WORK-LIFE BALANCE / SEP. 22, 2015
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6 Things You Shouldn’t Do When You Are Broke

If various protesters are to be believed 99% of the world’s population has been broke, is broke or will be broke in the near future. This is extremely disconcerting considering we live in a global economy and socio-economic system that makes living without state sanctioned currency close to impossible. I mean you can try, but no one is going to give you a car in exchange of 10.000 farm raised eggs. Also how did you get farm raised eggs if you don’t have a chicken farm? I’m not insinuating you’re an egg thief, but your possession of a vast quantity of eggs is making me suspicious. But I digress.

What it ultimately boils down to is a question: are you inadvertently making yourself broke, or there any other factors causing your economic situation? Well, we’ll be ignoring the other factors because we are neither a Marxist nor a political blog, so we’ll concentrate on the inadequacies that result in your financial ruin. These are things you shouldn’t do when you’re broke.

See Also: How to Manage Your Salary so you Don’t End up Broke After the New Year Party

Do not buy into “fake it to make it”

Relax when I say “buy” I’m not talking about purchasing but about believing in the theory that if you live rich eventually you will attract wealth. Or that you can attract everything you require. Money doesn’t exactly work that way…you can’t will yourself into an opulent lifestyle. Yes, it sounds like an attractive method to sit on your couch and repeat the mantra “I want to be wealthy, I want to BE wealthy” while marathon watching Hot in Cleveland. But, sorry to break it to you, as Donna Summer sings (while dressed as a maid with the biggest head of hair the last decade has seen, none the less) she works hard for the money. And that’s pretty much what you’ll have to do. Work hard for your money.

You aren’t AIG

If you’re unfamiliar with the events that unfolded post-financial meltdown of 2008 allow me to drop some knowledge bombs on you (yo! Sorry couldn’t help myself). A year after the U.S. economy basically imploded the mega-corporation AIG, with 88 million customers in 130 countries and 64.000 employees in 90 countries was teetering on the brink of financial oblivion. Instead of allowing the company to go under resulting in thousands of lost jobs and capital, the government stepped in and bailed them out.

How is this billion dollar bailout relevant to you? Well, many people that are broke expect something similar to happen to them, a huge one-time payout that will liberate them of all their financial woes. Some play the lottery; others pursue a million dollar idea (I hear you’re working on a watch that connects with your phone…great idea, just a few years late). Don’t get me wrong it’s great to pursue your passions, ideas and dreams, but most people that became famous for their inventions or talents invested inordinate amounts of time. It’s actually been speculated by scientists that it takes a person roughly 10.000 hours to master any given skill or discipline.

Winging It

There are many things worth winging: a night out, improvisational comedy, a decision on where to eat. Finances are not usually something that benefit from being winged. Budgeting help keep your finances in check, from income to expenditures. Also this gives you the ability to create a surplus or extra amount of money at the end of the month. But just keep dropping hundreds of dollars on a dope new cat scratch post…it’ll be fine, until you have to pay your water bill at the end of the month.

Quell the Addiction

Yes, quelling your addiction can help you pull through being broke and put you on the fast track to becoming…well…lower middle class. Oh? Which addictions you ask? Pretty much every addiction except workahol…isn’t that what workaholics are addicted too? Yes, anything that makes you feel good and hides your deeper seeded issues of self-worth are generally budget destroying.

From that daily candy bar to your morning Starbucks and the pair of socks you buy yourself every Friday all these small expenditures can add up to big savings. Those little $0.50 and $1.00 bits and bobs can end up costing you up to $1.700 a year. Yes, you are frivolously throwing almost two thousand dollars a year into expanding your waist instead of expanding your bank account (or home theater equipment).

Go Ahead Over-extend

When you’re talking about finances and not yoga, overextending is a horrible idea. So get rid of those credit cards, pay back that loan your brother gave…oh and your sister, your boss and your mail carrier…jeezus dude, you need to rein in your spending! Anyhow, no matter how much you want that new console/espresso machine/Beats by Dre sweatpants using a credit card to do so is a bad idea. In many cases, it will end up costing you three times the original price, especially if you usually only pay the minimum payment.

The minimum payment means that you’re only paying interest, and none of the money is going to the cost of the new console/espresso machine/ Beats by Dre sweatpants. By the time you pay off your shiny new gadget will have long be dated, tarnished or even obsolete. Instead try saving a little bit of money every week or month until you have accumulated the appropriate amount. An added bonus of doing this instead of slapping it on a credit card? By the time you gather the money, the latest version of the new console/espresso machine/ Beats by Dre sweatpants will have come out!

The 99%

It’s undeniable that being a member of the 99% is hard. The money is never enough; there are too many bills and honestly once and a while you just need to let loose. Anything you do to let loose (well, pretty much) costs money so what do you do? Well, either increase your income at your current job (hahaha hahaha, sorry you have a better chance winning the lottery, even though I’m contradicting myself) or you must seek out better opportunities. Cutting costs can help you manage your finances, but what will really help you is getting paid more. So you work more and get paid more!

See Also: 5 Things to Do Without Spending Money When You’re Broke and Unemployed

Is there anything else us broke people should avoid (come on I’m a content writer, do you think we rake it in?) let me know in the comments section below.

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