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Help Me, I’m Poor – Tired of Being Poor? Here’s Why You’re Broke

Woman is tired of being broke and looking at piggy bank

Are you tired of being poor?

 

It really stinks and I know because I’ve been to the bottom.

 

Want to skip the story? Click here to go to the tips to go from broke to doing pretty darn good.

 

I’ve been the single mom on SNAP trying to support my kid working at Shoney’s and Sonic. It didn’t help that I’m not great at doing math in front of people. Since I was so bad, I would get as close as I could and run off to the safety of the hub – this meant that I didn’t get any tips and sometimes had to pay out of my pocket because I’d gone in the negative.

 

My self-esteem was low and I was broke not only financially but I was emotionally broke as well and not doing so hot in the mental department either.

 

Tired of Being Poor and My Journey Out of Poor Town

 

Ever since I was a kid, I would try to figure out why my family was poor. I remember my Mom saying something about my Dad making $800 a month or something and that was in 1995 or so trying to support a family.

 

My parents were the best people that I’d ever known. Caring and kind. Always helping other people out.

 

I just didn’t get why they were broke.

 

I heard in church that money was the root of all evil but all I could think was that the lack of money seemed like the root of all evil to me – and if it was so evil, why did they always want our money at the end of the church service?

 

No matter how broke we were, my parents always gave money. As a matter of fact, before I was born, my parents even gave away their wedding bands to a church because they didn’t have cash to give them.

 

Once I ruled out being a good person as being the cause of being wealthy, I kept searching for ways to get out of being broke and always dreamed about times when we could go out to eat together without worrying about spending $15 on a meal.

 

Now you know my motivation and why I kept searching for how to get out of Poor town and here’s what I learned that I believe will help you.

 

It Doesn’t Matter How Much Money You Make – It Matters How Much You Keep

 

person counting money

 

When I got older, I noticed a lot of people that made really “good money.” I’m talking six figures or even multiple six figures. And what I saw is that they were broke!

 

They were living paycheck to paycheck. I was pretty freaking discouraged.

 

The reason I wanted to make a lot of money was so I wouldn’t be broke. I didn’t want to always worry about money. How were these people so broke?

 

One of the things that I learned is that it doesn’t matter how much money you earn. What matters is how much money you keep. And as you can see from the rest of the quote, it also says that it matters about how hard your money works for you and how many generations you keep it for.

 

After meeting these high earners that were living paycheck to paycheck, one of my family members that lived in their neighborhood told me that “everyone was broke but at a higher level” and I started to believe that. And believing that did not serve me at all!

 

Not everyone was like that. Thankfully, I met another friend not long after that and I realized they earned a really nice 6 figure plus income and not only did they have the income but they had saving, investments and plenty of disposable income.

 

I had hope again!

 

What did they do that the other people I knew making the same amount of money didn’t do? One of the major takeaways and things that I learned from them is that they knew what they were bringing in and what was going out. And they always made sure they made their money work for them.

 

You Want Compound Interest on Your Side Vs. Against You

 

Compound interest was another thing that I learned about. If you don’t understand compound interest, one of the main things about it is – let’s say that you start with $1 and you get 10% interest every day on that income, the next day you would have $1.10 but you get 10% interest on the $1.10, not just the $1 so it keeps growing and growing.

 

Credit cards are one of the things that go crazy on creating interest that sucks our income. If you’re just paying the minimum payment on credit cards – it’s sucking the life out of your finances!

 

You need to start collecting interest vs. paying interest.

 

Now that you understand where I’m coming from let’s get right into the tips to keep from being broke and start breaking out of this pattern. Not only for you but also for your children and their children.

 

The short version of why you’re broke?

 

Because you’re practicing broke habits vs. wealth habits.

 

Here are some tips for you to start working your way toward wealth vs. toward being broke.

 

1 – Stop Letting Banks Use Your Money for Free

 

If you have your money sitting in a bank account that isn’t accruing interest, you’re letting the bank use your money for free.

 

Look around online and find savings or checking accounts with a decent interest rate so your money is growing while you’re not using it.  There are a lot of savings accounts that barely pay anything so don’t fall into that trap either.

 

Look for a reputable online bank. I use Ally and they’ve been really great. I also have an account with USAA since hubs is military.

 

2 – Stop Watching Television Ads

 

If you want to blow a hole in your wallet – watch television ads or YouTube ads. You’ll always find something to spend your money on.

 

3 – Sell Vs. Buy

 

Instead of buying things, get excited about selling things. What do you own that you haven’t used in a long time? What do you own that is in storage and you don’t even remember that you have it?

 

You can sell these things on the Facebook market or Craigslist and put the money into savings.

 

4 – Use Coupons & Customer Reward Programs

 

If there is a loyalty program or coupons, make sure that you’re subscribed to it. If you’re going to shop there, you might as well get the discounts. It doesn’t cost anything to be a member of these programs.

