on top. But it can be done. It starts with a positive attitude. If you believe in yourself, you're more likely to come up with a workable strategy and improve your finances.
3. Debt is a Way of Life
If you want to go to college, buy a car or purchase a home, you might need to apply for a loan. But the fact that debt is a part of our culture does not excuse excess debt. You know, pulling out your charge card to buy things you don't need, or accumulating massive credit card debt just to keep up with others. Debt can help you achieve certain goals, but moderation is important.
4. I Have Plenty of Time to Worry about Finances
I've heard this excuse so many times, yet five or 10 years later, these people remain in the same place. Stop talking about fixing your finances – do it. There is no time like the present to create a plan to pay off debt, increase your emergency savings or start planning for retirement. Time does not slow down, and before you know it, you'll look back and wonder why you didn't get serious about your money sooner.
5. I Deserve a Treat
Splurging is an excellent way to treat yourself and avoid frugal fatigue. But some people take splurging to a whole new level and buy things that they cannot afford or need. It's okay to treat yourself, but not every single day or week. And it's certainly not okay to use a credit card and carry a balance from month to month.
6. This is What I Know
Maybe your parents weren't financially savvy and they didn't teach money lessons. Maybe you've made poor money decisions most of your adult life. This is not an excuse to continue on the wrong path. If you recognize your mistakes and make improvements, you can completely change your financial outcome. Rather than be afraid of change, embrace it. And yes, this might involve acknowledging that your parents weren't the best money managers.
7. I’m Not a Math Person
There is no rule that says you have to be a math person to manage your money. Budgeting is basic mathematics. If you completed the fourth grade, you can create a budget or spending plan. And if it’s too hard, get help from someone who knows how to manage her money well.
Money excuses hold many people back. But rather than make excuses, get proactive about your finances. Remember, the decisions you make today influence your future. They determine whether you're able to buy a home, save enough for retirement, etc.
What are some common money excuses?