15 Reasons Why You Can’t Save Money (and how to fix it! )

Are you wondering why you can’t save money?

All the finance experts talk about WHY YOU SHOULD save money and the benefits of saving, but no one discusses WHY YOU CAN’T save money.

If you can’t save money, you need to get to the root of the problem and fix it.

Similar to how a doctor tries to find a diagnosis for a health problem, you need to identify the reason why you can’t save money, so you can tackle the issue and get out of a financial rut.

So if you are thinking, “I can’t save money” or “Why can’t I save money? this article is for you.

Related posts on why you can’t save money


15 Reasons Why You Can’t Save Money

  1. You only have one bank account
  2. You believe you deserve the items you buy
  3. You don’t pick and choose what you deserve
  4. You treat your credit card as income
  5. You think the little amounts won’t add up
  6. You think that you are young, so you should spend on experiences
  7. You don’t do a weekly grocery shop
  8. You think it’s because you are on a low income
  9. You are paying for cable TV
  10. You spend money on convenience
  11. You don’t have a side hustle
  12. You don’t pay yourself first
  13. You don’t prepare for the unexpected- An Emergency Fund
  14. You don’t have financial goals
  15. You spend too much money on bank fees

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1.    You only have one bank account

All right. If you only have one bank account, then this is your first problem.  You need to have at least 3 bank accounts.

  • Checking/ current account
  • Easy access savings account
  • Difficult to access savings account

The reason for this is you will end up spending money on impulse purchases or frivolous items if all your money is in one account. This means you can’t save money

But, you can’t spend money that isn’t there right?

So, speak to your bank and ask them to set up an easy and difficult to access savings account. The reason why you should have 2 types of savings accounts is that it will stop you from panicking about whether you can access your money during emergencies.

Furthermore, sometimes emergencies do crop up and it’s better to use savings instead of getting into debt.

Tip– Often banks will pay interest on your savings accounts, so you can earn extra money from your savings.


2.    You believe you deserve the items you buy

Have you ever had a bad day and thought ‘Today was shitty, I am going to treat myself’? Yup join the club! Often, we think we are deserving of the items we buy, and that’s how we justify it.

I used to buy expensive lunches and nice clothes when I had a tough day or week, justifying it using under the ‘self-love’ banner.

But unfortunately, if your spending is linked to all the items you think you deserve, you will never save anything!

You also deserve to have a nice healthy nest egg and to stop worrying about your debt. So, start changing your mindset.

Now I have changed my mindset to : ‘ If I save $xx amount of money, then I deserve to buy Y. BUT, make sure Y isn’t too expensive!

This is one of the best ways to save on a tight budget

3.    You don’t pick and choose what you deserve

Following on from the, I deserve it, mindset. The reason why you can’t save money could be you think you deserve everything.

I think we need to be kind to ourselves and from time to time it is important to treat yourself HOWEVER, I think you need to pick and choose your treat.

For example, I really like eating good food and I think it’s important to nourish your body with healthy delicious food as it makes me happy.

So, once a week I will eat out somewhere nice. But if I am eating out, I will make sure I pack lunch every day to save money on lunches.

You need to pick and choose what you deserve if you want to save money


4.    You treat your credit card as income

Do you ever think, ‘oh I don’t have enough money to buy that, but I have available money in my credit card so, so I can afford it?’


This is why you can’t save money

Your credit card is not an income and treating it that way will get you further into debt.

If you use your credit card this way, get rid of it now as this is the reason you can’t save.

Also, if you need to reduce your credit card debt, read this:

5.    You think the little amounts won’t add up

When I lived in the UK, I had this housemate who was in A LOT of debt. I sat him down and said, look you are on a low income, but just start with saving $5 a week.

He replied, I can’t save money, I have thousands of debts, what is $5 going to help?

But the thing is, $5 a week would be $260 a year.

Also, the great thing about tackling your debt is the ‘snowball effect’. This is where you tackle your smallest debt with any extra money you have.

Seeing the debt paid off will give you the positive motivation to save more and you will find ways to make or save extra money to pay more towards the debt.

So, start now, no matter how small, commit to an amount to save per week.


6.    You think that you are young, so you should spend on experiences

Ahhh I have been so guilty of this, I still am to a certain extent. The phrase, ‘YOLO’ is often used as a justification for spending excessive money on experiences and items.

Don’t get me wrong, I don’t think you should only live in the future and save without experiencing life. Heck, I have traveled to 28 countries, it would be hypocritical for me to advocate that.

