8 Things to Do When You are Broke

I’m always broke.

Sound familiar?

After keeping all bill collectors at bay, you end up with enough to get by and start counting down the pennies again till the next paycheck. It feels like a never-ending Groundhog Day.

So you let out frustration:

  • I’m sick and tired of being broke all the time.
  • I’m completely broke.
  • My life is one big mess. It’s hopeless.
  • I’m so frustrated. I don’t know what to do.

These are all too familiar feelings of being broke. And when you’re broke, it’s all you think about. That constant thinking makes matters worse, aggravating your financial and mental well-being.

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 who was in deep financial trouble. What’s striking to me is how many times he repeated the word “broke” during our conversation.

He’d say, “I want to travel x, y, and z but can’t because I’m always broke.”  He’d say in every other sentence, “I’m too broke.” or “I’m always broke.”

He reminded himself of being broke over and over, which made it impossible to see beyond the current situation he was in.

Being broke is a temporary situation. You can get yourself out of being broke. Break the vicious cycle by changing your tune: adapt money affirmations.

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

Don’t we know the endless hardship and humiliation of being broke too well? When you are broke, you

  • Count every penny to buy groceries.
  • Avoid opening your bills.
  • Say no to friends’ invites.
  • Skip birthday presents for family and friends.
  • Beg the utility company to give you more time before they cut off 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.” Use it as your motivator to make a fresh start. Don’t dwell on it too long, except to remind yourself of your “Why.”

3. When You’re Broke, Be Honest

Repeating that you’re broke every opportunity you get is not a good idea. However, acknowledging that you are broke is super important.


Because a positive change occurs the moment you admit and decide to face the grim reality.

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

Do this without being judgmental or harsh on yourself. You want to learn where you went wrong first so you can fix it and avoid making the same mistake in the future.

4. When You’re Broke, Be Excited

Be excited about your proactive and honest approach, even if you’re broke. You’ve acknowledged that you’re broke. You identified what led you to the tipping point you’re at now—the bad money-spending habits you want to rid yourself of.

You’re now in charge of your finances.

Even if you’re broke, you have every right to feel excited about your future and envision a debt-free life.

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

Distinguish between “wants” and “needs.” You’ll find that what you once thought were “needs” are “wants” in disguise. No one suffers without Netflix, right?

Set a clear boundary between “wants” and “needs” and strip “wants” out of your life. Be excited about all the measures you take and the positive impact they’ll have on your financial and mental well-being.

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

When you’re broke, it’s important to know the ins and outs of your financial situation, especially your expenses. Put a positive spin on every change you make.

You’re cutting down expenses because you value a simple life. You enjoy the extra time saved from shopping and the extra space saved from storing unnecessary stuff.

When you frame every decision you make with a positive attitude, you soon recognise the things that bring you real joy, and you no longer feel deprived.

6. When You’re Broke, Increase Income

Look for opportunities to increase your income. The internet offers a wealth of opportunities.

Find at least one side-hustle opportunity to make extra money. It could be something that complements an existing skill set or learn a new skill that might interest you.

Ask for a pay rise if you feel it is warranted. Sell stuff that you no longer use. Not only will you raise cash, but you’ll also declutter your space.

Make sure to be on top of your expenses before making extra money, though. Otherwise, the extra money will only make your bad money habits worse.

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

7. When You’re Broke, Gain Knowledge

Invest time in learning everything about money.

Here’s a list of finance books I recommend.

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

Learning prepares you for opportunities.

The more you learn about money, the wiser you become with it, which leads you to save and invest.

We act within the boundaries of what we know.

Which is why it’s very important to keep learning and expanding 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 as soon as you decide to raise cash, you’ll find a way to make it happen.

And this teaches you several things:

  • When you put your mind to something, 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.

It takes one small step to begin with. Over time, you gain experience, learn to spot opportunities, and find joy in saving and investing.

And become good at handling finances until you get creative and increase your savings.

The best part of all?

Saving and investing become habits.

And financial freedom is no longer someone else’s story or an illusion, but a possibility of your own.

Final Thoughts

Being broke is a temporary situation you can get out of.

Adapt money affirmations as your daily affirmations to break the vicious cycle of being broke.

Remember, you attract what you think about.

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

Bring it to the forefront of your mind.

While eliminating bad money habits and finding a way to make extra money, make a habit of saving even a small amount.

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

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