Procrastination can derail you from achieving your financial goals. People who have a healthy relationship with money understand that saving has very little to do with the size of your bank account, it all depends on your relationship with money.
Eunice Sibiya, Head of Consumer Education at FNB, says “Most people would like to save because they understand the financial benefits of having a safety net. However, saving usually takes the back seat simply because of the hesitation to make sacrifices. Understandably, consumers are hard pressed financially, but the essence of saving is starting small then building up from there.”
Reasons you are unable to save
“If you are unable to save, perhaps it is time to conduct an introspection of the relationship you have with money,” adds Sibiya.
Sibiya believes these could be some of the reasons you are unable to save:
- Poor attitude towards money. A poor relationship with money is characterised by aimless spending on things that will have no bearing on your long term financial future. This may include taking debt to finance your lifestyle or overspending on things such as entertainment and clothes. It is important to pay attention to how and what you spend your money on and ask yourself if you are deriving any value from such expenses.
- Lack of financial goals. Without setting goals you are unlikely to get very far with your finances; this is simply because money leaves your account as quickly as it came in because of frivolous spending. When you have goals and are fully committed, you can plan your finances according to what you want to achieve.
- Not asking for help. It is advisable to consult a financial adviser to help you chart a way forward for your financial future, especially if you are struggling to prioritize. Not being able to save now does not mean the situation cannot be turned around. For example, if you are over indebted you may have to focus on clearing your debt before you start committing yourself to saving.
- Being governed by YOLO. Yes, it is true that You Only Live Once (YOLO) but this also means you have a single lifetime to make your money work for you. It is important to take the future into consideration when dealing with money, if you do not save for both short and long term goals you may end up financially constrained in future. Have financial future plans and avoid living in the moment.
A change of attitude is necessary
Saving, according to Sibiya, is a necessity, and this applies to everyone whether you have a lot of money or not, you still need to save. Postponing the decision to save will only put you in a compromising financial position. For example, if you have an emergency you may not be able to fund it from your own pocket because you have no money set aside for emergencies. This can lead you to debt in order to deal with the emergency.
“Being able to save does not necessarily mean putting large sums of money aside, it is possible to start small and build up from there. South Africans are notorious for not saving, so to correct this perception, the only solution is a change of attitude towards money,” concludes Sibiya.