Do you feel like a hamster in a wheel when it comes to your money? That feeling can happen when you feel like you are doing everything in your power to focus on your finances every single day only to come up short again at the end of the month. If you feel this way, you probably have some bad habits keeping you broke.
What happened? Why did you run out of money again?
You feel like you are doing everything in your power to accomplish your money goals, but it just isn’t enough. You just can seem to move that needle on your debt. You can’t get caught up to get out of that paycheck to paycheck cycle.
You can feel your future retirement going up in smoke which is then joined by the panic and stress of an unknown financial future.
Before you go diving into that rabbit hole of desperation and worry, let’s step back and look at why you just can’t seem to make it all click.
5 Habits Keeping You Broke
Habit #1: The “One-Day” Mindset.
Everyone falls into this trap. My husband and I just had a conversation about this being a very common trap. He had totally fallen into it!
As we were driving to church one morning, he made the comment he felt like our debt will just be gone really fast “one-day,” and he really isn’t worried about it.
My jaw hit the floor. Was he insane?! It isn’t going to clear itself!
The problem with this feeling he had is that it gave him comfort in his mind to spend money today because the debt will be taken care of quickly “one-day” in the future. This gives a false sense of security and keeps you lazy with your money.
This kind of thinking will lead you into spending your money and not really honing in on your budget because there is no urgency to it. Everything good will happen “one-day.” All your debt will be gone “one-day.” You will retire a millionaire “one-day.”
False! This may happen for you, but you have to make the effort now to ensure that happens. Your future is now.
I used to hear people say that, but not really understand. Your future is now. Every decision you are making today will impact your tomorrow. Stop thinking that everything will just work out for your future without you putting any effort into achieving your goals.
It will not happen for you.
Do not get lulled into a state of complacency with your money because you will get to your debt “one-day.” Do not put off your future because it is happening right in front of you, right now!
Make smart decisions today. Do not say “one-day” you will focus on debt payoff. Start doing it now. You are doing nothing but wasting your future if you don’t start working at it now.
Having a “one-day” mindset will keep you broke.
Habit #2: Not Living On a Budget.
This one is really hard for me to imagine now that we have been living on a budget for the past 4 years. First, let’s define a budget. It is a written plan for your money. At the beginning of the month, you decide where you will spend your money. Then you spend your money as you planned to. Super simple.
A budget lets you know exactly where all of your hard-earned money went during the month.
If you don’t know where your money is going, it’s just gone. This will keep you broke. Money comes in, you spend it and it freaking disappears on you.
The end of the month comes and you are broke….yet again. Super fun.
I get it. I used to live like this. My husband and I lived in a state of relaxation and spending money on whatever we wanted to at the beginning of the month. This blissful period was always abruptly ended by a sudden spending freeze because we had run out of money and were panicked about all the expenses left to come over the next 15 days.
Who knew the last two weeks of the month could crawl by so slowly?
Stop panicking. Stop feeling broke. Stop stressing about your money. Stop coming up short at the end of every month.
Get on a budget.
- Make a plan so you know where your money is going.
- Make a plan so you make your money work for you.
- Make a plan so you don’t have to stress.
- Make a plan so you can accomplish your money goals.
Budgeting is a super easy thing to do. People make it way harder than it actually is.
I CAN TEACH YOU TO BUDGET IN 5 DAYS. I WILL HOLD YOUR HAND FOR 5 DAYS AND HELP YOU SET UP YOUR BUDGET. THEN YOU ARE TOTALLY GOING TO KICK BUTT WITH YOUR MONEY. STOP MAKING IT HARD. SIGN UP NOW FOR INSTANT ACCESS!
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Habit #3: Having the Self-Control of a Two-Year-Old.
As I’m sitting here writing this, I have just poured my third bowl of buttery caramel corn. Did I try to tell myself no and completely fail? Absolutely! Am I going to regret this in an hour when my lunch break is over and I’m in a serious sugar crash? Most definitely.
