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Help! I’m Broke

Help! I’m Broke

“I’m broke.”

Many of us have been in this place at one point or another (or frequently), and it can be scary — even terrifying. You can’t go out with your friends because you just can’t afford it. You can’t spend money on anything at all. You’re not even sure you can even make rent or buy groceries. So, what do you do?

First, take a deep breath and remind yourself you’re going to get through this. Perhaps you’ve been in this place before. Chances are, it worked out okay. Money isn’t everything, but you do need it to live your life. Remember: there are solutions to this crisis. 

FIRST, THIS IS PROBABLY WHY YOU’RE BROKE:

  • You Don’t Have Financial Goals:

Not having financial goals to work toward is often the number one reason why people have an empty bank account. If you aren’t constantly working towards a single financial goal, then you most likely won’t be able to stick to a budget long-term.

  • You Can’t Say No:

Something that we all need to learn at some point in our lives is that we can’t always get what we want. We have to figure out how to say no to things that aren’t going to help our futures and that can hurt our wallets. 

Not being able to say no is a real reason you’re broke and you need to figure out how to say no when your friends want you to go out and grab drinks if you can’t afford it. You need to say no if someone convinces you to buy a new car and you can’t afford it. There are so many opportunities where you need to remember that no is an option and it will help your finances for years to come.

  • You Aren’t Budgeting:

Budgeting is one of those things that everybody knows they should be doing but so many people avoid and then can’t figure out the reason why they’re broke. Budgeting is important because it helps you realize that your money should be working for you instead of you just working for your money. Making a budget can help you make a plan for your money that will help you start investing your money and have more in your bank account at the end of the month. 

  • You Don’t Have Emergency Money:

A lot of the time a person feels like they are doing awesome with their finances up until the point that an unexpected emergency occurs. At this point people often realize that they are going to have to charge the emergency onto their credit card. 

A great way to stop this and no longer feel broke when you’re experiencing a financial emergency is to have an emergency fund ready. An emergency fund is a bank account where you’ll have (hopefully) 3-6 months of expenses saved up to cover any scary thing that may happen (e.g., broken down cars, a job loss, or a plane ticket to go to a funeral).

HOW TO AVOID BEING BROKE IN THE FUTURE:

Being broke is can be a terrifying place, so once you’re back on your feet, it’s important to take steps to ensure you never end up there again. To prevent it from happening repeatedly, you should:

  • Set up a savings account and contribute a percentage of your paycheck to it every month.
  • Create an emergency fund to help you out of difficult situations.
  • Budget, budget, budget.
  • Keep track of everything you earn and everything you spend. 
  • Prioritize your spending, focusing on essentials. (Consider the 50/20/30 plan.)
  • Ask for help from people who know how to manage money. (There are also plenty of great blogs, podcasts, books and more that offer expert advice on personal finance.)

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