3 Money Excuses You Need to Destroy This Year

by Miranda Marquit · 13 comments

Now that a new year is underway, it’s time to reflect on what can make it great. While you want to set reasonable goals that are likely to stick, don’t forget to concentrate on what’s holding you back.

In some cases, improving your financial situation is less about trying to create resolutions you’ll actually keep — and more about getting rid of the excuses holding you back.

Before you try to set high-minded financial goals, you’ll need to figure out which excuses you’re using, and banish them from your vocabulary. Only then will you have the freedom to really improve your financial situation.

To get you started, here are three common excuses that everyone needs to stop using:

1. “Investing is too complicated.”

One of the financial excuses I hear most often revolves around why my acquaintances aren’t investing. “It’s too complicated” and “I don’t feel comfortable picking stocks” are the worst offenders. Basic investing, however, is one of the most effective ways to grow wealth over time.

The reality, too, is that it’s not complicated — especially if you avoid stock picking. You can open a brokerage account with as little as $25 and invest in index funds or index ETFs. An all-market fund lets you take advantage of overall market performance over time, without the guesswork.

While it makes sense to educate yourself and learn more about investing, this is a great stopgap to get started. As you feel more comfortable, you can change the way you invest.

2. “I don’t have enough money to start saving/investing.”

At one time, I used this excuse myself. But as mentioned above, you can start investing with as little as $25. If you can free up $25 or $50 a month, that’s a start. And it’s much better than nothing. The same is true of saving, whether it’s for a vacation or an emergency fund.

The important thing is to start developing the habit. Find a way to save $10 a week, and put it in a savings or investing account. You might be surprised at where you find the money and how easy it is once you get started. You’ll begin to look for ways to boost your contributions, and as you earn more money, you can increase the amount you save and invest.

3. “I’ll never get anywhere with my job; I can’t make more money.”

It’s true that working harder doesn’t always lead to more money or a promotion. Having a dead-end job can be demoralizing, especially if you’re like many Americans and haven’t had a raise in a long while. However, by telling yourself that you’re stuck in your job and can’t make more money, you’re guaranteeing that is the case. Stop making this excuse and look for ways to get out of the rut.

You could start a side hustle, or think of other ways to boost your income. Are there particular skills or certifications that could lead to a pay raise? Would acquiring more knowledge or expertise make you marketable enough to find a new, better job?

Don’t resign yourself to your current fate. Take matters into your hands and destroy these excuses in the new year.

What excuses do you hear (or make) a lot? 

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{ 13 comments… read them below or add one }

Kostas Chiotis January 14, 2014 at 5:15 am

Those 3 excuses are the most common , most people just have the mindset that they just need to work and consume whatever they make. Everything is on our mind and if someone stops having these excuses he/she will see that investing is pretty simple, thanks for sharing this post…

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John S @ Frugal Rules January 14, 2014 at 8:29 am

I heard those first two excuses all the time in my old job speaking with investors every day. Investing can be overwhelming, especially if you’re a novice. It can be easy to say that these people should just invest in index funds (and I think they should), but for many that is beyond what their knowledge level is at. The problem is that many use that as an excuse to not educate themselves and they suffer as a result. I’ve seen many that do start to educate themselves and they begin to see that it doesn’t have to be difficult, but can be quite simple with the right strategy. As with many things, it’s that education which helps bring down the misconceptions and feeling of being overwhelmed.

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David Ning January 14, 2014 at 8:44 am

A big problem with investing is that it’s confusing, because there’s so much contradicting opinions toward the subject. But as John mentioned above, the right strategy, such as investing in low cost index funds, can be incredible simple to implement.

The good news is that the simple strategy also happens to be the most dependable way to build wealth through investing.

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Wealth Tortoise January 14, 2014 at 9:59 am

Yes, yes and yes! A trio of the some of the worst excuses that hold you back from getting ahead. January is a great time to sweep these negative thoughts from our minds and plan for the year ahead, and beyond. Re: investing…some years back I went on an investing book binge, where I read almost every one out there, from the simple to the complex. It didn’t take long before I began to find common threads which ran through most of them, namely, yup: Find the lowest cost index funds you can!

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David Ning January 15, 2014 at 8:47 am

We really are lucky to have index funds at such a low cost these days. Now all we have to do is stay the course when the waters get rough in the future and we’ll do well!

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Matt January 14, 2014 at 12:16 pm

Miranda – Before I finally started investing, my favorite excuse was #2. I didn’t think it was worth investing unless I started with thousands of dollars but I am glad I finally realized I was wrong. At this point, I am trying to allocate more of my pay towards investing. Do you recommend a certain % of my discretionary income to go toward my investment account?

Thanks for the insight!

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David Ning January 15, 2014 at 8:51 am

I can’t speak for Miranda but you shouldn’t think of investing as part of discretionary income. Investing for the future is a NEED, just like water, gas, electricity, and house payment. How much of discretionary income would you allocate to necessities?

Start adding savings into your budget BEFORE you even calculate discretionary income because investing is a MUST.

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Trace @ Independence Investor January 14, 2014 at 7:41 pm

The one excuse I hear a lot is ….. I will start investing AFTER I pay off this debt. There always seems to be a new financial obligation to prevent the investing.

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Alex January 15, 2014 at 11:59 am

I do wish I was at a real point of being able to save sufficient amounts each month. But I’ve come to realise that setting aside even £20 is better than nothing, and there’s no longer a viable excuse for not doing so. Not that that there ever is, but our lives depict our spending, which is at constant.

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David Ning January 17, 2014 at 8:55 am

You’ll be happy to know that once you get used to putting away that £20, it’s much easier to increase that amount because you are used to “saving”.

Look at your expenses – is everything in your budget REALLY increasing your quality of life? You might be surprised to find many items that just are there. Cut those out and you’ll save even more.

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property marbella January 16, 2014 at 2:25 am

We fed each day 24/7 with advertising that you have to buy and you can not be without this product, etc. it means that people do not get money over to save but only to consume more. It is usually the root of evil.

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zimmy January 17, 2014 at 5:18 am

Yeah, anyone with a few extra bucks each month can open up a Roth IRA account with their bank or an online brokerage firm and make deposits with their bank account. There are always extra dollars laying around if you just cut back on a few things that you are used to spending money on.

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Lisa E. @ Lisa Vs. The Loans January 21, 2014 at 12:44 pm

“I don’t have enough to save” is probably one of the most annoying excuses I’ve heard. Honestly, anyone can set aside a few bucks each month! It doesn’t have to be anything huge.

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