7 Reasons Why People Stay Broke Forever
Building wealth starts with the intention to do it but actually happens with your behavior and actions. However, so many people behave in ways that do not promote their financial success without really realizing it.
In this post I'm discussing 7 ways in which people sabotage their financial futures and ensure they stay broke.....pretty much forever.
"If you want to build real wealth, you are going to have to readjust your focus."
Reason 1: They never plan their spending
Paying off debt, saving money, investing, living life.......in order to successfully do any of these things you need to have a plan around your money and that means learning how to budget. A budget not only helps to ensure you are keeping your expenses below your income but it also allows you plan out what you can spend, save and invest.
If you don't plan your spending, even if you have no debt, you'll find that your money easily slips through your fingers (ever wondered where all your money went?) and you end up with not very much left after each paycheck to put towards your savings and investments.
The wealthiest people in the world (who stay wealthy) have budgets, they might not call them budgets, but they most certainly have plans around their spending, saving and investing. And if they do, then you should too! The goal is to control your money and give every penny you earn a job to do for you.
Reason 2: They don't think of saving until they make it big
Too many people make the mistake of thinking that they just need to earn more money in order for them to be able to save but that way of thinking is so wrong. When it comes to saving money, it's all about building the habit and the consistency and so even if your income is not as much you'd like it to be, focus on saving what you can and do it on a consistent basis so you can build the habit of saving.
If you can only afford to save a dollar or $10 each time you get paid, then do it anyway. A little + a little + a little over time equals a lot. If you think you can't save when you have a little, you probably won't save when you have a lot.
Start by getting an emergency fund in place and then work on saving money towards your other goals.
Reason 3: They don't bother to invest because they think it takes millions
The most popular excuses I get around why people don't invest include - investing is gambling, investing is only for rich people, investing is too complicated. Well if you've ever made any of those excuses, it's time to quit them fast.
Investing is how you put your money to work for you and how you build real wealth. It is however important to understand that investing is a long term endeavor because your money needs time to grow (compound) and weather market declines etc.
There are different ways in which you can invest your money but you need to do your research and get comfortable with where you put your money. Not sure where to start? This post can help.
Reason 4: They complain about everything and everyone, except themselves and their attitudes
Ah yes. Complaining is something we've all been guilty of at one point or the other, but when complaining about everything and everyone becomes something that you do all the time without figuring out what you can do to change your situation, then there is a big problem.
As opposed to complaining all the time, a better idea is to objectively look at your financial situation and determine what actions you need to take in order to improve things.
Also focusing on being grateful for what you have and where you are going, helps to minimize the amount of complaining you do. When you are grateful, you'll spend more time focusing on the positive and less on the negative.
Reason 5: They spend more than they earn
This is one of the biggest reasons why people stay broke. Spending more than you earn means you can't save and it also means you are more likely to be overextended and take on debt. The key to this is tracking your spending and making your budget your best friend.
If you haven't had success with budgeting the past, perhaps you haven't found a method that works well for you? Budgeting is not one size fits all and you are more likely to succeed with it if you use an approach that works best for you - learn about a few budgeting methods here.
Reason 6: They compete with everyone
You can also refer to this as keeping up with the Joneses (or the Kardashians) - buying things you can't afford to impress people you probably don't really like and who don't really care. Keeping up appearances and competing with people when it comes to materials things messes with your focus.
Instead of being focused on the great things you have going for you in your life and on your goals, your focus ends up being on how you can buy more to show off to whoever and for many people, because they are trying so hard to keep up appearances, they end up going deep into debt to maintain it all.
As Dave Ramsey would say, if you want to build real wealth you are going to need to live like no one else will now, so in future you can live like no one else can. Adjust your focus towards your goals, don't worry about what other people thing of you and most importantly focus on being grateful and content on your journey to wealth. Your biggest competition is not other people, it's yourself.
Reason 7: They borrow for everything
Keeping appearances, not planning your spending, overspending, not having an emergency fund in place etc are some of the main reasons why people end up deep in credit card debt.
If you've found yourself in this situation, it's important that you create a plan to get out of debt. However, in order for your plan to be successful, you are going to have to commit to stop spending on credit and acquiring new debt. You are also going to need to work on your money mindset and develop new habits around your money management.
It's not as easy as it sounds but it's certainly possible as long as you stay determined and focused. A great plan to help you pay off debt is the snowball method and you can learn more here. I also have a blog post on 15 ways in which you can pay off your debt fast here.
If you are guilty of any of the behaviors above, it's time to make some serious changes so you can start working on building real wealth!
Bola Sokunbi is the founder of Clever Girl Finance and she's passionate about helping women take control of their money so they can live life on their own terms.