We all know that it is important to save money, but it can be so easy to tell yourself that you have too many bills to save now or that you will save when you are older. Clichés like “a penny saved is a penny earned” or “every penny counts” can easily make us laugh, but they aren’t completely off the mark. While saving five pennies per month won’t make you rich, saving even $50 per month will give you a nice holiday spending budget at the end of the year.
In addition to saving for expenses like gifts or travel, you need to save for an emergency and also for your retirement. Currently, 44 percent of Americans are living with less than $5,887 in savings (for a family of four). Sixty-eight percent of Americans are not reaching their monthly retirement target, but why is that? There are several challenges that Americans face when trying to save money, and here are just five.
1. Not being able to afford basic needs
Although some Americans could save and don’t because they just don’t budget well, this isn’t true of everyone. Some people have a job that pays so little that they live paycheck to paycheck and can’t set aside any money for savings because they need all of their income just to cover basic expenses. Americans who fall into this category are often hard-working individuals who can’t keep a consistent job for medical reasons, or they can’t get a job that pays well and would allow them to save.
Even with government assistance, some people can’t afford their basic monthly food, housing, and utilities, so saving for the future becomes out of the question. Even saving for emergencies can be nearly impossible. There is no easy fix for being underemployed or not making enough — hopefully, if you are experiencing hard times, they will be short lived. In the meantime, try to save money wherever you can.