“Being broke is a temporary situation. Being poor is a state of mind”
~ Mike Todd
It is a natural concept that everyone has a level of desire that they wish to satisfy at different times. These desires are fueled by several factors such as taste and preference, income levels, as well as lifestyle.
Just as these levels are different for different individuals based on some earlier mentioned factors, so is the definition of “brokenness” relative among them too.
Being broke refers to a situation where an individual does not have adequate funds to meet some desires or financial needs at a particular time which possibly could have been a result of spending above one’s financial limit.
It is not a taboo to be broke since ups and downs are a huge part of life. It is only a warning sign for us to probably check our excessive financial behavior, find solutions to these shortcomings, and learn how to stop being broke.
It is important to note that being broke is not synonymous with being poor. Simply put, poverty is a state of not being able to cater to one’s basic needs.
Poor people struggle to meet their basic needs of life and they live below a meager threshold of 1.90 dollars a day as defined by the World Bank. There are a few ways to avoid being broke, or at least, reduce the tendency of getting broke.
Though broad, they can be categorized generally based on the aim of each measure which is either to reduce expenditure or to increase income.
Nothing good comes easy, so trying out these measures would require dedication and consistency, but if you truly want to know how to stop being broke rest assured that they’ll yield the desired results in the long run.
Remember, our little everyday actions grow into becoming our habits, and these habits can help shape our finances.
1. Avoid Keeping Up With The Joneses.
In a world where globalization has brought people, societies, and cultures closer to each other, there is a tendency for people to rub off their lifestyle on others.
The advent of social media has fostered faster transfer of trends, and people are in a constant craze to keep up with them.
Hence, expanding the concept of the Joneses. “Keeping up with the Joneses” is a phrase used to describe how people try to keep up with the spending patterns of their rich neighbors. In doing so, they decide to neglect the fact that spending power is relative as it is based on income levels which differ among people.
Modeling your lifestyle after others can make you live beyond your means in a bid to keep up. This tells hard on your finances and can put you in serious trouble.
How would you practice tips on how to stop being broke when the person you are trying to copy earns thrice your salary? Imagine a gardener modeling the spending lifestyle of a rock star -preposterous, right? Therefore, we should learn to set our standards, live by them, and quit trying to emulate beyond our means.
2. How To Stop Being Broke-Quit Trying To Impress Others.
In a bid to impress, we often go out of our way to acquire some material possessions which drain our pockets. This is similar to the conformity portrayed in trying to keep up with the Joneses, but in this case, there are no standards necessarily being emulated. The driving force here usually is the need to find public relevance or acceptance, and maybe get a couple of likes and retweets.
These days, social media sites such as Twitter and Instagram have been sources of inspiration for people who live fake lives but in reality, are tired of being broke and depressed thereby constantly seeking public opinions for self-validation.
These people rely on the size of followership they can amass, the number of likes and repost, as well as the comments they receive to feel happy. This drive for happiness through external validation makes them embrace flamboyant lifestyles to be consistent.
Hence, they will rather borrow to keep impressing others than watch their public status suffer. If you want to know how to stop being broke, you have to forget about other people’s lifestyles and personally take active steps to improve financially.
Therefore, it is important to live our lives not to impress others but to find peace and happiness doing the little things we love and spending time with loved ones as it is both mentally and financially healthy.
3. Diversify Your Income Sources.
Having several sources of income is a good way to avoid being broke. Do you have a skill? Monetize it. You could play for a local band after work, mow lawns on weekends, instruct at the gym, teach ballet or salsa, make paintings and sell them, or even write for a blog.
Do you want to know what to do when you are completely broke? Everything you can legally do. Although, it is important to not overwork yourself since good health is also a yardstick for wealth.
Having a job and a side hustle can help raise money to meet several needs and help avoid debts that come from recurrent expenditures. This measure ensures that you are not totally out of money for too long, and it also keeps you active and productive.
4. Prioritize Your Spending.
Do you want to know how to stop being broke? The famous writer, Samuel Johnson said, “Whatever you have, spend less.” It is a good thing to spend and feel happy.
After all, what is the essence of making money if you are not spending it? But it is also worth knowing that human wants are numerous and insatiable but the resources required to satisfy these needs are limited, hence, the need to rank our wants.
Since we cannot have everything it is only wise that we select the most important objects of our desire and satisfy them. We can decide to outline our needs such as food, internet, movies, and decide to spend on the more important or urgent items on our list.
A scale of preference will come in handy as a tool to display our wants in descending order of importance so that we can equally visualize them before making our decision.
5. Create A Financial Plan.
Do not spend your income without first having a plan for it. A financial plan could be for the month, week, or day depending on how you choose to spread your disposable income for the period before the next payment arrives. You could even title it “How to stop being Broke” so that you’ll take it seriously.
If you have a financial goal in mind which may be to pay your rent of $1440 at the end of the year, putting aside $120 every month will ensure that you do not delay your payment. Having a financial plan for different goals or projects will help prepare your mind for future financial commitments and also enable you to track your money balances.
