A question on at least half of all American workers’ minds is, “Why am I always broke?” It’s a fair question because it pops into our heads all the time, especially lately. Why is it that many of us can barely pay our bills on time and it seems like we’re always trying to catch up with all those bills? Why is it that there never seems to be enough money to do the things we want to do like take an occasional trip or to simply eat out at our favorite restaurant?
When you are living paycheck to paycheck, eating out at a favorite restaurant or taking a little mini trip will set you back at least two to three months budget wise. This means for at least two to three straight months, you’ll probably have to find a way to barely get by and pay your bills on time until you can get ahead once again with your finances. You will likely take advantage of taking out extensions on the due dates of some bills such as the electricity as long as you are in good standing with these companies.
There can be several reasons why you’re always broke and need more money to cover your expenses. You may have recently been laid off or fired. You may have ended up in a situation where child support or alimony has set you back to an almost unbearable amount of money to live on. You may be a single parent with an estranged spouse that has left you high and dry.
Whatever the case may be, there has to be a way for you to get out of that deep hole you are in and it starts with your mindset. If you find yourself asking, “Why am I always broke?” all the time you need to take inventory of your life right now to make sure you put yourself on the right path to freeing yourself from this horrible condition, or the stress is going to eventually eat you up alive!
First, if you’re unemployed and possibly looking for a job now and collecting unemployment, you need to make it your job to get hired. Don’t just settle for a mediocre attempt at getting higher just so you can buy time and continue collecting unemployment; you need to really go out there, immerse yourself in how to find a great career, then go after it. There are plenty of resources on the Internet to help you with this and it’s all free. As a matter of fact, there are many articles within this website that can help you get started.
For those of you who are employed and are still feeling the effects of being broke all the time, it’s usually a matter of adjusting your priorities and figuring out a way to lessen your expenses. In other words, to get out of that hole you are stuck in, you’re going to have to dislodge yourself and sacrifice something you love or have grown accustomed to over time. If it means having to cut back on that premium cable TV package that you have, then so be it. If you’re wasting too much electricity by leaving the thermostat at 62° every single night, then make an adjustment.
Being Broke is a Vicious Cycle
The most common reason you are always broke, assuming you are employed, is because you have overspent your money on some type of luxury whether it be a trip somewhere, an expensive dinner, or maybe an important night out with friends where you paid the tab equally, or any other scenario where you may have spent over $200 on one shot. When you’re living paycheck to paycheck, it’s easy to make up the difference of spending $75 to $100 more than you wanted to, but once you get into the $200 area and beyond, you are asking for serious trouble.
So, until you either increase your salary or get a part-time job on the side, you are going to have to do without some of those luxuries you count on just to ease your stress or to simply have fun. We all know it’s easy to fall into this scenario; suppose a friend calls you out of nowhere and says, “Hey, why don’t we go out to dinner at Outback Steakhouse and then we are going to go meet
some of our old friend at Lucky Joe’s Tavern?
Of course, you haven’t seen this old friend for a long time and you would love to see your other friends and you say yes; the next thing you know you find yourself spending $200 that night and hating yourself for it. You probably feel terrible as you enter your home and collapse in bed knowing how you overspent the money you had earmarked for the electric bill to be paid on time. This type of scenario is a deathtrap when it comes to somebody living paycheck to paycheck. You end up creating much more stress than you already have.
You have to strike a balance between enjoying life and being responsible and pay your bills on time, and it doesn’t always work out the way you want it to be. You think, hey, you only get to live once, and it’s so true! Regardless, you have to keep trying until you either get that raise you desperately need or
until the day you take control of your life by trying to get a better, higher-paying job. Before you have an expensive dinner at your favorite restaurant, keep in mind that home cooking vs. eating out is a no-brainer.
The times where I have been broke in my life have all been due to the same two things; trying to enjoy life and having unexpected things come up out of nowhere. The bottom line is, you can plan and budget all you want but in the end, if you’re not making enough money to cover all of your expenses on a monthly basis, you’re always going to be in the whole. So I suggest this; make a list of all your expenses for the month and see if your take-home pay covers the same amount.
If it doesn’t and you can’t do anything about it or you won’t to anything about it, then plan on being broke all the time. I would sincerely hope you would opt for making a better life for yourself. It can be done but you have to keep on trying and moving forward. In the meantime, try to balance out your lifestyle with your responsibilities a little bit better. Start tracking your expenses on paper; you’ll be much better off for it and your stress level will diminish. The days where you would wake up saying, “Why am I always broke?” will be over!