Telling you why you’re broke and can’t save might not seem value added.
I think we can all agree that money disappears quickly.
If you ever wonder why you can’t keep up, this post will help you figure out why you’re broke. That’s the first step to making a change and taking control.
You probably already know some reasons for your struggles. Even if you end up with no new information (which is unlikely), it’s good to be called out on our mistakes. We all benefit from reality checks.
So here’s to bursting your spending bubble and giving you a healthy dose of reality!
You think you have lots of time to pay off your debt
No beating around the bush on this one.
I did it, you do it, everyone in debt does it. While it’s not wrong, the problem is you’ll never get out of debt if you keep telling yourself you have time.
I would go for drinks with friends, pick up the tab and rationalize my spending by telling myself “that’s tomorrow Cindy’s problem, I’ll deal with it at the end of the month. I’ll figure it out eventually”.
If you think anything like I used to, you will honestly never pay off your debt. Harsh, I know, but there’s really no sugar coating it.
Whatever it is you’re spending money on thinking you’ll sort it out eventually, STOP! It’s a slippery slope. Keep letting yourself rationalize that you’ll figure it out and you’ll never get out of the hole.
The human brain loves making up excuses to satisfy urges.
Do you think paying off debt means living like a monk and never spending a cent?
There are a number of ways to pay off debt without sacrificing on life.
Check out how you can enjoy your life without breaking the bank.
Moral of the story is there’s no better time than now. Tomorrow is just another excuse.
You have cable
You read that right. Sorry to say it but cable will hurt your wallet for two reasons:
- at $100 a month that’s $1,200 a year you’re spending. Cha-ching! that’s a lot of $
- instead of watching TV you could be bringing in $
Let’s dig into those two points.
There is really no need for cable in this day and age.
If there’s a movie you’re dying to watch then rent it online. Want to relax after a long day at work? Watch Netflix (way cheaper) or stream (free much?!). Personally, when I’m feeling lazy, I watch videos on Youtube.
I haven’t had cable in years and I honestly don’t miss it.
Besides costing too much, think of all the things you could be doing. I get it, turning on the TV is so easy and tempting.
Think of it this way though:
Make money Instead of spending money (on cable)!
There are so many ways to bring in extra cash. Frankly, there are too many to list out. It’s much easier to make extra $ than you think. Check out these easy ways to bring in that dough:
If it’s so easy then why don’t more people do it?
The problem is we all hide behind the excuse of “I don’t have the time”. You’re lying to yourself if you think that. We have all the time. We just don’t make it.
Cable enables our lazy side. It makes finding the willpower to be proactive even more challenging.
Moral of the story is: stop spending +$1,200 a year on cable. Start making money with all that spare time!
Trust me on this one, not having cable was amongst the best decisions I made. It changed my life.
You spend money because you think you deserve a “treat”
Not to say you don’t. You deserve to splurge once in a while.
The issue here ties back to what I mentioned above about our brains rationalizing urges. Don’t be fooled, you can talk yourself into just about anything you want. It doesn’t make it right or ok.
You could also apply the “I deserve it” argument to just about anything.
- I went to the gym today, I deserve that muffin from my favorite bakery.
- I did chores all day, I deserve to relax and order takeout instead of slaving in the kitchen.
- I worked overtime this week, I deserve that new pair of shoes.
- I got a tax refund and worked hard for that money, I deserve a new phone.
Honestly, the list of what you deserve is endless because your brain will always find some obscure reason to justify what you want in the moment.
What you justify is not necessarily right, it’s a natural response to satisfying an urge.
Next time you go to take out your wallet because you told yourself “I deserve it”, pause. Think. Ask yourself why you deserve it.
You use your credit card as if it were your money
Don’t kid yourself, everything you spend using your credit card is not yours. The money is not yours and you’re gonna have to cough up that dough eventually.
When you buy on credit and don’t have the cash to pay it back right away, not only are you borrowing money to buy something that will never be worth its new ticket price ever again. You’re also adding interest on that!
If I lost you on that last paragraph, let me break it down.
Let’s say you want to buy a computer which costs $1,000.
You don’t have cash. No problemo! Your credit card has a $2,000 limit on it. Getting stuff even when you don’t have money sounds great!
Unfortunately, the second you buy that computer and leave the store, it’s automatically only worth about $700 (unless you can return it). Right there and then, you’ve lost $300.
If you try to sell it, you’ll never make back what you paid for it in the store. In other words, not only do you still owe $1,000 to the bank but you’ve only got about $700 worth of stuff to show for that $1,000.
Ouch, that hurts… we haven’t even gotten into the interest you’ll be paying on that $1,000.
Let’s really twist that knife in there.
The average credit card runs at 20% interest. That means the $1,000 you owe will turn into $1,200 in the first month, $1,440 in the second month and so on so worth. Keep in mind that each month, if you haven’t paid down your full balance, interest will get charged on your initial balance as well as your previous months’ interest. Yowzers that hurts!
If we sum it all up, within a month, you’ve got about $700 worth of computer that cost you $1,200. In 2 months, your computer is still losing value yet somehow you owe $1,440.
As time goes, your computer will be worth less and less but you’ll owe more and more.
Hopefully, that hit you hard enough to curb your credit card spend!
It can be difficult to resist the temptation of taking the plastic out. I find it much easier leaving my card at home. If I don’t have it then I can’t use it.
You can also stick your card in a jar of peanut butter! Trust me, you won’t want to dig it out unless you absolutely need to.
You don’t think the small stuff matters
You might think having a $3 coffee isn’t going to break the bank. Think again!
$3 every day, plus the occasional muffin is over $1,100 a year! What would you do with an extra $1,100?
Maybe you’re a fan of coffee. I’m not judging you, I’m a total coffee snob. Realistically, I make some of the best coffee at home for much cheaper.
I won’t pretend I don’t have a nice coffee machine. It cost me about $400 but I’ve had it for over 4 years. That means it only cost me about $100 a year plus my coffee beans to make coffee. By the way, beans don’t even come close to costing $3/coffee. It’s more like $0.50/coffee. Yup, that big of a difference!
It seems like I’m picking on coffee but there are countless other examples of small things we spend money on that add up big time!
- $10 eating lunch out every day instead of making it at home for $5. That’s $1,250 a year if you only count weekdays.
- going premium on internet because it was only $20 more a month. That’s still $240 a year and chances are you probably don’t see much of a difference in speed.
- you’re not careful with your electricity bill. Before I moved in with my boyfriend, I was shocked to find out his electricity bill was $100 a month. Mine was only $40. His argument was that it didn’t make a big enough difference for him to care. That $60 a month may not seem astronomical but over a year that’s $720. Would you want to pay $720 more than you had to?
I could honestly go on and on. The more small things you start to be mindful of, the more they add up in your bank account.
The coffee, lunch, internet and electricity example cost an extra $3,310 in total!
Change your mindset. The small stuff does matter!
I hope that you’ve been able to get some insight from this post. At the very least, you’ve found motivation to change your ways!
Believe in yourself, you can get out of debt!
Your life is your own. Take control of it!
Check out these other posts for ways you can save and pay down your debt:
- uncommon ways to save on Amazon
- 4 unusual ways to save money everyday
- 7 everyday money saving hacks to get you back on track
- 4 tips if you’re behind on bills