8 Things to Do When You are Broke

Living paycheck to paycheck doesn’t have to be permanent. It only stays that way if we allow it to.

I’m always broke.

When was the last time you said those words?

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

And start counting down the pennies until the next paycheck again.

It’s the typical life of living paycheck to paycheck we know too well.

Here’s the thing.

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

I know what living paycheck to paycheck is like.

I know enough to know that dwelling on it will only make you feel hopeless.

It’ll drain your energy that you can use to turn your financial situation around.

8 Things to Do When You are Broke

So the first thing you need to do when you’re broke is this.

1. Change Your Tune

I remember having a conversation with an acquaintance.

During our hour-long chat, I had 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”.

Of course, I didn’t say that because I understood him.

But it was darn frustrating.

Because he seemed to have accepted his current situation as a permanent one: he’d be always broke no matter what.

When you chant “I’m always broke”, you can’t have other thoughts like this:

No matter how hard my situation is right now, I’ll find a way to get me out of this.

When that’s exactly what we should aim for.

Saying “I’m always broke” repeatedly keeps us from seeing opportunities, taking action and making changes.

I have as much debt as he does.

But I refuse to accept it as my permanent situation. I know as clear as day debt is a temporary thing.

Because of this belief, I work very hard to pay off debt, looking for every opportunity to make that happen.

Stop using “I’m always broke” as your daily affirmation, even if you’re.

Use these affirmations instead.

2. Turn It Into Your Strongest Why

If you can’t help yourself saying, “I’m always broke”, turn the current situation into your biggest motivator.

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

Count every penny to buy groceries. Beg the utility company to give you a little more time before they cut your electricity.

Cancel a dentist appointment because you can’t afford public transport.

Avoid opening your bills.

It’s grim, 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. Be Honest

Repeating you’re broke at every opportunity is bad.

But acknowledging it 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, write down why you end up with pennies a few days after the paycheck and what you could’ve done differently.

Do this without being judgmental or harsh on you.

We aren’t doing this to make us feel bad or guilty.

No, we want to learn where we got it wrong and how to fix it and avoid making the same mistake in the future by self-assessing the choices we had made until the tipping point we’re in now

4. Be Excited

Be excited about your proactive and honest approach.

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” and acknowledge how many “wants” are disguised as “needs”.

You have the power to turn your living paycheck to paycheck situation around.

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

5. Reduce Expenses with Positive Attitude

Go through all your expenses.

Approach it with a mindset that you’re taking a step to take control of your finances, instead of feeling forced to cut down expenses.

Put a positive spin on everything you do.

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.

Along the way, you’ll find spare money, and no longer live paycheck to paycheck.

6. 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.

The entire process will make you appreciate a life of simplicity while increasing your income.

Empowering you to feel free from the meaningless power that material possessions have over you and be 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 living paycheck to paycheck.

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

7. Knowledge is Power

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.

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. Start Investing

The sooner you start investing, the better.

Even when you feel you don’t have enough, squeeze out $5 and start with it.

Starting is the most important part.

It’ll further incentivise you.

When you live paycheck to paycheck, it seems impossible to find spare cash.

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

The key is starting small.

As you gain experience, learn to spot opportunities and find a joy of saving, you’ll get creative and increase your saving.

The best part of all?

Saving becomes a habit.

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

Final Thoughts

Use “I’m always broke” as an incentive only to get out of the situation.

You attract what you think about.

Imagine how you’d feel when you pay off all your debts and start seeing your bank balance grow.

See that big fat balance laid out in your future, bring it to the forefront of your mind now and start attracting them to your life by turning your attention to learning, changing your money habits and making a habit of saving, regardless how small.

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