Have you ever found yourself broke while trying to maintain your financial goals or budget? Well, I have. I tried to maintain my financial goals for two years now, but I recently found myself short of money. After analyzing my situation, I came up with a list of 7 reasons why you’re broke.
In the last two to three weeks, I noticed that I was falling back to bad financial habits. These bad habits are pretty common in our everyday lives; sometimes, we simply have our ups and downs. However, it’s important to minimize them so that we can grow our savings and walk into financial freedom.
I was able to come up with this list after analyzing my financial situation and was also inspired by other people. It’s normal if you notice that some reasons don’t apply to you. However, I encourage you to analyze your financial situation so that you see any bad habits that you need to cut off.
Reason #1: Not planning or failing to budget.
The first reason is the most obvious one. Many people fail to plan or budget their financial goals. I love writing down my goals for the year, the month and weeks. Writing down my financial goal for 2020 was the smartest decision I’ve made so far because it has tremendously helped me pay down my debts.
However, what happened the past few weeks was my failure to budget. I’m extremely strict with my goals that, no matter what, I pay myself first. But with the quarantine ending, my friends and family wanted me to do some activities with them, and I failed to put them in my plans.
The first mistake I made was not to put money aside for leisure. Even though I had extra money after paying myself first and my monthly bills, I used that extra money. The second mistake I made was overspending in the previous month because of the following reason.
Reason #2: Always wanting to help people.
Helping others is good; I encourage everyone to help people. However, I have a firm belief that helping someone by giving them money doesn’t help them at all. I say this because the person will use that money but will come back again when they need help. What’s important here is that they will probably never learn how to earn money on their own.
I used to pay someone else’s bills, and whenever I pay it for one month, they will come back for the next two months. I used my extra money, which was supposed to be for leisure.
If you’re like me, someone that’s always ready to give, please remember the following: First, give without expecting anything back. Second, when you give, pray that that person will find a way to provide for themself next time. Third, the best way to help someone is to teach them how to obtain money or save.
When someone needs money for a particular purpose, make sure that they have an income. Today, you can do anything to get money. Some people simply need to understand how they can save more and take responsibility for their liabilities.
Reason #3: Wanting to be liked by everyone.
With social media like Instagram, we get caught up in the “likes syndrome,” and most of us fall into this trap. Let’s be real with each other; I know that we can do anything to impress people, especially those that are an attention seeker.
Here we are using social media, and the common mistake here is that we show people that we’re “rich”; for example, we show people that we’re fun to be around by sharing videos of us popping bottles. When in reality, we have bills to pay, and we’re late in some of them.
The other mistake that people make is buying the latest trends. The ladies are mostly buying wigs and makeup. I’m not going to lie to you, I’ve been there. You buy two to three wigs, and you already spent more than a thousand dollars on them. I had to cut those expenses because the only thing it was doing was cutting my edges. Therefore, stop following the trends and focus on real financial goals.
Other than Social media likes, there’s also the environment that makes us broke. Like I explained in wanting to help others, we love being the friend that always pays for others, or buys gas to get the whole crew from point A to point B. There are so many things we do to be liked, and I also failed for that trap.
We have to understand that there’s always going to be a new trend, and helping people is good. However, you have to know your limit (by budgeting) and learn how to say NO when you don’t have enough.
Know that if everyone likes you, you’re doing something wrong. It’s not everyone that’s supposed to like you; you should have real people around you. People who wouldn’t get mad because you can’t afford the trip to Mexico, even though you’ll miss the fun, or can’t help them when they need you.
Reason #4: Not living below your means.
If you live a life where you always spend money on things that you can live without and overspending, you’re not living below your means. Again, you shouldn’t be living to impress everyone. I stopped doing that a long time ago.
I love Jay-Z’s quote, “If you can’t buy it twice, you can’t afford it.” Think about this when you’re about to buy something pricy. When you are always shopping and eating out, you will end up spending more than you earn. You think using your credit card will save you, but that’s another trap.
