Sign up for The Wire Newsletter!

Dollars & Sense

Why I Can't Save

By Gary Foreman, The Dollar Stretcher
Posted May 16th 2003 9:15AM

Don't want to lose all my friends at the collection agencies
"I've had so many wonderful people call me from the different collection agencies. I'd hate to think that we'd never get to talk any more. They've really gotten to know me. Besides, they're always willing to put the calls on their phone bill!" Phyllis, Houston

Avoiding nasty bank deposit lines
"Nothing I hate more than those long bank lines to deposit my paycheck. It's so much simpler when I don't have anything to deposit. Not only am I avoiding the lines, I'm also saving gas and helping the environment." Rob, Los Angeles

Bulky wallets & purses
"Back when I had money my wallet was much too fat. Always made my clothes look bad. I like that smooth look. Bulges aren't in. Thin is in. It's much better now that my wallet is empty. Much thinner. Plus it's easier to find other stuff in there now, too!" Dewey, New York

All those darn bank statements
"Can you think of a worse way to spend your free time? Trying to get all those figures to add up gives me a big-time headache! I'd much rather watch Regis than try to figure out how much money I have." Julie, Seattle

Thinking up new excuses for office collections
"When someone asks me to give for a birthday, wedding or baby shower gift, it's easy to tell them that I don't have any money. If I did have money, I'd have to think up a new excuse each time and that would be a lot of trouble. This is much, much easier." Susie, Tucson

Harder to negotiate a cash deal for a car
"When the salesman asks how big a payment I can afford, that's an easy question to answer. He does all the hard figuring part. It's so much easier this way. I don't know what I'd do if I had to argue with him over what the car's worth. Probably quit buying new cars altogether!" Ted, Atlantic City

Enjoys playing "Which Bill Do We Pay" game
"I get a real feeling of power when I look at a stack of bills and decide which ones I'm going to pay. It's a rush! I'm the Man. Do they get their money now? Or do they just have to wait until I'm ready to pay them? Now that's real power!" Trevor, Detroit

Dealing with panhandlers asking for money
"I don't have a problem dealing with panhandlers. I just tell them that I don't have anything. If I actually had some money I'd need to decide whether to give them some. And that can be a really tough decision. Would they use it for food? Or just waste it? This is much easier. After all, I'm really just like them. I honestly don't have any money!" David, San Francisco

Sleepless nights allows me to see some great infomercials
"Back when I didn't have any bills I slept like a baby. And I had no idea what I was missing! At first I thought that all those bills keeping me awake was bad. Not so! They run some great infomercials at night. My favorites are for those ab machines. Really gets me psyched up to change my life!" Tina, Little Rock

Credit card bills are my only interesting mail
"Friends are so unpredictable. You can't count on them to write to you. But you can depend on the credit card companies. They write every month. You can count on it. If it weren't for them I don't think that I'd get anything but junk mail. Not only do they write me, but they also tell me about new things that I can get for my money. Isn't that what real friends are for?" Rita, Omaha

OK, so you've probably guessed that these aren't real letters from readers. I admit it. They're made up. But I did it for a reason. What's keeping you from paying off your debts and spending less than you make? If you were to look at your reasons would they seem as silly as these?

You're in the best position to control how you live your life. If some of your reasons are beginning to look like excuses it's time to make a change. So be brave and take a hard look at your reasons for not saving money.

Gary Foreman is a former Certified Financial Planner who currently edits The Dollar Stretcher website


Please sign in or sign up to post a comment.  Or sign in with Facebook.