I have worked in Financial Services for 10 years and I have learned a lot of things along the way and talked to a lot of people about this little thing called MONEY. Some of us have figured it out, some of us haven’t. For some of us, it is our best friend and for some of us, it is our worst enemy and we avoid it like the plague. But if we don’t try and figure this little thing called money out, stress plagues us, we don’t feel confident about our financial futures and we keep robbing ourselves of the ability to feel freedom and financial success. Here are some of the top reasons why we will always be broke:
1.You Don’t Have a Written Budget
It has been beaten into us to death but a lot of us still won’t do it. Or we will inevitably give in with the utmost resistance possible and get on a written budget. I was merely delusional about my financial life until I got on a budget. Yes, that “unsexy” and painful thing that will actually help us achieve our financial goals really should be written down.
All I ever hear is Dave Ramsey whispering in my ear, “if you don’t tell your money where to go, you will always wonder where it went.” Then after 3 painful months of making myself and my husband do it, I could finally SEE for what felt like the first time in forever, where my money was going and how I could segment my financial life.
I finally found my freedom and it wasn’t as bad as I thought it was going to be, quite the opposite actually. Your ego can be the ultimate drama queen. Don’t listen to it and move through your fear of getting on a budget, because if NOT having a budget is incessantly making you feel BROKE, then stop it!
2.You Cannot Overcome Your Past
You know we all have a past and that is part of the beauty of life. But if you can transmute your silly and even sometimes ridiculous decisions into wisdom, you CAN create a better life! Yep, better than broke, better than stupid and better than reckless, it is really up to YOU, it may take a little time, healing, coaching, therapy or whatever it takes for you to overcome what hasn’t been working and get to what does and can work for you. Tony Robbins said “The past does not equal the future, it is in your moments of decision that your destiny is shaped.”
YOU have the power to change your destiny. Don’t let your past drag you down, let your past shape you to make smarter and more intelligent decisions so that you look back with a heart of gratitude in knowing you had the confidence in yourself to change your life.
3. You Submit to Instant Gratification
I don’t know about you, but I used to have 50 pairs of shoes and over 500 items of clothing, at least 20 bottles of perfume, countless items of jewelry, 3 sets of snowboarding gear, 3 computers, the list was literally endless. I am not saying I don’t like stuff, but stuff was suffocating me, my life and killing my dreams. But when you have literally bought everything you have ever wanted and spent every penny you have ever made, when is enough, enough?
I didn’t understand how your could put off until another day what you could have today, what does that even mean? “Spiritual maturity is the ability to delay pleasure.” Dave Ramsey. I wanted it and I wanted it all, NOW. Little did I know that I would end up miserable, selling all of my stuff on ebay to pay back all the debt I had accumulated on all the stuff I didn’t need. You don’t need it all, live simpler, live more abundantly and live like your possessions don’t possess you!
4.You don’t have an Emergency Fund
If you have never ever had a real emergency fund, then everything is an emergency and that credit card you opened for “emergencies only” is already maxed out and you had to consolidate your other card to keep up with your new card you maxed out for that other thing you thought was a financial crisis. I had done this so many times, I felt sick about it. But I was determined NOT to let this be my way of life, again.
You don’t have to live a life of insanity if you make your life intentional and work intentionally towards your financial goals. We all fall and we all make mistakes, it is how quickly we get back up, learn some wisdom from the experience and choose NOT to make the same decisions again that differentiates us from everyone else. Being incessantly broke is no way to live and it doesn’t even feel good, it is stressful and it is HARD and it doesn’t feel good does it?
Having a cash reserve is imperative. When those TRUE emergencies come up, you will feel CONFIDENT and prepared for it, because there is one consistency in life, things happen and it is better to be prepared than sorry that you had to pay your credit card balance back plus 20-30% interest on it. Now, that’s insane.
5.You Spend More than you Make (The Cardinal Killer)
Oh, the golden rule of spending. Have you ever spent more than you made? Geez, oh, me too! So many times I just laugh at myself. A day of two before I got paid, I had no money left because I had already spent it on all of the things I thought I NEEDED. I had no written budget, first big mistake and never had a plan for the rest of the two weeks before I got paid again. This is a mistake and I have paid huge penalties because I always ran out of money and then I just had to use my credit card until I got paid again and dug myself deeper into debt.
