60 Reasons Why Personal Finance is So Damn Hard

One of the things that always amazes me is just how much information is written, spoken, taped, or talked about when it comes to personal finance. But it’s really no surprise because it’s one of the hardest things we have to deal with as grown-ups.

And so I’ve compiled this not-so-short list of 60 reasons why dealing with your money is not a walk in the park, but tough work.

Please share your own!

  1. You can always expect unexpected expenses.
  2. People rely on you to bring home the bacon, upping the pressure.
  3. Buying things makes us feel good and worthy inside.
  4. We do a horrible job at teaching our kids about money.
  5. Greed and fear are both emotions we’re bad at managing.
  6. Money’s hard to think about when you don’t have time.
  7. It seems like your friends always have the latest gadgets.
  8. Going down hurts twice as bad as going up, or so they say.
  9. We think that little expenses won’t add up to much of anything.
  10. Passive income is easy to keep up, but a lot harder to build.
  11. We use money as a way to impress the opposite sex. It doesn’t last.
  12. $100 more from $1,000 is only 10%. But it’s still $100.
  13. Things we need keep breaking and need to be replaced.
  14. It’s laughably easy to borrow money at insane interest rates.
  15. Many people rely on one job for their entire income.
  16. Insurance takes money, but gives nothing back to 95% of users.
  17. Advertisers spend millions of dollars figuring out how to get to you.
  18. Being frugal isn’t considered “cool” by your friends.
  19. Momentum isn’t always the problem. Getting started often is.
  20. Spouses are often opposites when it comes to spending vs. saving.
  21. People will take advantage of you if you don’t do your research.
  22. Dealing with money is emotional. Emotions cloud rational thought.
  23. Budgeting or tracking your net worth is rarely fun. Why do it then?
  24. We don’t control credit scores directly, but they control our options.
  25. It’s easy to borrow money for college and defer worrying about it.
  26. People expect us to spend thousands on events like weddings.
  27. There are 300 things I’d rather be doing than entering receipts.
  28. We hate failing, which happens daily if you’re doing things right.
  29. Personal finance tools are mainstream. We’re all unique.
  30. The line between needs and wants can be stretched with little effort.
  31. Laziness is natural. Doing something tough is…a lot more tough.
  32. Going from minute detail to big picture, constantly, is tasking.
  33. We love to spend when life is good, when we should be saving.
  34. Trying to stay motivated using the wrong reasons never works.
  35. It’s hard to find best-value products without an objective source.
  36. Setting up financial systems can take a lot of time up front.
  37. We believe we’ll be saved by the lottery or a large inheritance…soon.
  38. We want our (pets, children, etc.) to look cute. Cute has a premium.
  39. In good times and in bad, everyone has an opinion about money.
  40. With so many options and paths, analysis paralysis is easy to fall into.
  41. We’re willing to pay for convenience and to buy ourselves more time.
  42. Most of personal finance is about balance, but we like to push things.
  43. Most of us forgot what it’s like to use cash on a regular basis.
  44. For better or worse, parents often put lasting money tapes in our head.
  45. Retirement savings need time. But retirement can seem too far away.
  46. Whatever monetary policy you like, about 50% of the U.S. disagrees.
  47. Healthcare expenses are both priceless and incredibly high.
  48. Circumstances shift on short notice—you could get pregnant!
  49. People often choose flashy over functional—in all areas of life.
  50. The old status quo of job hunting practices is changing quickly.
  51. People scared of math might be scared of dealing with money.
  52. Paying down debt always has a ceiling ($0). Saving doesn’t.
  53. Money is taboo. But we learn different perspectives by sharing.
  54. Our standard of living has an annoying tendency to grow unnoticed.
  55. It’s easy to focus on the little things and forget about the big things.
  56. People make big decisions based on what the masses are doing.
  57. Also, it’s easy to focus on the big things and forget about the little ones.
  58. Someone’s always out to scam you, sue you, or inflate your choices.
  59. People say and intend to do one thing, but often do another.
  60. What’s the best approach for other people might not be the best for us.

What’s your excuse?

Photo by striatic

9 thoughts on “60 Reasons Why Personal Finance is So Damn Hard

  1. My excuse is that I’m not sure when I will die, hence not quite sure how much savings is enough. I may be oversaving (likely) or not saving enough.

    All I can do is hope for the best and stay disciplined. Yet, I love having a good time and spending on experiences. I think this 1 week Mayan vacay alone will cost two of us $3,500 combined. Expensive, but what an experience!

    1. What’s a life worth living without good experiences, right? But it’s a fine line, for sure.

    1. Actually, I find it really encouraging. Stating the problem makes us come up with solutions. 🙂 Isn’t that what this is all about?

  2. Love this post…maybe it should be posted on the refrigerator for a time to remind us of potential pitfalls (not excuses! these are legitimate traps we all fall into from time to time).

    1. Yeah, it’s even more fun reading it 4 months later. 🙂 I think I might take your advice and print this one off.

  3. In regard to #27, Mint.com is a great tool for tracking spending so you don’t have to enter receipts, and it categorizes everything for you. If it miscategorizes, or if you want to create new categories, you can easily do that. It doesn’t acknowledge some small banks, but overall I think it’s a excellent financial tool for anyone new to actively managing their finances.

    Excellent list. It was a great reminder to see which of these I was guilty of, and a great pat on the back seeing the ones that have no effect on me. 🙂

Comments are closed.