7 Reasons You Aren’t Saving Money
How to save money and accumulate wealth from “The Millionaire Next Door” by Thomas Stanley
I recently read “The Millionaire Next Door” by Thomas Stanley. It’s a wonderful book that outlines the actions and mindsets of the wealthiest people in America.
With discipline, the right actions, and a change in mindset, you too can accumulate wealth and remove a lot of stress from your life.
These are 7 reasons you aren’t able to save money:
1. You buy things you don’t need
Stop spending money on things you don’t need. Things won’t make you happier.
What was proven to reduce stress and worry was saving money for unexpected future events like being fired from your job or problems with your car or house.
Even when buying things you do need, don’t buy luxury items. Buy only what you need and save and invest the rest.
“Small expenses become big expenses over time. Small amounts invested periodically also become large investments over time.”
2. You aren’t paying yourself first
Rather than spending all of your income and seeing what’s left over, set aside 10–15% of your income first. Then you can spend the rest.
If you’d like to save more, great! I saved and invested around 50–80% of my income for years and it’s allowed me personal freedom to start my own business and not have to worry about money.
Pay yourself first, then make due with what remains.
“These people invest a minimum of 15 percent of their annual realized income before they pay the sellers of their food, clothes, homes, credit, and the like.”
3. You haven’t made a budget
You need to figure out what your true expenses are. If you aren’t aware of where your money is going, you’ll spend on things you don’t need.
“Operating a household without a budget is akin to operating a business without a plan, without goals, and without direction.”
4. You value what other people tell you to value
You’ve been trained by the media to consume. They don’t sell you ads to save your money.
We live in a hyper-consumption world that tells you what will make you happy, but none of it is true.
Decide for yourself what you value and need and only buy those things.
“The popular media enjoy touting abnormalities in buying behavior. As a consequence, our youth are told that buying expensive items is normal behavior for affluent people. They are led to believe that the wealthy have a high-consumption lifestyle. They learn that hyper spending is the main reward for becoming affluent in America.”
5. You haven’t developed self-discipline
It takes a lot of discipline to not buy the next hot item. It takes a lot of discipline to save for a rainy day or invest so you’ll have a better future.
Start a list of all of the things you didn’t spend money on. When you find yourself questioning whether or not to buy something, you probably don’t need it, add it to the list, and feel the satisfaction of saving your money.
“Building wealth takes discipline, sacrifice, and hard work. Do you really want to become financially independent? Are you and your family willing to reorient your lifestyle to achieve this goal? Many will likely conclude they are not. If you are willing to make the necessary trade-offs of your time, energy, and consumption habits, however, you can begin building wealth and achieving financial independence.”
6. You love a deal
Deals don’t matter. You’re still spending money on things you most likely don’t need.
Don’t justify your lack of discipline because someone gave you 50% off or BOGO. You don’t need them anyway and if they’re willing to offer a deal, you could probably get them cheaper somewhere else anyway.
“What if your goal is to become financially independent? Your plan should be to sacrifice high consumption today for financial independence tomorrow.”
7. You haven’t found what you truly want
A lot of times you spend money on things you think will make you happy because you don’t know what truly makes you happy.
Keep searching for what you truly care about. Is it a business you want to start? Is it a form of creation? Is it stronger relationships?
If you find what you love, you’ll be more willing to be disciplined, save money, and live true to your values.
“Always strive to be the best in your field. … Don’t chase money. If you are the best in your field, money will find you.”
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