Dollar bills representing what to do when you are broke to regain financial control

Ever feel like you’re always scraping the bottom of the barrel? Like every penny is a prisoner, and you’re the jailer counting heads every night?

Bill collectors are breathing down your neck, and after you’ve managed to fend them off, you’re left with just enough to scrape by.

Then, the countdown begins. Tick-tock, tick-tock, until the next paycheck.

It’s like you’re stuck in a real-life version of Groundhog Day, and it’s anything but funny.

And then, the frustration bubbles over:

  • “I’m so done with being broke all the time.”
  • “I’m flat broke.”
  • “My life’s a disaster. There’s no hope.”
  • “I’m at my wit’s end. I don’t know what to do.”

Sound familiar?

It’s the relentless echo of being broke. And when you’re broke, it’s all you can think about. It’s like a broken record playing on repeat, gnawing at your sanity and your wallet.

So, what can you do when you are broke and utterly fed up with being broke?

Practical Steps When You are Completely Broke

Financial peace isn’t the acquisition of stuff. It’s learning to live on less than you make, so you can give money back and have money to invest. You can’t win until you do this.

Dave Ramsey

When You’re Broke, Change Your Tune

A woman with peaceful and calm smile representing the state of mind after adopting money affirmations when broke

I remember having a chat with an acquaintance who was in deep financial trouble. What struck me about our conversation was the frequency of the word “broke”. It was like a drumbeat in the background of his story.

“I’d love to travel to Paris, Rome, Tokyo, but I can’t. I’m always broke,” he’d lament. Every other sentence was punctuated with “I’m too broke” or “I’m always broke.”

He was stuck in a loop, constantly reminding himself of his financial hardship. He was so focused on his current situation that he couldn’t see beyond it.

But here’s the thing: being broke is a temporary state. It’s not a life sentence.

You can break free from the shackles of financial stress.

The first step?

Change your tune. Adopt money affirmations that empower you, not drag you down.

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

We all know the sting of being broke, don’t we?

When you’re broke, you find yourself:

  • Counting every penny to buy groceries.
  • Avoiding the sight of your bills.
  • Declining friends’ invites.
  • Skipping birthday presents for loved ones.
  • Pleading with the utility company for more time before they cut off your power.
  • Cancelling dentist appointments because you can no longer afford them.

It’s a grim picture, isn’t it?

But here’s the silver lining: you can use every ounce of this frustration, every moment of embarrassment, as fuel.

Turn it into your biggest “why”. Let it be the driving force that propels you towards a fresh start.

Don’t wallow in it, but use it as a reminder of your “Why”.

When You’re Broke, Be Honest

A woman hand on heart with another raised high swearing to be honest when broke

Let’s get one thing straight: constantly reminding yourself that you’re broke isn’t going to help. But acknowledging your financial situation? That’s crucial.


Because the moment you face the harsh reality is the moment the tide begins to turn. It’s the starting point of a positive change.

So, take a good, hard look in the mirror. Ask yourself why you’re counting pennies just days after payday. What could you have done differently?

But remember, this isn’t about beating yourself up. It’s about learning. It’s about understanding where you tripped up so you can sidestep that pitfall in the future.

When You’re Broke, Get Excited

Yes, you read that right. Get excited. Even if you’re broke. Especially if you’re broke.


Because you’ve taken the first step. You’ve admitted you’re broke. You’ve pinpointed the bad money habits that led you to this point.

You’re now in the driver’s seat of your financial journey.

So, even if your wallet is empty, your future is full of possibilities. Imagine a life free from the shackles of debt. Doesn’t that get your heart racing?

Use this time to reassess your values. You might find that those shiny material possessions lose their lustre.

Learn to tell the difference between “wants” and “needs”. You’ll be surprised how many “needs” are actually “wants” in disguise. I mean, life without Netflix isn’t the end of the world, right?

Draw a clear line between your “wants” and “needs”, and start cutting out the “wants”. And as you do, get excited about the positive impact these changes will have on your financial and mental well-being.

When You’re Broke, Develop a Positive Financial Mindset

A smiling woman holding money looking up representing positive mindset, "think rich, get rich", when broke

Being broke can easily lead to a cycle of negativity. But your mindset, especially about finances, can be a game-changer.

A positive financial mindset isn’t about ignoring your situation. It’s about changing how you view money and your financial circumstances. It’s about believing you can improve your situation, no matter how bleak it seems.

