Why Is It So Hard To Save?

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Partial Transcript

[The following is a partial transcript of this episode of The Scott Alan Turner Show. Listen to the full episode to hear this story, listener questions, money hacks, and inspiring stories of people that are changing their financial lives. Subscribe to the free podcast on iTunes or Google Play]

In This Episode

  • Saving ain’t easy, but give yourself props for having some, starting to have some, or having a plan to have some when you can.
  • Free resources for your finances you might not know about.
  • News of the weird: $8,000 can extend your life a little.
  • Why won’t people talk about money?
  • Top rated insurance companies.
  • One couple shares the key to early retirement.

Listener questions:

  • What type of mortgage should we get (Barb Lexington, Kentucky)
  • When should I start collecting my pension (Troy, Iowa)
  • I lost my child care tax credits because of my income, should I stop investing (Rebecca, Indianapolis)
  • I don’t have a stable income while I’m in school (Gretchen)
  • Good financial gifts for a wedding present (Martin, Chicago, IL)

Why is saving money so hard for most people?

I believe part of the reason saving is hard is because we’re hardwired to compete with others. We’re like birds building a nest to attract another bird. We want to get that bright red piece of yarn to stand out, not have some boring old nest with brown twigs and dead leaves.

“Social media can be the modern day version of ‘Keeping up with the Joneses,’” and some people “feel inferior if someone they know has a shinier or bigger toy than they do,” – Nancy Irwin.

Bright red yarn.

In a newsletter I sent out a couple weeks ago, one newsletter was what I’m learning from my kids. Part of that was seeing the world as they see it. Which when you think about it and put yourself in someone else’s shoes, it helps with understanding why someone wants bright red yarn in their nest, and why there is this struggle to save.

  • You can understand why someone spends or saves differently
  • You can understand why someone is in a bad mood, or a good mood
  • You can understand someones values. Why someone wants to buy a brand new car, and why someone else wants to buy a scooter. I used to own a scooter. Somehow I’m still alive.

A lot of the judgement, frustration, and negativity goes away when we not just see, but understand a different point of view. Katie made a comment a couple months ago, she understands a young person living in a small town without much money being really excited to get her nails done, because that small expense is going to make that person feel better. Boost her esteem. Give her some confidence. When a person lives in a difficult situation, it’s hard to have confidence, to see a way out, to see there is more. The nails, the shoes, the purse, the gold plated tire rims, or the fuzzy dice on the mirror, that’s a small, temporary win over a person’s current circumstances.

Bright red yarn.

So I want to read the following essay to you by Abby, who is 18 years old. It’s how an 18 year old sees money.


Money has always been a topic of interest in my family, considering that my grandfather is an entrepreneur. He has always made it a priority to teach his grandchildren about the importance of money and how we should handle it. One big thing that I’ve learned is the importance of tithing. Tithing is giving back 10% of anything you earn to the Lord. I’ve always been taught that giving back to the Lord is significant because everything we have comes from him. As I’ve grown up I’ve also learned how hard it can be to save. The idea of saving seemed simple until all my friends wanted to go eat at a semi-expensive restaurant. Maybe I wanted to get my nails done or go shopping, but I knew I needed to save the money.

All of these things seem simple, but in reality, they were kind of hard for me. However, through the process of me saving for a trip to Europe, I’ve gained a better understanding of the value of money. Getting out ten dollars to go to eat with my friends or go to a basketball game felt different. Learning to earn money for myself has been really beneficial; it has taught me that adults work really hard for what they have. I think that’s an important skill that I will carry with me for the rest of my life. Something new that I have been learning is that there is a balance to spending and saving; that it’s normal to spend sometimes. I feel like a couple of times I’ve been so caught up in saving that I feel guilty for spending ten dollars here and there. To say the least, it’s a battle to find the balance in my life, but one step at a time I feel like I’m getting there.

My family has also taught me a lot about humility and how important it is to keep money private. Flaunting your money, whether you’re broke or doing great, will never benefit you or anyone else. Being humble about what the Lord has given you is pleasing to the Lord and will help you feel proud of yourself for what you’ve accomplished. It helps you not to compare what you have to others. Now it is super easy for me to tell you about this concept, but it is very hard to do. Especially since we live in a world full of comparison and wants. Being content isn’t always easy, but money won’t help you get there. It has always been difficult for me to see others with things handed to them that I would like to have, but lately, my mom has really encouraged me to focus on what I do have and what I’m working towards. I really believe that working to be in this state of mind will be exponentially beneficial.

Overall, I’m so grateful for getting to grow up in a family that has gradually taught me the importance of money. They’ve taught me about tithing, saving, the value of money, and the significance of being humble. I couldn’t be more grateful. Hopefully, as I continue to grow in my faith and my journey through life I will learn more about money and one day will be able to share with my family.


So think back to your younger self, and you saw money differently, right? And you knows this already but you probably have beat yourself up one too many times over how you used to handle money. All that money spent on bright red yarn. That’s normal, we all did it.

People had a problem, they acknowledged the problem. And then they made the choice to change. Or if you’re not there yet, you’re making progress figuring it out at your own pace.

  • You made the choice to save
  • You made the choice to sell some stuff, to spark some joy in your closet
  • You made the choice to pay down the debts
  • You recognized you have some spending and saving values, they are different than everyone else’s.

Saving is hard, we like bright red yarn. What you’re feeling – that saving is hard – that’s real for most people. You already know automating your savings makes it easier.

  • Pay yourself first.
  • Save first,
  • spend the rest.

Put some aside for future you, and with time you’ll earn more or have extra for the bright red yarn. And if you play your cards right and save long enough, you’ll have enough bright red yarn for a king size afghan quilt.

I think I used afghan on the last show too. Welcome friends to the Turner Knitting Hour! We’ve moved on from Bob Ross to knitting. We already had the cats, how is it I don’t have millions of little old ladies following me on Facebook? I’m 6’3, long blond hair, pythons like Hulk Hogan. Oh wait, that’s Thor again.

I’m 5’10, short weird hair, pythons like Hulk Hogan. There’s nothing finer, than Scott Steiner. That’s for all you wrestling buffs. Four Life.

Saving ain’t easy, but give yourself props for having some, starting to have some, or having a plan to have some when you can.

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