"I don't make enough money to save."
This is the budgeting equivalent of the “my dog ate my homework” excuse. If you invest even $10 a week—a.k.a. one glass of wine—from the age of 18, you’ll have $100,000 (assuming a 5-percent rate of return) by the time you’re 65. It’s never too late to start: Pick up this habit at the age of 35, and you’ll have $35,000. Or try this hack from Toronto-based personal finance expert Preet Banerjee: Take 10 percent of your paycheque and set up an automated transfer into a savings or investment account. “The worst thing that can happen? After a couple of months, you realize you can’t make it work and you now have a few hundred dollars saved. The best-case scenario is you find you don’t miss it.”
"If I hear one more person tell me I need to make a budget, I'll go off."
Cringe at the thought of itemizing every last latte? Banerjee suggests working backwards: Think about your priorities—like shelter, food, daycare, gas—and make sure you have enough money for these first. Add 10 percent of your income to this figure for savings, and make sure that whatever is left over doesn’t get to zero by the end of the month. But, he warns, this still requires some scrutiny of your finances. “Unless you’re willing to sit down and go over where your money has been going, you’re never really in control of your cash flow.”
"I don't want to live in my parents' basement until I'm 40 so I can afford to buy a house."
When did we start equating being a grown-up with owning property? Yes, a home can be a great investment, but Alex Avery, author of The Wealthy Renter, argues in his book that if you have enough discipline to invest (in the stock market) your savings from renting versus having a giant mortgage, you could come out ahead in the long run. If you’re stuck on that white picket fence, you may need to expand your search outside your dream neighbourhood.