How Not to Be BROKE Broke
Updated: Jun 25
18 Doable Tips to Help Us Regular People Get Ahead
- I am not a financial specialist and I am not providing legal or official financial advice. I’m just here to share strategies that have proven to be effective for ME in hopes that it will help YOU, the average human being, also.
Money is a Mindset.
If you have the wrong mindset, it will never matter how much you make, because you will always be broke. Unfortunately, fiscal responsibility is not a common subject in school or at home. We are taught a few things out of a book, but, not how to APPLY basic principles so that we can deal with adulthood responsibly.
- 84% of parents feel they have the knowledge to teach their kids about financial responsibility
- 80 % of parents don’t think schools are doing enough to teach kids about financial matters
The stats above tell a quick story. Parents state that they know enough to teach their kids, yet they also feel the schools aren’t doing enough to teach their kids. I’m scratching my head on that one.
Even with the stats clearly showing a lapse of education, parents still aren’t teaching their kids the basics and that includes our generation as parents also. I don’t remember money talks or lessons from my childhood, do you? Once again, 84% of parents say they have the knowledge, but I’m sure 84% aren’t teaching their kids.
The majority of us aren’t shown how to manage money and budget; that’s why every time we get an extra dollar, or a lot of extra dollars we put ourselves in a position to have nothing to show for it.
Only 1 in 5 people facing financial hardship fall below the poverty line and make less than $40, 000 annually.
Half of Americans are living paycheck to paycheck. H A L F
The best example of this foolery is of people who win the lottery or make big money as athletes and somehow blow through their money and go broke. Infuriating right? We’ve all sat and WISHED we had that much money at one time; we would do allll these things with it. AmIright?
I’ve organized some of the things I have done that have helped me to remain financially independent and above water these past few years. Learning and implementing the strategies below have made some remarkable situational changes in my life.
Even if you were only to do SOME of the 18 tips I mention below, you will still be better off than where you started. I love this concept because there is NO failure here as long as you try and implement as many of these methods as possible.
Grab A Pen.
Get Honest, Start Where You Are with What You Have
Start here to see what’s ahead of you.
Tip #1: Make an assessment of how jacked up you are.
This is how you can get a starting point and map out your steps to get to where you want to be. The point is to start where you are.
-Write down all of your accounts and their balances.
-Write down all of your expenses.
Calculate income minus debts and see how much is left over. Are you OK with that number? Nope. But, now you know where you stand and can visually SEE it.
Tip #2: Check, clean, and monitor your credit.
This is such a taboo subject but the ignorance is too real with this. Your credit score is one the most valuable assets you have! It can get you out of a bind, and it can open doors for you quicker. Monitor your credit regularly and it can either be by a free service or a paid service.
-Each credit bureau sends you one free report a year and the websites that offer reports are plentiful. Pull your credit report and get a credit counselor or someone good with taking care of business to help you clean up your reports.
Shift Your Money Mindset & Management Style
This is the only way to get out of the financial rat race.
Tip #3: Always Pay Yourself First
We usually only learn this lesson the hard way. But if you don’t implement this habit early on and every time, you will run out of cash before you know it with nothing to show for it besides a plastic bag of clothing and a lot of things you can’t use to pay your bills with.
-Take your savings off the top before calculating your actual balance. Ex. If you get $1000, check, don’t calculate $1000 to spend. Save $200 of the check and only spend the other $800.
Tip #4: Use Your Tax Refund Responsibly
Treat your refund as the extra cash that it is, and NOT money you can just spend however.
DO NOT make purchases or incur recurring payments with this money. Chances are if you needed this for the down payment of that car you want, you probably won’t be able to afford the recurring note or insurance.
Use it to invest or pay down debts once you have saved 30% of it at the least.
Tip #5: Re-target Your Frivolous Spending and Impulse Buying
- Don’t grab from the grab/impulse aisle.
- Disconnect your cards from shopping apps.
- Stay home and away from the store when you are feeling an emotional void.
Ex. I know that I need to stay as far from Target as possible if I’m ever going to get ahead. There is no way I can fight the power behind that red and white bulls-eye. I accept that.
Impulse control and emotional buying are REAL!
