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
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.
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:
I hope some of these resources help you out. Do you have some favorites?
Drop them in the comments.