It’s a question almost everyone asks — “How can I save more money?”
To answer that question, you first have to know why you haven’t been able to stash cash.
For many of you, the answer probably isn’t what you think. I know most of you are saying: “I can’t save because something always comes up, like some emergency, some unexpected bill, or some bad luck!”
Granted, those things happen (at least occasionally) to everyone.
But when it comes down to it, a bigger reason for a lack of savings is a lack of focus on what’s really important.
Let me explain.
First, some of you are stuck in the past. Something is holding you back and preventing you from moving on. It could be mistakes that you’ve made. Perhaps you’ve racked up debt in the past, and that debt (and fear of further debt) is haunting you.
Why You Can’t Save More Money
It could be that you went through a downsizing in the past. You were out of a job, so your finances got out of whack. Perhaps you were in a bad relationship, and you may have abdicated some of your financial responsibilities to your ex.
He or she might be gone, but that bad credit, those money problems, that foreclosure you went through, that debt or that bankruptcy — it’s still lingering, and you haven’t been able to overcome it. And that’s why you haven’t been able to save. Your focus has been on past issues and you’re looking backward, acting on what happened yesterday or yesteryear, and you’re not thinking as constructively as you can about the future.
Once you deal with those past issues, once you take responsibility for your own role in whatever might have happened, you can move forward.
It’s also hard to focus on savings when your priorities are not in the right place.
For non-savers, you don’t have a vision for the future that shows you why saving money today – in the here and now, not later – is a must-do action. So one step is to consciously think about where you want to be in the future, in 5 years from now, 10 years from now, or even longer. And then consider your goals: is a child in your future, a new home, starting a business, or maybe going back to school?
All those things require money. And you’d be wise to save some cash for them in order to avoid financial trouble and debt.
The Bible says that a wise man plans for his children’s children, which speaks to the idea of creating generational wealth. This also highlights the prudence and the importance of long‑term financial planning.
If you’re not thinking long‑term, it’s hard to save for the future.
It might seem nearly impossible, because you’re so focused on the present. You’re saying to yourself, “I’ve got to pay today’s bills. I’ve got to pay the rent today, the mortgage today, the credit card bills today. I’ve got to keep the lights on.” Of course you do.
But what are you willing to sacrifice to make sure that you can save a little bit today to meet those future goals as well?
You might need to look at where you’re spending. Find out whether or not your spending is in alignment with your values and what you feel you really and truly want.
If you only think about today, whether it’s spending on today’s needs or wants, or taking care of current bills and obligations, you’re never going to be able to save the way that you want, need, and deserve to for your family and for the future. So it’s crucial to get your priorities in line and to understand why focusing on the present is a dead-end financial move.
You have to come to the realization that the future, despite what you might have heard, is just as important as the present. It may be even more important than what you’re going through today.
Take some time today to look at events in your life — what’s in the past, what you’re doing right now in the present, and most importantly, what you’re doing for the future.
If you simply make an unwavering commitment save a little bit of money — $20 a month, $50 a month, $100, $500, whatever it is that you can afford to save — the future will be much brighter for you and your family.
But that will only start when you shift your focus, pledge to sacrifice when necessary for the future, and to look beyond today’s cares.