What I am saying is, just because you are young doesn’t mean you can’t save money. You can save and enjoy experiences.

For example, I saved and spent some of the money hiking up Everest Base Camp and motorbiking around Vietnam for 30 days. I did it on a budget so I wouldn’t use the rest of my savings up.

So, spend some, save more.

Here are some related articles on budget travel:


7.    You don’t do a weekly grocery shop


If you shop for groceries every day or every other day, then this is your problem right here. You aren’t meal planning so you can’t save money on food expenses.

Meal planning will transform your finances.

Sit down on Saturday and plan your meals for the week. Try and think of how you can cook multiple dishes with the same ingredients. Buying in bulk also means you will spend less.

For example, I will plan to buy chicken and vegetables. This means I can make chicken curry and chicken stir-fry in the week.

Tip– Always make enough so you can use the leftovers for the next day, thus saving money on another meal.

why you can't save money

8.    You think it’s because you are on a low income

I think this is the most common reason I hear why people can’t save money.

But here is the thing, many, many people on a low income can save, so why can’t you?

Here is a lesser-known fact about me – I paid for my entire education all by myself. I worked and saved while studying and managed to fund my law degree and masters.

I worked in low paid jobs like cleaning and café work, but I still managed to pay it without a student loan debt.

It’s all about mindset, google people who have saved on a low-income, it will inspire and motivate you.


9.    You are paying for cable TV

Did you know that 73 percent of U.S. households have a cable or satellite television subscription?

This is money that could be stowed away and save. Ditch the cable and go for free or cheaper alternatives like Netflix, Hulu, or Amazon.

10. You spend money on convenience

We live in an age where convenience is king, but that convenience is costing us and we can’t save money, as a result.

Have you ever returned home from work and ordered an Uber Eats because you can’t be bothered to cook?

Or been too lazy to take public transport or walk so ordered an Uber taxi? Or how about pre-chopped vegetables, they cost WAY MORE than normal vegetables.

These little habits are costing you money. If you are doing it often, it’s time to cut them out and start saving, every little counts.

11. You don’t have a side hustle

You can save in two ways, earn more money, cut your expenses or DO BOTH.

Having a side hustle will help you earn extra cash, so you can save more for your future

Here are some useful articles on how to start a side hustle and work from home jobs you can do in your free time.

Related articles on how to start a side hustle:

12. You don’t pay yourself first


I never knew what this meant was until I googled it but it’s so true.

When your salary comes in what do you do? Pay your bills and spend money on your needs and wants and then save the rest?

This is where to are going wrong and why you can’t save money

 You need to pay yourself first. Put an amount into your savings first, pay your bills, then spend anything left on whatever you want.

Save first, then you can spend the rest.

If you don’t know how much to save, then use the 50/30/ 20 rule.

Spend 50 percent of your budget on essentials like rent and food, 30 percent on discretionary spending like your wants, and at least 20 percent for savings.

13. You don’t prepare for the unexpected- An Emergency Fund

Emergencies cost money and can get you into severe debt. And once you are in debt, you will have to pay extra money on interest, which gets you further into debt.

Prepare for emergencies by creating an emergency fund to pay for things that crop up which cost money. Examples of these could be your car breaking down, hour repairs, or unexpected costs.

For example, my grandma suddenly got really ill when lived in NZ and I had to book a last-minute flight to the UK. It cost me $3,000.

Had I not had an emergency fund, I would have had to take a loan or credit card out, getting me into debt. This would mean I can’t save money as I would be paying off debt and interest.


14. You don’t have financial goals

What is your financial goal i.e. what are you saving for? How much is it?

Write it down.

They say dreams become a reality when you have a plan and a timeline.

So, for me, I want to buy a house in NZ, so I need a deposit of NZD100,000 (20 % of NZD500k).

That is my financial goal and I have divided how many years will take for me to save it and how much I need to save per month to get there.

What is your financial plan?

15. You spend too much money on bank fees

Do you spend money on overdrafts, money transfers, withdrawal fees?


This is why you can’t save money

Get yourself an alternative money provider like TransferWise, which charges way less for global money transfers and next to nothing on withdrawal fees abroad.

TransferWise has been a godsend and I highly recommend them. I use them all the time and they have saved me hundreds in bank fees!

There you have it, 17 reasons why you can’t save money.

You can learn about other ways to save and make extra money at

Do you know why you can’t save? What are you doing so that you can change that?

” Live like no one else, so later you can live and give like no one else.”

– Dave Ramsey-

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