I am a strong woman with no understanding of how to save money. What I mean is that I struggle for no reason, I know I need to save but, I have no sense of how to save, because I see things as it is. I work hard, but spend harder.

I am a strong woman with no understanding of how to save money. What I mean is that I struggle for no reason, I know I need to save but, I have no sense of how to save, because I see things as it is. I work hard, but spend harder.
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How can I learn to save? I really need help. I have thought about having my money deposited into someone else’s account so that they can pay my bills and I not see the money.


I grew up very poor.  I'm a strong man, and I work hard, however I save hard to.  You just need to have some discipline. Think about it for a minute.

Craig W. Smalley, E.A.

Admitted To Practice Before The Internal Revenue Service


There is an underlying reason you are ‘outwitting’ yourself; this is not accidental. I sense so much pain and frustration in your question and I’m so glad that you reached out. Please know that you are not alone - many, many people are caught up in a pattern of purposeless spending and do not know where to turn for help. Financial life planning was created for people just like you. The process begins with a series of exploratory questions about money memories, lessons you learned growing up, your first memory of money, painful money experiences, and more. The knowledge you gain frees you to move to a more healthy relationship with money, allowing you to sett goals and develop a financial plan that you can live by.

If you do not resolve your mixed feelings about money and understand what is motivating you not to save, then having a perfect budget will not make a difference. There are less than 1,000 RLPs (Registered Life Planners) in the world today. I happen to be one and know the power of the process from hands on work. George Kinder published a book in 2014, Life Planning for You, that he wrote to help people get started with financial life planning on their own. I suggest you read it and then decide if you want to try the DIY route or if working with a RLP would help you get turned around.

Good luck and I hope this helps!


You are not alone in this problem. There is only one solution that I know of, and that is to understand the consequences of not doing it. If the consequences of not saving for retirement are real to you, then you may be motivated. But if the consequences are not significant enough for you to do what needs to be done, you will live as you do - but when retirement comes, you will pay the price. 

If retirement on a minimal income is not relevant to you, maybe you should go to some of the low income communities, or rest homes and just observe. See what is in store for you if you don't take action and do something about it. I am not trying to be rude here - but you asked - and the truth is, you are responsible for your future. No one else. You have only two sources of income when you are no longer able to work - due to old age, health, no one will hire you, etc  - social security and what you accumulate. That's it.

If you don't take action - you will be getting around $2000 a month plus an inflation kicker from age 70 until you die. If you spend $1000 on rent - you will have $1000 for gas, food, entertainment, clothes, and medical. If you have poor health, you will spend almost all of it on medicine or you will not have the prescriptions. Visualize this lifestyle. And, if this does not motivate you to save, I am thinking nothing else will.

Hope you are able to see the benefits. 


Hi! I’m so glad you wrote. I agree that is IS so very, very hard to save…there are so many requirements for a person’s money, and then there are so many lovely things and compelling experiences that make it difficult to save money. And if you are more a “creative” person than a practical person (like my grownup daughter) it’s even harder. I am able to help out my daughter with keeping financially organized, and I wish all people for whom money management is difficult could have a person they trust to help them out. You can pay reasonable amounts to people to clean your house, organize your closets, be a life coach, etc, but only the very wealthy can afford to pay for regular money management from someone they trust. A financial planner like me would create a financial plan that would set you in motion, but that plan would not provide the ongoing monthly management you are longing for. A financial advisor would manage your investments and give you some advice, but again, that daily and monthly management and spending/saving choices would still fall to you. So, unless you are very wealthy, you would need to rely on a trusted and financially knowledgeable family member or friend to help you will bill paying and money management – but if they didn’t do it right or – even worse – were dishonest, you would be the responsible person in the end.
It is likely that you will need to figure this out yourself, and I know you can. So this is something that is difficult, but something I know you can learn to manage. I totally get the appeal (and wisdom) of putting your financial self on autopilot! There are techniques you can use to help yourself in that regard.
First, so an informal “budget” or list of income you get each month and expenses you must pay like rent, utilities, cable etc. Remember to include expenses that come once a year like property tax…you could pro rate them by month. Then see how much is left over. From that amount left over, look at how much you tend to spend in discretionary spending. If that spending is equal to or more than you bring in, you’ll need to figure out how to either make more money (with maybe a second part time job) or spend less (which is the really hard part). Once you figure out how to increase income or reduce spending, then you can have money automatically moved from your checking account each month into a savings account and then into an investment account as you accumulate more. You can also have some money automatically sent to a retirement account like a 401(k) or IRA. If you don’t already have direct deposit for your paycheck, set that up. You can also automate your bills so that they are paid without your “seeing” the money – you just have to check briefly each month to make sure nothing has gone awry.
A great website to help you toward these goals is America Saves: https://americasaves.org/
If you want encouragement or more advice, please contact me! Hauer.kathy@gmail.com Best wishes to you… this is going to work out fine.


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