See how I lacked self-control? It happens to the best of us, I promise. When you can’t tell yourself no, you are going to be broke.
This can happen for all kinds of people. I didn’t know I was an impulse shopper for years because I thought I was a “deals” shopper.
Some people buy anything and everything in sight. They just can’t help themselves and when they want something, they want something. Then there are other people (like me) who will end up spending more money than they had intended because there is a good “sale.” They end up spending money on things they don’t need and weren’t even planning on buying in the first place just because it was a “good deal.”
My husband always tells me, “It’s not a good deal if you can’t afford it.”
If you want to stop being broke, you have to learn to tell yourself no. Life is full of difficult decisions, but if you are working on a financial goal (debt payoff, retirement building, saving for a car, saving for a home), you should say no to anything that will not bring your closer to your goal.
There is no instant gratification in the financial world. You have to have impulse control and make the adult decision today to be able to make the fun decision later.
Besides, what do you want? A bunch of “stuff” you own that really doesn’t bring you true happiness? Or would you rather get out from under the debt mountain you have been living under?
I don’t know about you, but I would take freedom over feeling trapped every single time.
If this is one of your struggle areas, don’t worry! I used to be an impulse shopper, but have since come around to a delayed gratification way of living. You can be changed!
Habit #4: Playing On Opposing Teams.
If you are married and aren’t on the same page as your spouse when it comes to your money, you are going to be broke. Couples who try to work different money plans are not successful.
If only one of you wants to focus on debt payoff, the other one will actively sabotage the plan. If one of you wants to save for a car, but the other one wants to finance one….how will you be productive together?
You have to be on the same page as your spouse if you want to conquer anything with your money.
My husband drug his heels for over a year when it came to budgeting and just “let me do it.” I thought that would be fine and life would be easier if I just did it myself.
BUT, here is what actually happened.
He wasn’t all in with our debt payoff plan and kept spending money on things I thought were totally unnecessary.
I felt like I was beating my head against a wall, I felt totally disrespected by him just walking all over the budget I had worked hard to make, and ultimately I started to resent him.
It was awful for our marriage. It started to create a divide, slowly, over time. It took a while for either one of us to notice we were treating each other differently.
He was annoyed at me constantly nagging him about his spending and I was short-fused because I felt he didn’t appreciate or acknowledge the work I was putting in to make our financial future brighter.
Without being on the same page, you will be working against each other and you are going to stay broke.
If you are struggling to get on the same page, there is hope, I promise! I have lots of helpful tips for you to get started with a health conversation today.
Habit #5: Not Having a Bigger Purpose.
Why do we quit things? I am one of those people whose family ingrained in them that we were not quitters. I always finished what I started. Always.
As an adult, if you don’t have parents telling you to finish what you started, what makes you quit something?
Is it because it gets hard? It’s painful? It isn’t comfortable to make sacrifices and tell yourself no?
We quit because we like the easy option. We all wish for an easy button to show us the way and accomplish all of our dreams with minimal effort.
I think it all boils down to one reason. People quit because they don’t have a purpose bigger than their excuses.
If you want something badly enough, you will find a way. If you have an important reason for working toward something, you are never going to give up. It won’t matter the circumstances.
When you have a bigger purpose for why you are doing what you’re doing, you are going to say no to Starbucks every day. You will be able to tell your friends no when they want to go to dinner. You will be able to handle the ridicule when they make jokes about how you are living your life like a college student.
Your greater purpose will be the reason you stick with it when things get tough. Your greater purpose will keep you from quitting. Your greater purpose will keep you from being broke.
Without a reason bigger than your excuses, you will quit and you will continue to be broke.
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If you want to stop being broke you need to start living today, on a budget, for a really good reason. When you do these things you will develop impulse control and work on getting on the same page as your spouse to really conquer your dreams.
Stop being broke. Rise above your circumstances and take back your financial life!
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