8 Things to Do When You are Broke

When you’re broke, you may forget that being broke is a temporary thing. I have outlined several things to do when you are broke so you can soon make being broke just that, temporary.

I’m always broke.

Isn’t it the awfully familiar phrase you say when you are broke?

After keeping all bill collectors at bay, you end up with just enough to get by.

And you start counting down the pennies again while praying for the next paycheck to hurry.

It feels like Groundhog Day all over again.

So you let out frustration:

  • I’m tired of being broke.
  • I’m completely broke.
  • I feel hopeless.
  • I’m mad as hell but don’t know what to do.

I know the desperate feeling of being broke: you feel lost and don’t know what to do when you’re broke.

But I also know enough to know that dwelling on it will only make you feel worse.

When repeating yourself, “I’m always broke”, you’re reinforcing the unpleasant situation, emphasising the worst part of your life and keeping yourself from thinking anything else, but you’re broke.

And persistently thinking about being broke aggravates your financial and mental wellbeing.

So what to do when you are broke and tired of being broke?

What to Do When You are Broke

1. When You’re Broke, Change Your Tune

I remember having a conversation with an acquaintance.

During our hour-long chat, I lost count of how many times he said,

I’m always broke.

He’d say, “I want to travel x, y and z but can’t because I’m always broke.”

In between every other sentence, he’d say “I’m too broke.” or “I’m always broke.”

And inside, I’m screaming:

Yes, I heard you the first time. Stop saying, “I’m always broke”.

It was darn frustrating.

Because being broke is a temporary situation. You can get yourself out of being broke.

Start by changing your tune: adapt money affirmations.

2. When You’re Broke, Turn It Into Your Strongest Why

Turn the misery of being broke into your biggest motivator.

Think for a moment what it’s like being broke.

When you are broke, you:

  • Count every penny to buy groceries.
  • Avoid opening your bills.
  • Say no to friends’ invites.
  • Skip birthday presents for your family because you have no money.
  • Beg the utility company to give you more time before they cut your electricity.
  • Cancel a dentist appointment because you can no longer afford it.

It’s depressing, right?

Turn every embarrassment you feel into your biggest “why” and resolve to get yourself out of the situation.

Don’t dwell on it too long though except for reminding yourself of your “Why”.

3. When You’re Broke, Be Honest

Repeating you’re broke at every opportunity is bad.

But acknowledging that you are broke in the first place is super important.


So you can start working to change your situation instead of pretending nothing bad is happening.

Be honest with yourself: find out why you ended up with little money soon after payday and what you could’ve done differently.

Do this without being judgmental or harsh on you.

You want to learn where you got it wrong and how to fix it and avoid making the same mistake in the future by self-assessing the choices you made until the tipping point you’re in now

4. When You’re Broke, Be Excited

Be excited about your proactive and honest approach even if you’re broke.

Envision a debt-free life. Use it as a driving force to change bad money spending habits.

Take this opportunity to review your values. You might realise that material possessions were so not worth it, after all.

Distinguish between “wants” and “needs”. You’ll find what you once thought as “needs” are really “wants” in disguise.

You won’t die without Netflix, right?

Set a clear boundary between “wants” and “needs” and strip “wants” out of your life.

5. When You’re Broke, Reduce Expenses with Positive Attitude

When you’re broke, it’s vitally important you know the ins and outs of your financial affair, especially the expenses.

And do so by putting a positive spin on everything you do.

There’s a vast difference between feeling a sense of taking control of your finances and feeling forced to cut down expenses.

A positive attitude will get you through any situation as you train your mind to see positive sides of everything.

You’ll start enjoying a life of simplicity, focusing on things that bring you a real joy.

Simplicity allows you to shred unnecessary spending and activities.

And even if you’re broke, you’ll no longer feel depressed.

6. When You’re Broke, Increase Income

Look for opportunities to increase your income.

Internet offers a full of opportunities.

Find at least one side hustle opportunity that complements an existing skill or learn a new skill and make extra money.

Ask for a pay rise if you feel warranted.

Sell stuff that you no longer use.

Not only will you raise cash, you’ll also declutter your space.

Decluttering gives you a sense of empowerment: you feel free from the meaningless power that material possessions have over you; you feel happy and content with less.

Be sure you have full control of your expenses before thinking about making extra money, though.

Otherwise, the extra money will only feed you to keep on maintaining bad money habits.

Nothing is going to change unless you get rid of bad spending habits.

7. When You’re Broke, Gain Knowledge

Invest a good portion of your time wisely to learn everything about money.

Here’s a list of finance books I recommend.

Don’t let your current situation stop you from accumulating knowledge.

Learning preps you for opportunities.

And as you learn more about money, you’ll feel motivated to make more money, cut expenses and start saving and investing.

We act within the boundary of what we know.

Which is why it’s very important to keep learning and expand our knowledge.

8. When You’re Broke, Start Investing

Even if you are broke and have no money, challenge yourself to squeeze out $5 and start with it.

When you are broke, it seems impossible to find spare cash.

But, whether you sell old stuff on eBay or cut your expenses, as soon as you decide to raise cash, you’ll find a way and make it happen.

And this teaches you several things:

  • When you put your mind to it, you can do it.
  • You’re more resourceful than you think.
  • You know how to be disciplined.
  • You too can invest even if you are broke.
  • The key to investing is starting small.

As you gain experience, learn to spot opportunities, find a joy in saving and investing and be good at handling finances, you’ll get creative and increase your saving.

The best part of all?

Saving and investing becomes a habit.

You’ll start seeing and talking about possibilities of financial freedom instead of being broke.

Final Thoughts

Use “I’m always broke” as an incentive only to get out of the situation and adapt money affirmations as your daily affirmations.

Remember, you attract what you think about.

Instead of focusing on the fact you are broke, imagine your bank balance grow.

Bring it to the forefront of your mind and start attracting them to your life by turning your attention to changing your money habits, learning to be disciplined and creative and making a habit of saving and investing.

You’ll soon make being broke a temporary thing as it should.

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