Start by challenging your negative beliefs about money. Replace thoughts like “I’ll always be broke” with empowering ones like “I can improve my financial situation.”

Set clear financial goals. Whether it’s paying off debt, saving for an emergency, or investing for the future, having a goal gives you a positive focus.

When You’re Broke, Embrace Frugality with a Smile

When you’re broke, it’s time to roll up your sleeves and dive deep into your financial situation, particularly your expenses.

But here’s the key: do it with a positive attitude.

You’re not just cutting expenses; you’re embracing a simpler life. You’re not just saving money; you’re saving time from shopping and space from storing unnecessary stuff.

When you frame every decision with a positive spin, you start to see what truly brings you joy.

And suddenly, you’re not feeling deprived; you’re feeling liberated.

When You’re Broke, Master the Art of Budgeting

A woman working with calculator and laptop signalling the importance of budgeting when broke

When you’re broke, budgeting isn’t just a good idea; it’s a lifeline. It’s your roadmap out of the land of financial despair and into the realm of financial control.

Budgeting is about understanding where your money is going and making conscious decisions about your spending. It’s about itemising your expenses, cutting out unnecessary services, and prioritising your financial goals.

So, grab a pen and paper, or a budgeting app if you prefer, and start tracking your income and expenses.

You might be surprised at where your money is going. And once you know, you can start making changes that will have a big impact on your financial situation.

When You’re Broke, Boost Your Income

Here’s the other side of the coin: increasing your income.

And guess what? The internet is a goldmine of opportunities.

Scout for at least one side hustle that can put some extra cash in your pocket. It could be something that leverages your existing skills, or maybe it’s time to pick up a new skill that piques your interest.

Think you deserve a pay rise? Go ahead and ask for it. Got stuff gathering dust? Sell it. Not only will you make some money, but you’ll also declutter your space.

But remember, before you start raking in the extra cash, make sure you’ve got a handle on your expenses. Otherwise, you’re just pouring water into a leaky bucket. The extra money will only amplify your bad spending habits.

The bottom line? If you want to change your financial situation, you’ve got to change your spending behaviour.

When You’re Broke, Navigate the Maze of Debt Management

A woman pointing a finger at you implying "you've got this" representing the importance of debt management when broke

Being broke often means wrestling with the monster of debt. It’s like a dark cloud hanging over your head, isn’t it?

But here’s the good news: there are strategies to manage this beast.

Debt repayment plans, consolidation, negotiation with creditors – these are all tools in your arsenal.

It’s about understanding your options and choosing the one that fits your situation best.

You’re not just trying to survive here; you’re aiming to thrive. And to do that, you need to take immediate action, tackle your debt head-on, and start working your way towards financial independence.

When You’re Broke, Get to Know Your Credit Score

Think of your credit score as your financial report card. It’s a number that tells lenders how reliable you are when it comes to paying back debt. And when you’re broke, understanding this number becomes even more important.


Because a good credit score can open doors to better interest rates, more favourable loan terms, and even job opportunities.

So, don’t shy away from it. Learn what impacts your credit score, how to improve it, and how to maintain it.

Knowledge is power, and in this case, it’s the power to turn your financially difficult circumstances around.

When You’re Broke, Dip Your Toes in Investing

A tree growing out of coin piles symbolising the effect of starting investing even when broke

Even when you’re broke, I challenge you to find $5 and start investing. I know, it sounds impossible.

But the moment you decide to make it happen, you’ll find a way.

And here’s what this exercise teaches you:

  • When you set your mind to something, you can achieve it.
  • You’re more resourceful than you give yourself credit for.
  • You have the discipline it takes to manage money.
  • Even when you’re broke, you can still invest.

The secret to investing? Start small.

It’s all about taking that first step. With time, you’ll gain experience, learn to spot opportunities, and find joy in saving and investing. You’ll get creative with your finances and find ways to increase your savings.

And the best part? Saving and investing will become second nature to you.

Suddenly, financial freedom isn’t just a pipe dream. It’s a very real possibility. And it’s all within your reach.

When You’re Broke, Consider Side Hustles

When you’re broke, every extra penny counts. And that’s where side hustles come in.

They’re like your financial secret weapon, helping you earn extra cash outside of your regular income.

From freelance writing to dog walking, from selling handmade crafts to tutoring, the world of side hustles is vast and varied.