 

It’s probably not a great idea to sign up for the store credit cards though. That’s a recipe for financial disaster.

 

Another great program you can use to save money is Zenoshi Premium. ZP has offers all over the US and Canada for discounts on travel, entertainment, dining and more.

 

The latest thing we got discounts on was eating out at TGI Friday’s. All we had to do was show the offer page from Zenoshi Premium and we got a free entree because we bought an entree of equal or greater value.

 

ZP costs $1.99 for the first 30-day trial and after that, you can choose to pay month-to-month for $4.99 or you can get a year for $49.99

 

 

saving money with zenoshi premium

Here we are enjoying a free entree… thanks Zenoshi. 🙂

 

 

5 – Write Grocery or Shopping Lists to Avoid Overspending

 

When you go to the store, make sure you have a list. No list = no limit. You’re going to spend more than you should.

 

Don’t impulse buy. It’s the kiss of death!

 

You’re not likely to ever need what you buy on impulse and even if you do, you could have waited until you planned it.

 

6 – Use Apps to Keep Track of Your Earning and Spending

 

If you aren’t tracking what you’re earning and spending, you’re going to fall behind without knowing it. This is how the bank account ends up being in overdraft and bills are behind. It doesn’t matter how many digital nomad jobs you find, you’ll still be broke if you aren’t tracking your earning and spending.

 

You can find apps for iPhone and Android that will allow you to keep track of the money you bring in and the money you put out.

 

Make sure you categorize the money you spend and write down details so you know where you’re putting out the most money. You should also pay attention to where you’re earning the most money so you can put more of your time there and less of your time on low-income activities.

 

Bonus Tip – Educate Yourself by Reading Books & Listening to Audios

 

Always educate yourself around the matter of money. Read books, listen to podcasts, watch YouTube videos and anything else you can get your hands on.

 

Don’t just believe everything that you hear though. Try the advice. Test it.

 

Make sure it works and isn’t just someone coaching you to give all your money to them for further programs and products.

 

Here are some of the resources I’ve used in this area:

 

Work Less, Make More by James Schramko

 

The Power of Zero by David McKnight & Ed Slott

 

Unshakeable by Tony Robbins

 

The Millionaire Next Door by Thomas J. Stanley & William D. Danko

 

The Compound Effect by Darren Hardy

 

I hope some of these resources help you out. Since you’ve got this far, why not check out some other posts? Enjoy!

 

This is a great blog post! I’ve said help me, I’m poor more than a couple of times and this article really helped me understand why. If you’re wondering why you’re broke, this is a great article to read and share with a friend. #moneyproblems #moneytips #gettingpaid #makingmoney #savingmoney

 

 

 

18 Comments

  1. Andrew on July 11, 2019 at 8:27 pm

    Hey there, interesting take on how to grow wealth, but I think there is a big thing that you missed.  You inadvertently covered it by telling people to stop watching ads, but the ads themselves aren’t the problem.  Self-control is one of the biggest problems that people face especially when they live paycheck to paycheck.  Once one gets their paycheck, they might feel temporarily stable and spend their money on something they don’t need that they saw in an ad.  Ads aren’t the only thing that will try to get you to buy something you don’t need, so just not watching ads isn’t a full solution.  You have to remind yourself that you don’t need what it is in the ad and start cutting back costs on things that you don’t use or need.  Using an app can help you visualize all the money spent on things not worthwhile, but in the end its up to self-control.

    • Jessica Lauren Vine on July 11, 2019 at 9:56 pm

      Andrew,

      Of course. 😉

  2. Marlo on July 11, 2019 at 8:35 pm

    I like your site it is very helpful. I was especially interested in the compound interest part of this blog. I never was able to understand this until I found your site. I’ve been needing help with getting my funds in order and your site was a big help. And I also definitely needed the advice to not watch ads so I don’t spend money I don’t have. Thanks for your site.

    • Jessica Lauren Vine on July 11, 2019 at 9:55 pm

      Marlo,

      It makes my day that I helped you understand compound interest — now go out there and get some! =D :0) 

  3. David on July 11, 2019 at 8:36 pm

    I am going through some difficult financial times at the moment with my family – got laid off a few months ago and the bills are getting harder and harder to pay off, I really like the way you say about how much to keep! Its so hard nowadays when the kids are forever looking for gifts, I guess I need to learn to say stop and I never heard of apps to keep track of earning and spending before. I must say I found your article invigorating and uplifting so many thanks for your help today – I have certainly picked up some helpful tips on my own journey

    • Jessica Lauren Vine on July 11, 2019 at 9:50 pm

      David,

      Sorry about what you’re going through. As for the kids, we have become masters of NO. lol Instead we spend time with them playing video games or going to the local parks and having fun together.