Accordingly, stop buying coffee outside, and make your lunch. You can simplify your spendings and live like that in a short period or even longer. We get caught up in living like we’re rich while we barely have money to pay for our phone bills.
I created new habits that go with my current financial situation. I had to cut the parties, the drinking, the unnecessary social life with people that don’t care about me, and you can do it too! If you’re 20 and older, I’m not telling you what you should do, but you should teach yourself things that you didn’t learn. You should be investing in yourself, your financial intelligence.
Reason #5: Always let people borrow from you.
Back to helping people with money, when you let them borrow from you, it’s the same scenario, they don’t learn. It’s good to help someone, again, I’m not saying that you shouldn’t, but when you let them borrow from you, make sure that they can pay you back.
This thing called “borrowing” doesn’t work for me. When someone wants to borrow from me, I look at my financial plans, and if I can give it without needing it back, I’ll let them borrow. So I will give it to them, but I’m not expecting the money back. However, you will stay broke if you continuously let people borrow from you.
Even though I can have the money available, if I can’t afford to give the money, it won’t happen. Remember, you have the right to say no, especially if you know that the person won’t give it back to you. I did mention that it was okay to help, right? Just make sure that you won’t get offended if they don’t give back the money they borrowed.
Reason #6: Dating the wrong person.
In general, when humans are dating each other, one person is looking to know if their partner can provide, and the other wants to tell them that they can provide. It’s called the dating stage. However, people are exaggerating in this dating stage.
What I mean by exaggerating is that some people want to impress their partner by buying or paying for them. And the other person wants to eat at a fancy restaurant. There are materialist people, and that’s not a bad thing. But you should stick to your budget and communicate your financial goals with your partner.
If you’re with someone that wants you to spend a lot of money on them, just break up. Yes, I said it, and I might get in trouble for it. However, it’s important not to show off in the dating stage.
The worst thing to do in the dating stage is showing your partner that you’re rich. It will backfire when you get into a serious relationship or marriage. Your partner will be expecting you to pay for everything. Don’t start complaining about it because it’s a habit you created when you guys started dating.
Being in a genuine relationship means having a healthy relationship. Setting financial goals for yourself and your relationship is essential, and I encourage that. The person your dating shouldn’t assume that you can afford everything because once you guys live together, the truth will come out.
So find someone that will respect your vision and also your money. If you guys need to set up a joint account for your activities, I highly suggest that. However, don’t spoil your partner today and then complain tomorrow.
Reason #7: Too many bills or overpriced bills:
The mistake that many people do is to have a lot of bills. The amount should be low, especially for unnecessary bills like your phone bills. I know someone that pays more than $100 per month for their phone. I pay around $55, and I have a headache when that money goes out because I barely text anyone.
So, my point is, why not save money for the phone and then get a cheaper deal when you bring your own device? I know that some people will argue that you wouldn’t be able to upgrade when the next phone comes out when you do that. But between you and me, do you really need a new phone? The answer is no; you don’t.
So, lower your phone bills, car bills and whatever unnecessary bills you have. Credit card bills are the worst. Try living without it, and you will thank yourself for it.
The bottom line is this; if you want financial freedom, you need to minimize all of the things I mentioned above. You can’t help everyone around you, you’re not superman, and even superman doesn’t exist. Stop wanting to impress people or make them like you, remember that you’ll always have haters and the real ones will stick by your side.
Live below your means, eat at home, make your own lunch, take the bus, I don’t know, just don’t overspend. Be with the right person; use your money wisely, and don’t give it to the wrong hands. And stop with the debts, your goals should be to reduce them, not to increase them.
I want you to practice knowing your numbers, at least at every paycheque or when you pay your bills. Knowing your numbers will help you analyze your financial situation more accurately and help you think of strategies to help you get more prosperous.
If you have other reasons, don’t be afraid to share it in the comments!