The key is to find something that aligns with your skills, interests, and schedule.

A side hustle is not just about making money; it’s also about adding value in your career. It’s an opportunity to learn new skills and competencies, to broaden your professional network, and to stand out in the marketplace.

When You’re Broke, Build an Emergency Fund

Happy family saving emergency fund together when broke

An emergency fund while you’re broke? Sounds like a paradox, doesn’t it?

But let’s take a moment to consider this.

Think of an emergency fund as your financial parachute. It’s there to soften the blow when life decides to drop unexpected expenses on you – a sudden car repair, an unforeseen medical bill, an abrupt job loss.

Without this safety net, these surprise costs can plunge you deeper into the abyss of debt.

So, how does one go about building an emergency fund in the midst of financial hardship?

The same way to do with investing: start small.

Even stashing away a few dollars each week can accumulate over time. As you gradually regain control over your finances, you can incrementally increase your savings.

The crux isn’t the size of your emergency fund; it’s the existence of one.

Because in the throes of financial adversity, a smidgen of security can make a world of difference.

When You’re Broke, Discover Financial Tools and Resources

Navigating through financial hardship can feel like you’re lost in a labyrinth.

But don’t despair.

There’s a wealth of financial tools and resources out there ready to guide you.

Budgeting apps, financial education websites, investment platforms – these tools can be your beacon of light in the dark.

They offer insights into your financial habits, help you make informed decisions, and keep you on track with your financial goals.

So, don’t hesitate. Dive into these resources. They might just be the key to unlocking your path to financial stability.

When You’re Broke, Consult a Financial Advisor

A smiling financial advisor chatting to a client representing what to do when you are broke

When you’re knee-deep in financial trouble, sometimes the best course of action is to reach out for help.

That’s where financial counselling comes in.

Financial advisors are like your personal financial coaches. They’re trained to help you understand your financial situation, craft a budget, and formulate a debt management plan.

They equip you with the tools and knowledge to regain control of your finances.

Asking for help isn’t a sign of weakness. On the contrary, it’s a testament to your determination to overcome financial difficulties and build a more secure financial future.

When You’re Broke, Dive into Low-Cost or Free Activities

When you’re broke, it might feel like fun and leisure are luxuries you can’t afford. But hold on, who says enjoyment has to come with a hefty price tag?

There’s a world of low-cost or even free activities out there waiting for you to explore.

Hiking in nature, visiting free museums, joining community events, or even hosting a movie night at home with friends – these are all ways to have a good time without breaking the bank.

Transitioning from leisure time to learning and training time can also be a game-changer.

Free online courses, webinars, or library resources can help you gain new skills and competencies, which could potentially open doors to better financial opportunities.

So, don’t let financial constraints dampen your spirit. Embrace the joy of simple, cost-effective activities.

After all, the best things in life are indeed free.

When You’re Broke, Become a Money Whiz

Man holding money with big smile symbolising becoming money whiz through learning when broke

Now’s the time to hit the books and learn everything there is to know about money.

Here’s a list of finance books that I swear by. Don’t let your current financial hardship stop you from accumulating knowledge.

Why? Because learning is the key that unlocks opportunities.

The more you learn about money, the savvier you become. You start to see the value in saving and investing. You realise that your actions are limited by what you know.

So, keep learning. Keep expanding your knowledge. Because when it comes to money, knowledge truly is power.

Final Thoughts: Transforming Your Financial Future

Being broke isn’t a life sentence; it’s a temporary state that you have the power to change.

Embrace positive financial affirmations as part of your daily routine to break free from the cycle of financial hardship. After all, our thoughts have a profound impact on our reality.

Instead of dwelling on your financial struggles, visualise your bank balance flourishing. Make this vision a constant presence in your mind.

As you work on eliminating detrimental money habits and exploring ways to boost your income, remember to cultivate the habit of saving, no matter how small the amount may seem.

Incorporate budgeting into your life, explore debt management strategies, understand the importance of your credit score, and consider the potential of side hustles. Don’t forget to build that emergency fund, no matter how small it starts.

Engage in low-cost or free activities that enrich your life without draining your wallet. And never stop learning about money and how to manage it effectively.

By taking these steps, you’ll transform being broke from a persistent reality into a fleeting memory.

And that’s how it should be. Because you deserve financial stability, security, and freedom. And with determination and the right strategies, you can achieve it.

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