“He that is good for making excuses is seldom good for anything else.” - Benjamin Franklin.
The present crisis has made many realise the importance of savings. Many of us may have gone through hard financial times recently. Saving money can be hard when we are earning less and have less to save. Having passed the crisis, now is the time to divert all of your efforts to your financial well-being going ahead. Yet, for some reason there will always be those who refuse to invest - even though they could really help themselves with investments - with excuses that seem less convincing or something that can be remedied with a little effort. This article talks about a few common excuses and how they don't hold up when you look at them closely. In the past, we've found these excuses ineffective and can be overcomed with strong intent.
I DON’T HAVE ENOUGH MONEY
Let's dissect the truth behind this most common reason.
- Any amount can be used as a starting point: Is there an amount in mind when we say that we don't have enough money? Most people don't think about how much they will be able to invest and hope they will start saving once they do. Nevertheless, this is a futile exercise that often delays your savings till you regret it. Honestly, if the intent is really there, you can even start saving Rs.500 per month.
- You can always prioritise spending: In order for someone who finds it difficult to save, they should look closely at their expenditures. The amount of money you could save if you just paid attention can be quite surprising. If you divert petty expenses like dining out, watching movies, ordering food, impulsive shopping online, etc., to investments, it can go a long way. Only the right intention is needed.
- It may be due to a lack of intent: It is perhaps the intent, or rather the lack of it, that gives you the excuse of not having money. Surely, those who despise saving and believe in only living to the fullest in life openly declare their lack of intent. If you have enough wealth to retire and take care of your family, it may work for you. But if you don't? Savings must be balanced and there must be a good reason and space to do so.
- Talk to your advisor, if you are unable to save: In case you have the genuine intent, but do not have adequate money to save, you need to consult a financial advisor /mutual fund distributor to really understand your financial situation and guide you further.
I AM IN DEBT
This can be a genuine excuse which is not impossible to handle. Let us see what we can do if you find it really hard to save because of huge debt.
- A plan is essential: Getting to know your situation is the first step - how much you earn, how much you own and owe, how much it costs to service your loans, etc. Using the plans, you may be able to find ways to still save some money by cutting corners in other areas.
- Debts that are expensive need to be repaid: It is also advisable if we can dilute some of our assets and pay off expensive loans and find space to divert the EMIs saved towards real savings and wealth creation.
- You may restructure the loans: When things have reached a point of no return and it is impossible to manage your affairs, there is still a way out. Restructure your loans and negotiate with your lenders using your good credit rating. In the event that you truly wish to pursue a solution, there may still be a way out.
I DON’T HAVE TIME
Whether it is procrastination, laziness or lack of interest, time is a common excuse. Let's uncover the truth. Why may this not be true?
- Account opening is now digital: Physical transactions are a thing of the past. Everything is digital these days, and the first step is to open a digital account. Thankfully, the process is entirely online. You can start online investing by choosing a financial advisor, distributor, or broker.
- Transactions are done digitally: In addition to being tired of doing the paperwork for transactions, we also hate having to depend on our advisor/distributor to deliver the paperwork to the operational offices. The good news is that transactions in most financial products, particularly mutual funds, can now be done online, any time and anywhere.
- Tools for goal planning are readily available: In case you believe that planning your finances takes too much time and that these things bore you, then you are wrong. There are many user-friendly tools available today that can help you achieve your financial goals. If you do not wish to speak to your mutual fund distributor, this can be your option. Explore these tools that hardly take a few minutes and you will find out how much you need to save in SIPs or lump sums to reach your financial goals.
These are just three of the most common excuses for not saving. There could be many more and you may even have a hundred excuses, however, there is only one reason to save – financial well-being. If you have the foresight and the common sense but lack bank balance to retire, savings is the way forward, without excuse. There is a famous quote from Florence Nightingale - “I attribute my success to this – I never gave or took an excuse.” Happy saving and investing.