      Things are good but time together is even better.

  4. Jordan Smith on July 11, 2019 at 8:39 pm

    What an insightful post! Truth be told, if one pay attention to many or all of this things, it will do a lot to help financially; But then, an average human enjoy lavish spending. Reading of books goes a long way. This two books (Rich dad poor dad and Richest man in Babylon) did so much in my life.

    Regards

    • Jessica Lauren Vine on July 11, 2019 at 9:48 pm

      Jordan,

      Ah yes! Those are another two great books for helping the money mindset. 😀

  5. Bob on July 11, 2019 at 8:41 pm

    Oh wow, you are spot on with the mindset and tips. I have thought a lot about how to keep what I earn, but it is difficult to work through. It is a gradual process to get the right mindset to not spend. I like the grocery list…I am the world’s worst when it comes to impulse shopping in our local grocery store. My wife is more of a list person…I need to learn from her.

    Credit cards are BAD! I have three that I am in the process of paying off. I have a trick that is starting to work for me. Eventually, they will be gone and I pray that I do not use them again…unless I am able to pay it off each month. 

    I have one that is lower than the other two, I am paying that one off first…then the amount that was going to that one will pay the next one on the totem pole of debt in addition to what I am already paying…then eventually I will pay the last one with the monthly amounts that were going to the other two.

    So, you have helped me think in other ways that I should be effective in trying to save each week. Thanks for the information. Were the resources you listed the ways you learned these tips…I guess I have some reading to do. 

    • Jessica Lauren Vine on July 11, 2019 at 9:47 pm

      Bob,

      That’s a great way to pay off those credit cards! Happy to say that we got all of our payed off and it feels great. We have 4 that we use and pay off each month.

      And yes, those resources had many of those tips and more. Great investments in the brain. B-)

  6. Derek on July 11, 2019 at 8:44 pm

    Hello Jessica,

    I think it is very important to know how much you are spending each month and how much income you have. People are broke because they spend at least as much as they have coming in, if not more And yes, they are always broke no matter how much they earn.

    People tend to live up to their means rather than within their means.

    Your tips are something all people should read and act upon.

    Derek

    • Jessica Lauren Vine on July 11, 2019 at 9:40 pm

      Derek,

      Thanks for stopping by and yes! People want to max out life but then the unexpected hits and BOOM! Not good. They are broke again. 🙁

  7. AmDetermined on July 11, 2019 at 8:48 pm

    Hi, thank you for your post I really appreciate your research and time devoted to help people, I have always wonder also what causes broke but my mind have never gone through all points that you have listed in your website I really agree with you that we should allow our money to work for us, and emulate the habit of selling to buying and lastly we should try and keep record for the income and expenses, the most important thing I will say thank you for the point that we should give time to what give us money most than the low income flow.

    • Jessica Lauren Vine on July 11, 2019 at 9:38 pm

      AmDetermined,

      Glad that you stopped by! I hope to hear good things from you. Make that money. 🙂

  8. Stella on July 11, 2019 at 8:49 pm

    This guideline on how to become debt free and see our account growing day by day is really fascinating. You’re very right, many people are earning reasonable amount of money and it is enough to make them wealthy but they don’t know how to make savings. Those that save only make their money to just sit inside the bank account without any investment. Money is loosing value everyday and any money sitting dormantly inside bank account will also be loosing its value. If there is reason abIe investment and compound interest is practiced, I bet it, there is no smother way to wealthy life than that. The main factor many can’t try this trick is as a result of fear of taking risk. I understand, but we need to try something before we know what work best for us. This is a very useful review.

    • Jessica Lauren Vine on July 11, 2019 at 9:35 pm

      Stella,

      Thanks for stopping by and I am glad that you found the article helpful. 🙂 

      There isn’t too much of a risk in putting your money in a savings account with interest — so that is good.

  9. Allan Marston on July 12, 2019 at 2:30 am

    Jessica this is fabulous post and very timely as my startup just launched a site where people can save at over 350,000 offline and online merchants across the USA and Canada. And they can save on hotels and rental cars all over the world. Plus they can save using our grocery coupons. I don’t think people realize that when you earn a dollar, you pay taxes and there are expenses involved in earning it. When you save a dollar, there are no taxes. All it requires is some self discipline to check the site and use the savings. I’m not providing the link here as I don’t want this message to be spammy, but I love your take on this subject.

    • Jessica Lauren Vine on July 12, 2019 at 2:12 pm

      Allan,

      Hey there. That’s amazing. And yes, most people don’t understand that earning more doesn’t mean you get to keep more. People see those making 6 figures and are jealous but would be surprised to see what the take home pay is after all of the taxes!

      I’ve heard people say that “rich people are tightwads” and similar things. How do you think they stay rich? Being a frivolous spender is what gets you into trouble!

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