Why I Can’t Save Money And Steps I Followed To Fix That


I used to ask myself why I can't save money

That was until I came across Dave Ramsey's book Total Money Makeover

I knew what I was not saving money the right way

As every time I start putting money aside I encounter a crisis forcing me to spend all I had saved

I cant save money I don't know why

Anyway I knew what was my fault

I am here to guide you not to commit same mistakes I was doing

Having said that let me start with the below

1- You don't have a budget or don't stick to it

When I asked myself why I can't save money I came across building a budget

I wasn't giving budget any weight until I realized budget is the main core of saving money

Why? because it works along with saving money before you commit to your budget

Also using a spending sheet will help you stay on track with your budget amounts

You can download the below sheet from my products page

If you can't save money download the weekly spending sheet
Weekly spending tracker

2- You don't have an emergency fund

I will tell you why you can't save money because you haven't built an emergency fund

Emergency fund is a money you set aside to face any crisis

Like your car not working one day or your roof needs maintenance

These are things that occur suddenly without any control

3- You have debt to pay

Obviously if you have debt you won't save money and you don't have too

If you are in debt, focus to pay your debt as fast as you could

4- You have a car loan or student loan

Regarding student loan, I won't blame you

I would ask you to start paying your student loan from your first job

What I can advise you is to avoid getting a car loan and buy used car

5- You lack the basic financial knowledge

I discussed in a previous post how to teach yourself personal financial literacy

I recommend to read it to learn some basic financial terms

6- You are confused between needs and wants

Part of the struggle to save money is you have to be able to differentiate between your needs and wants in your head at a fraction of a second

Your needs are anything that keep your surviving like your rent/mortgage

The food you buy although not all kinds of food

Your wants are what all the things you skip buying it and life will go on

7- You pay too much mortgage or rent

It was a surprise to me when I calculated my mortgage percentage to my total income

Actually I didn't think about it that way, this was before I started using my budget sheet

how to budget by calculating percentages of expenses per income
I am using hypothetical numbers not really representing my family income

The percentage above is feasible if you use my budget sheet in my products page

8- You are dinning out too often

I am not against dinning out every now and then

What I don't like is that some people ease eating out for the excuse of not having enough time to cook

Steps to follow to start saving money

It is never too late

Follow my advice below and you can fix the money saving issue

1- Build a budget if you don't have one

Building a budget is not hard but if need an easy task

I got you covered – you can use my budget sheet which I use

family budget excel sheet
family budget excel sheet
password to edit data is 0000

Click to download for free from my products page

2- Pay yourself first

I know it is bizarre term

It means you pay towards saving and investment right after you get your income

You can arrange with your bank to deduct on your pay day a specific percentage or amount towards your investment account

3- Get rid of your debt right now

Dave Ramsey is always getting this question whether to save while in debt

The obvious answer is No, finish your debt first and then start saving and investing

He invented the snowball effect of paying extra to the smallest debt

When you finish it you get motivated and move the amount you used to pay unto the small debt to the higher one and keep going

4- Build your emergency fund

It is a great feeling having an fund on the side to pay for emergencies

I am not reinventing the wheel, it is called an emergency fund

You don't touch it at all only when you face a crisis like car fix or whatever

Of course, I don't need to tell you not to use it for vacation

5- Use jar to save your changes

It is a simple concept to save your changes

Bring a jar and drop any changes you get, convert it to cash every now and then

6- Stop buying things on sale – resist the temptation

Actually I had to try it myself – I know it is very hard

I remember I saw a winter jacket at Costco on great sale

I know I don't need a new jacket as I have 7 jackets

Anyway I was realistic and I did not buy it

7- Choose affordable rent or mortgage

If you keep a budget – you would know your up to date income

You have to come with the percentage of your rent/mortgage to your income

Sweet spot should be around 20% to maximum 30%

8- Plan your meals with shopping list

I use a mobile shopping list to save my grocery list for the weekthe

The one I use is called AnyList mobile app, you can download it for free

It is easy to integrate it with Amazon Alexa

If I remember any grocery item I call Alexa and she will add it to my AnyList app

9- Use left over dinner to eat on lunch

I knew that was the reason why I can't save money

I quit buying lunch and I pack my left over dinner to eat on my lunch

10- Join wholesale club membership

Although you pay a membership fee to join these wholesale club

But you will save in the long run – I will give you a hint

If you have the option to pay for the higher membership fees

The one that gives you 2% back – do your math and look at your annual purchases

Sometimes it would be better to pay for the higher membership fee as the cash back you get at the renewal date can lower your membership to a bare minimum

11- Reduce alcohol and soft drinks

I am not saying cut alcohols – at least try to reduce it

Don't be a daily beer or wine consumer – stay sober

I drink only in occasions and when I have guests

12- Reduce dinning out and cook at home

When I got married cooking was a challenge as by the time we get back home it is almost around 6 pm

That's why it is better to cook for the next day and cook in bulk

13- Buy used items instead of new

I meant by used items – used cars and refurbished electronics and furniture

Sometimes before buying any new item I check it on Facebook Marketplace

14- Save your bonus and tax refund

Imagine that you did not get any bonus and there is no tax refund that year

It is just an imagination and move your money to your saving and investment account


Michael launched Wealth of Geeks to make personal finance fun. He has worked in personal finance for over 20 years, helping families reduce taxes, increase their income, and save for retirement. Michael is passionate about personal finance, side hustles, and all things geeky.