Hey, guess what? If you spend more than you make, you will always be in debt.
6.You Lack Discipline
Budgeting and being smart with your money is a habit and it is cultivated like any other skill and habit. It takes time, it takes relentless practice and it takes some will and effort to save and not spend. It will probably feel unfamiliar and even down right rotten to change. But, if you keep overcoming your BAD habits, you will start to create better patterns of spending and behavior.
Against contrary belief, it may take longer than 21 days to create your new pattern of behavior, it may even take 60 to 90 days, or even longer, so be prepared, change can be difficult and unfamiliar. But one thing is for sure, the earlier you start, the easier it will be and then your willingness to change your behavior will help in overcoming your old patterns.
Don’t sell yourself short of a financially secure life because you didn’t have the discipline to withhold your wants. If you do something for long enough it gets easier and when you hit a series of short-term wins, you gain more confidence and the momentum begins and you start achieving your financial goals more easily, with less resistance and you even start enjoying your new life.
I use the envelope system and I pay cash. I very rarely even use my debit card so I always know what I have spent and how much is left. How easy is that? It is convenient; did you know that everyone still accepts cash? I love it and it is so easy to track. When you just slide your card, you never really “feel” what you are spending, there is no emotional attachment to it because you never touch it. If your old habits haven’t gotten you to the place you want to go, it is time to reevaluate.
7.Shopping has Become a Hobby
If shopping for clothes, shoes, bags and other luxury items has become a hobby for, you might want to reevaluate your hobbies. Spending money and shopping is just another habit and pattern that you may have created because it was the thing you have always done and it has become some kind of tradition for you.
Well, change your tradition of being broke and continually perpetuating the spiral of lack and being penniless. Find another hobby that does not include spending money, go volunteer, hike, give back or get a second job and make more money, are you willing to do what it takes to change and have a better life?
8.You Confuse your Wants and Needs
I had confused my wants and needs for so long, they just melded together and that was why I was always broke and in debt. You MUST define your needs and some of these needs should include; Housing, groceries, and transportation. Clothing would be at the end of that priority list as well. Until I defined exactly what my needs vs wants were, I kept confusing the two. Your wants are everything else after, that new bag, those new shoes (unless they have holes in them), perfume, luxury items, vacations, you get the picture. If you keep confusing them like I did, you will NEVER break the cycle.
9.You are too Lazy to Figure it Out
In the age of technology and information, being ignorant is a choice. With all the resources that you and I have access to, there is no reason to continue the cycle of broke now is there? I studied finance and I still had tons of debt and really BAD spending habits, I chose NOT to learn how to budget and get on a plan. This is a life choice, just like any life choice. Don’t let your self-limited excuses and laziness get in the way of your financial security and financial success. Anyone can learn how to do it, so can you.
10.You Hate Numbers
Budgeting is not so much about the numbers. It may seem like it is. But I didn’t even know that until I started budgeting. It is about allocating your money and telling it where to go or it will all disappear if it doesn’t have an intention. It is about psychology and behavior and less about the numbers. Don’t let this limitation stop you from having the life you want. Get over your fear of numbers.That is just another excuse. It is as simple as that.
11.You Avoid Your Debts and Keep Making Excuses
If you just ignore what you owe, does it get better or worse? If you continuously ignore your obligations, do they dissipate? Ha! You might have creditors knocking at your door if you refuse to pay your obligations or your debt. Are you happier or less happy when creditors and debt collectors are calling you trying to collect on what you said you would pay back? It is stressful isn’t it? It sure is! There is no better feeling than buying what you can afford, paying cash and NOT owing anything to anyone.
You are in charge of your life. You are an expression of all of the decisions you make. Isn’t it better to make wiser and smarter decisions? Don’t you feel happier and more confident that you can WIN with money and achieve the financial success that you deserve? I know I am happier and feel confident that I now don’t live paycheck to paycheck. It is up to YOU to break the cycle. You CAN do anything you put your mind to. It IS possible. You just have to want it.
Don’t be your own worst enemy, you be your BEST support system and do the difficult things in your life because no one else is going to do it for you. Just by saying NO to some of your bad habits, you are saying YES to your long-term financial success.
Be amazing, WIN with money and WIN in life.