Practice Responsible Cash Stashing
Savings and Stashing Methods
19% of the population has $0 saved to cover emergency expenses; 31% have less than $500 in emergency savings.
Tip #6: Automate and Hide Deposits
Online accounts are a great way to move money that you don’t need to touch. They don’t have to be connected to cards or statements or text alerts.
– Open a savings account at a bank that is different from where your main accounts are. Don’t get a card associated with it. Set up automatic transfers to it in sync with when you receive deposits. That way you won’t see the money in your balance and won’t count it in spending.
Note: Everyone should have an Oh Sht Account. The bulk of your money should be in this account. This can be a Jumbo Money Market or Savings Account. You don’t touch this account. I literally have mine named “Don’t Touch”.
You should have a regular balance savings and checking account which should have the lowest balance. This is a good way to protect your money when your card is compromised also, since you don’t keep much money in it.
Here is an example of the balance amounts of the accounts:
- Checking: Used to Pay Bills Balance: Enough money to pay bills with and little extra for spending.
- Savings: Connected to checking, can be used to transfer funds immediately to cover an expense and prevent overdraft.
- Jumbo Savings: Emergency Fund. Deposit only, high interest yield, no withdrawals.
Ex: Checking $600 Savings: $600 Jumbo Savings $3000.
#7: Create a Vacay Account
A Vacation Account is another version of the automation but with a different purpose and frequency. You can consider this your reward account and use the money you get at the end of the year to pay for your vacation, shopping, or any other feel-good activities to bring your joy.
-Do the 52-week challenge with this account. There are two versions of the 52-week challenge.
The Week # = Deposit $ method.
Week 1 of the Year = Deposit $1
Week 2 of the Year = Deposit $2
And you do this the entire year. The only downside to this method is that as the transfer amounts increase, you are coming out of some serious cash in a short time frame and this can strain your pockets if you don’t have a lot in the bank.
Total Savings =$1378
- The $25 a Week Method
You transfer $25 a week for the entire year. There are no ballooning transfers and it’s pretty solid to maintain.
Total Savings =$1300
Tip #8: Don’t spend more than what you have.
This is pretty simple and self-explanatory but, remains the common issue. Going into overdraft is not a good thing, and it is costly. So if you don’t have it, just DON’T SPEND it.
- If you only have $200 in your account, do NOT buy something that costs $250.
Tip #9: Use The Cash and Envelope method and Digital Tools for Management and Tracking
- Live on cash only. You can have an envelope with your weekly budget cash amount inside.
Budget $150 (use your own amount) for the week, in cash, no more than that. You can visually see your funds and observe their depletion. If you want to break it down more, have an envelope for food, gas, and miscellaneous spending.
This also prevents you from going over with your accounts because you aren’t swiping all day and night. No worrying about someone getting your credit card info from card readers either.
Use Strategy and Thinking Ahead to Make Moves
It all begins with strategy.
Only 30% of Americans have a long term financial plan that includes savings and investment goals. W T F
Tip #10: Track your spending and then make adjustments
This can be challenging if you let it get tedious. The smart way is to write it all down and check it at the end of each week. Do it for a month and then see where you can make adjustments. The most obvious ones are less fast food, fewer outings, kicking costly habits like smoking.
Tip #11: Set Financial goals
- On a sheet of paper, write down all of your accounts and their balances.
- Write down what purchases you want to make: That new home theatre or new sound bar for your TV along with their price.
- Write down Savings Goals: Statistics say that ideally you should be saving 20% of your income. They may not be possible right now with where you are, so just start with what you have.
Include other goals for saving up as well, like kids’ college fund, new car down payment, house down payment.
The key to saving is to separate the accounts by purpose. The money you are stashing to buy a house with should not be in the same bucket of the money you are saving for a rainy day or your vacation.
- Write down all debt names and balances: (Credit Cards, Mortgage, Loans) Decide which ones need to be paid first.
Tip #12: Anticipate Costs
We often make purchases without calculating their TRUE costs. Before making decisions you need to map it out for ALL costs.
Ex. You decide you want a dog. Adoption fees can range from $50-$150 depending on the shelter. Awesome, you came with that money.
However, here are other expenses you should have considered prior to making the commitment:
- Pet food, supplies, housing/cage/ dog house, bed, toys etc
- Medical Insurance
- Medical and grooming fees. Think shots and treatments.
