I encounter people who have saved very little money, if any, over many years in some cases and decades in others. When we look back over long periods of time, it seems inexplicable that a seemingly intelligent person could fail to save any meaningful amount for the future. But there is a simple explanation.
When we look to past failures to save for a long time, we look like fools. But when we look to the future, we see the rest of today, along with a magical time in the future when “I’m not so busy and everything isn’t crazy.” This makes it easy to not save today. After all, what difference can a single day make? The problem is that the last decade is made up of a few thousand single days.
Of course, this magical time in the future when things are calmer will never arrive. So, it’s easy to keep putting off things like saving money, improving your diet, and exercising.
In the end, the answer to the question “how can people fail to save any money for years?” is “they do it one day at a time.”