Last year was by far my greatest financial struggle. I was so broke, buried in debt and it feels like no matter what I do, no matter how hard I try, it’s just beyond impossible for me to get ahead.
Being broke and always struggling to make the ends meet is just a terrible thing.
It just puts you in so much stress and it’s physically and mentally debilitating.
I felt this for a long time.
After having to quit my job ( due to mental health reasons ) while I was still buried in debt, ( I know, not a very smart choice right?) meeting even the basic needs was just a struggle — since my freelancing job was just not enough.
I wanted so badly to turn my situation around yet a part of me believed that doing that will never be possible.
And that’s the thing about being broke — the feeling of hopelessness just slowly creeps in.
We let ourselves believe that no matter what we do, we are just meant to live our whole lives broke.
And I believed that for a long time but doing that was only making things worse.
I just felt so much hopelessness that it just paralyzes me.
If you too are feeling this way, I’m here to tell you that regardless of what your current financial standing is, it is possible for you to turn your situation around.
It is possible for you to break free from the paycheck to paycheck cycle and it’s definitely possible for you to stop living broke.
Here are 5 easy ways to stop being broke..
These are just some ways that helped me alleviate my financial situation — I’m hoping it will do the same for you!
Figure out what the problem is…
For a long time, I let myself believe that the whole reason I was broke was that I was not earning enough.
And most people do this too.
But the fact is, sometimes that is just not the case.
We may let ourselves believe that we don’t make enough that’s why we are broke and stuck living paycheck to paycheck.
But if we only take the time to look closely at our finances and how we’re spending our money, we might just be surprised with the results.
In my case, back when I was working my 8-5 job, I was broke not because I was not earning enough it was because I had a spending problem.
I had a lot of bad money habits that eventually lead me to financial ruin.
So, take the time to sit down and figure out what the problem is.
Is it an income problem? Do you need to look for other ways to increase your income? If you do, here’s a great post about side hustles to help you get started.
Or is it a spending problem? If so, then it’s definitely time to re-evaluate your spending habits and look closely at how you’re spending your money.
Set financial goals and create a financial plan…
Setting financial goals is a crucial step in helping you alleviate your financial situation.
You see, I was working in an office job for years. I was earning good money yet I didn’t have any savings, no emergency funds.
I was just so caught up in mindlessly spending my money on things that I didn’t need and you know why that was the case?
It was because I never really had any financial goals. I didn’t know what I wanted to do with the money that I was earning.
Setting financial goals is a great way to motivate yourself and it helps you stay focused.
Setting a goal requires you to take action. It helps you make better money decisions and be more mindful on how you choose to spend your money — since you now have a goal to keep in mind.
So, take the time to sit down and recognize what your short-term and long-term goals are. Be as specific as possible.
And once you have set those goals, it’s time to create an actionable plan.
Prioritize each of your goals and don’t forget to set a timeframe for each one.
Live below your means…
Spending more than what I could afford is the reason why I was buried in debt.
You see, back when I was working my 8-5 office job, I made so many bad money decisions.
I would easily blow my paycheck on unnecessary things in an attempt to fill in the void of emptiness that I was feeling.
It’s just so easy to fall into this trap.
With credit cards available to us, it’s so easy to spend more than what we can afford.
I lived this lifestyle and the amount of stress that it gave me every time those credit card bills came was just gut-wrenching.
So, don’t make the same mistake as I did.
If you want to get out of debt and stop living broke, learning to live below your means is an essential step in helping you achieve that.
Remind yourself that those small sacrifices that you’re willing to make now will reward you tenfold in the future.
Create an effective budget
Now, I know that this statement is pretty cliché. You might even be tired of hearing or reading this over and over again.
But regardless of how much we hate this word, working on a budget is a very important step in achieving any financial goal.
Often, we may think that we are just not making enough money to create a budget.
We might find ourselves thinking, ” I’m already left with nothing every month, why should I even create a budget?”
I thought this too. After having to quit my job, I was barely making enough money (through freelancing work) to make the ends meet, I thought that a budget is unnecessary and a complete waste of time.
But I was wrong.
Regardless of how much or how little money you’re making, creating a budget is possible and necessary.
Doing this will give you a detailed and clearer picture of where your money is going.
It helps you see what areas you can easily cut to reduce your expenses and what areas you should prioritize.
Focus on your end goal and stop choosing instant gratification…
Whether you want to save more money, get out of debt, stop being broke or achieve financial success, focusing on your end goal is very crucial.
There will be times when you would want to give up and just blow your budget or just mindlessly spend your money, if this happens, take a step back and remember what your end goal is.
Stop living for instant gratification.
I used to live for instant gratification. I chose to prioritize today’s happiness over my future needs.
And this is the whole reason why I was buried in debt.
Yes, we work hard for our money so we definitely deserve to have good things, but we have to be smart in choosing the things that we really deserve.
Don’t get me wrong, it’s not bad to treat ourselves every now and then but if you’re constantly doing this to a point where you are already burying yourself in so much debt then it’s definitely time to put an end to this behavior.
I know being broke is tough and breaking free from it can be very challenging but it is definitely possible.
Don’t lose hope. Just continue to do the work needed to help you turn your financial situation around. Be patient and always be consistent with your efforts.
Keep reminding yourself that all the sacrifices that you’re doing now will all be worth it.