The more excuses you give for a decision, the worse it is. The more you need to justify the financial decision, the more money you’re losing.
Here are some of my other favorites:
- “I work really hard so I deserve to eat out/shop/[insert wasteful money habit here].” Let me tell you something, we all work hard. At least we all think we work hard. I doubt I know anyone who thinks they don’t work hard. Does that mean we all deserve to buy whatever we want and spend all our money? Or does that mean you think you worked harder than everyone else therefore you get to be more careless? I don’t think so. Feeling bad is not an excuse to spend money. In fact you might notice that spending because you’re feeling bad will make you feel worse.
- “I have to buy a new car because I live alone and I don’t know anything about cars.” I cannot tell you how much this angers me when it comes from a woman. I lived alone for two years, know nothing about cars and drive one that’s more than a decade old.
- “I’m too tired to [insert moneysaving habit here.]” Eating out is fun, cooking is not. Going out to drink is fun, staying in to split a bottle of Two-Buck-Chuck is not. (Unless you’re me). Saving money takes time, effort and discipline. And until you develop that discipline, you’ll find it hard to save money.
I’m not alone in making excuses for poor financial decisions. Here are some of my current excuses:
- I pay $99 for my gym because I won’t work out otherwise. Now if I really wanted to exercise, I could develop some discipline and work out at home. But it’s far easier to pay the $99 fee and show up for my classes.
- Traveling is best when you’re young. I’ve always believed that waiting to travel when you’re 70 is a bad idea. But that doesn’t mean that I didn’t put money toward traveling that I could’ve used for my loans. Traveling is expensive and even a cheap trip can cut thousands from your budget.
- I really wanted to get a dog with my fiancé. I have never regretted that decision, but I know that she costs me about $50 a month. And when you own a car that’s more than a decade old, $50/month could pay for all your car repairs for a year.
Everything in life is a choice. When you make one choice, that means you give up another. And since we all have a finite amount of money, choosing to spend money on one thing means you can’t spend it another.
So when you decide to visit your family six hours away and put that money on a credit card, that’s your choice. When you decide not to make your lunch in the morning that’s a choice. I don’t want to judge people who make choices I wouldn’t, but I also refuse to listen to excuses.