A common example of a financial plan is a budget. Budgeting puts you in charge of your finances because it helps you match your outflow against your inflow. A basic budget ensures that you do not plan for expenses that exceed what you earn, else you will run into a deficit.
Therefore, when preparing your budget, you should aim at either a surplus budget where your planned expenditure is less than your income or in worse case scenarios, a balanced budget where your income equals your expenditure, that is, you plan to spend exactly what you earn.
6. How To Stop Being Broke-Avoid Borrowing.
Incurring debt through borrowing can shrink your finances. Put in the effort towards avoiding borrowing because in a short while you’re going to be sick of having no money and constantly being in debt.
Why do people borrow? People borrow to finance certain needs which could be business, medical, education, or even fun related such as a vacation.
Borrowing is used to fill the gap in a deficit budget, but it can be avoided most times by preparing a surplus budget at the beginning of the month or adopting several side hustles. If you don’t know what to do when you have no money, then you may be forced to borrow.
But it has to be for capital expenditure such as a vetted investment or business-related so that you can finance the debt from the profit of the business. Obtaining a loan from banks, loan houses, or loan sharks is usually accompanied with a cost -the cost of servicing debts as reflected in the accruing interest. It is therefore advisable to stay away from debts. Run!
7. Lend What You Are Willing To Part With.
We have loved ones such as our friends and family members who at some point will need financial assistance from us.
Turning them down may not sound like a good idea but it is sometimes the best thing to do. A person who is truly tired of struggling financially will make decisions that benefit him or her.
Anyways, if you are a very benevolent person it is advised that you only lend an amount that you are willing to part with.
Doing this implies that you have already made your financial commitments towards your financial goals and you are willing to give from your spare. You have to apply wisdom to learn how to stop being broke. This will save you from having to chase your debtors around to settle your financial needs.
8. How To Stop Being Broke-Save.
While creating financial plans, it is important to note that there may be unforeseen circumstances in the nearest future. It, therefore, makes sense to cultivate the habit of saving.
Emulate the planning behavior of the ants by saving for rainy days. The ants are a social and well-organized set of insects that gather enough during summer and then have plenty to eat during winter when they are unable to go food searching.
Savings should not be what is left after expenditures have been made, rather, savings s hould be treated first and then expenditures can be made from what is left. A simple method to try is a savings/expenditure formula such as 30/70, 40/60, or any other ratio that suits you.
9. How To Stop Being Broke-Do It Yourself.
One of the ways to manage your finances is by doing some simple tasks yourself. Do you want to know how to survive being broke? Clean your home yourself. Instead of paying for certain services such as laundry and dry cleaning, you can decide to do them yourself.
You can also decide to polish your shoes, rake the leaves in your compound, shave your beards, cook at home rather than pay for them to be done for you.
This helps you reduce your cash outflow and ensure that enough money is locked in. You can continue this routine until you are buoyant enough to outsource them again.
10. How To Stop Being Broke-Change Bad Habits.
Some habits are conduit pipes that constantly create avenues to lavish money. Habits such as excessive drinking, addiction to drugs, gambling amongst others are easy ways to get wrecked. These habits can cause addictions and then become very difficult to control.
So, each time the urge comes they become difficult to resist and people are ready to sacrifice their last dime to obtain the immediate gratification that they provide. A good way to combat addiction is to seek the service of a psychologist or a therapist.
The best way is to avoid these habits in the first place because they can move you from hero to zero within a very short time. Stopping these bad habits will help you learn how to stop being broke while protecting your physical and mental health.
In conclusion, it is quite obvious that the inability of people to increase their income, or their lack of prudence to live within their current income are the major reasons why they end up being broke.
If you sincerely want to know how to stop being broke, you should know that it does not make any sense to live in an apartment with an annual rent of $6000 when your annual earnings and returns from your investment barely crawl up to $5500.
Remember that rent is not the only necessity on your list and that you are yet to settle other expenses. This could be avoided by seeking accommodation in low-cost housing areas.
Hey there! Thank you for reading this article. Remember, spending is inevitable, that’s why we make the money in the first place. But our spending patterns should be a function of our income levels and should increase in some proportion to increases in our income.
We should only spend as much as our earnings can bear. This way, we can curtail excesses and manage our finances well. Why go for an expensive footwear when there is an alternatively cheaper one down the street? Why preorder a new gadget at a very high price when a few months after its release it will be sold at a relatively lower price?
Why borrow to go on vacation when you can start saving for a proper vacation? Well, by asking the right questions before making financial commitments we may be able to provide answers that will keep us from bankruptcy and help us achieve financial stability in the long run.
Remember, some of the measures outlined may not be as easy as they seem, but making little effort towards implementing them will yield results that’ll gladden your heart and help you master the answer to the question, “How to stop being broke.”
Save for later!