- Emergency medical savings. Think broken bone or illness treatment which can be several thousands of dollars
- Other general pet costs
Changes the simplicity of it right?
#13: Start Picturing Your Retirement
We get so caught up in right now ad immediate gratifications that we put retirement on the back burner. But we are living a lot longer these days and it’s important to not have to spend our golden years in the struggle.
One of the things you can do RIGHT now to prepare for that phase of life is to open up a Retirement Savings account.
I use a Roth IRA which is taxed funds. With employers we sometimes get 401ks, but when we leave, that money often has to be moved somehow. By opening your own IRA Account, you are eliminating the need to have to fix or move your money as you transition through your career.
Do a quick calculation of what does retirement looks like for you. Breakdown retirement costs.
Simple quick math
I want to retire at 60. I will probably live until 100 years old, God willing.
That means 40 years of income is what I need.
In my retired years, I need to live off of $70k a year.
Formula: 40 years x $70k = $2.8 Million!
That leaves me with about 25 years left to save up that much money
That’s an unrealistic $112k a year I would need to be saving. That’s A LOT right? But, it’s possible. If you don’t want to google some solutions, you would need to attend my workshop if you want to know how I plan to handle my retirement. I will give some hints, investments, properties, multiple income streams, high interest accounts etc.
#14: Think long term when you act
Look at all the angles of financial possibilities when you make investments. How can what I’m doing today, get me ahead financially either now or in the future?
If I offered a workshop on simple money tips based on this blog, I could make revenue from it.
#15: Develop Multiple Streams of Income
An absolute must.
- Think of/ research ideas for additional income that won’t interfere with your job. Leveraging your skills.
- Making extra money while you are at work or sleeping is the best kind.
Debt & Lifestyle Strategies
Tip #16: Don’t mix Money and Relationships.
- 59% of divorcees regret not being financially independent during their marriage
- 59% also say that finances played a role in their divorce.
Have your OWN money, and then a shared account for bills.
One account, the one you receive your payments and deposits in, should be different from the one you share with your spouse. Set the shared account up for auto transfers like with your savings account.
Want to buy a new pair of shoes? Use your own checking account. Need to pay the light bill? Use the shared bank account. Same goes for savings accounts. Never ever tie your money up. Unfortunately although we often read about it and hear about it, people still do this anyway and then say what they WISH they did after the fact.
Tip #17: How to pay off debts
- Most immediate first and then smallest to largest or highest interest
- Credit is NOT your money. Credit is borrowed, costly money to only use when you are in a bind. If you have a credit card, you should be able to pay off the balances immediately. If you cannot pay off your complete balance immediately, only use this card for emergencies and keep it put away.
Tip #18: Don’t use the WHOLE loan!
If you decide you want to make a purchase that involves a loan like an auto or home loan, make sure you do your homework first. Decide if it is financially sound to buy a home versus rent. If it is, decide on how much you can afford and then subtract 20% at minimum for that.
If you are married and you can only afford your mortgage if BOTH of you use your salaries to pay it, that’s too much. If you can’t pay your mortgage on your own, it’s too much. If money gets low or someone becomes sick or unemployed you will feel this more than you want to.
I find it pretty amazing that there are some people out there with car notes that cost as much as mortgages. And I’m not talking about millionaires; I’m talking about everyday people who have no financial stability.
Credit companies aren’t going to look out for your best interest, that isn’t how they get paid. YOU have to look out for YOUR OWN interests and that is by remaining fiscally responsible, especially with big purchases.
How much a car note should cost
$600 a month for a KIA is NOT OK.
I strongly recommend you get your hand on these two books.
2. You Are a Badass at Making Money
I'm not expecting you to do all 18 of these things. But, the more you do, the better off you will be. We aren't perfect, but these tips will help you drastically improve your situation. Remember, mindset is everything. Get your money mind right because it's the first step to your freedom. If you don't learn to control your money, it will control you. And you don't want that!
Do you have any savvy money tips? Please share!
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- Today’s market calls for some serious diversity and unique offerings for a business to be respected. Yes, some ideas just flow, but we often have to dig a bit deeper to differentiate ourselves.
This employee is going to help identify ways you can change, improve or expand your operations and offerings.
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