Why are some people always “broke”?
This post has been sort of rattling around in my brain this week, just waiting to get out onto the screen…but posts have a hard time forming in my head until something inspires the concrete ideas and words that make up what I want to say. This week, what I want to say – to people who have bad money habits that keep them broke – came to me at the grocery store while I was contemplating how much money my blog made in October, and looking at a box of $16 chicken fingers.
Not just any chicken fingers, but the best chicken fingers I have ever had. (I bought a box a few weeks ago when they were deeply discounted. And we got two meals out of it. So at $16 for the box, I knew that meant we would have 2 $8 meat nights, and that is too expensive. I aim for $5 / meal or less – talking about just meat here, and $6 happens sometimes, but $8 is ridiculous. Unless it’s steak and it’s a treat.)
It occurred to me that some people might think to themselves, if they were in my exact situation at that moment, “I can afford to buy these grossly over-priced chicken fingers, because I made an extra $5035.17 on my blog this month” (- which is nuts, by the way).
And as I walked away from the chicken fingers and purchased a pork tenderloin instead that was on sale for $6.75 (and big enough to for 2 meals), I realized that I was very blessed to have learned good money habits young. Because I don’t want to have to live paycheck to paycheck, and I understand that that is something that can happen to anyone at anytime if we allow ourselves to develop a bad money attitude and foster bad money habits that keep us broke.
(THIS POST PROBABLY CONTAINS AFFILIATE LINKS. OUR FULL DISCLOSURE POLICY IS REALLY BORING, BUT YOU CAN FIND IT HERE.)
Are these bad money habits keeping you broke?
Do you go shopping without knowing what your OK price for groceries (or anything else) is? Groceries are the bulk of our spending. I hate to admit that, because I know I could be MORE careful than I am. But even when I’m a little careless, I still have a baseline in my head for what is an OK price and what is an absolutely crazy price. ($16 for chicken fingers = crazy.)
Do you spend out of disorganization / laziness? Of everything on this list, this is the one thing I do struggle with. Dinner time rolls around, I have nothing planned because the day has gotten away on me, so I grab take out. Bad! I working on getting this under control with meal planing. Using a cheap program like this to help meal plan will literally save you THOUSANDS over the course of the year.
Do you spend based on the money you have available at the moment or based on what you should be spending? If that doesn’t make sense, let me ask this: do you make plans for purchases on payday? Or if you found 50 bucks would you put it in the bank, or go out for drinks instead? You should have a budget that you follow regardless of “extra” money that comes into your life. The amount of money that you spend shouldn’t go up when your bank balance goes up. Bad bad bad money habits.
(And if you don’t know how much you should be spending, then you probably aren’t budgeting. Check out the You Need A Budget app, and get your financial self together!)
Do you allow yourself to be sucked in by coupons/sales/deals? If I had had a 1$ coupon for the chicken fingers, would that have made them more appealing to me? Ask yourself – is someone else telling you how to spend your money?
Do you spend based on emotion? Would you have celebrated the amazing blog win by buying the chicken fingers? OR if it was a bad month, would you have soothed yourself with chicken fingers? (I used to be very guilty of these particular bad money habits.)
Do you think of credit as “money” that is available to you? Cus it’s not. Credit is a tool that is available to you. And that’s it. (Ok, not related to my chicken finger story, but VERY relevant, so I had to include it.)
If you DO use credit to buy ridiculously overpriced chicken, do you pay the bill right away? We all make mistakes and give into the temptation of amazing chicken fingers sometimes. When you do, make sure you get the bill paid ASAP, and do NOT make a bad thing worse by paying interest on it.
Do you recognize any of these bad money habits? Ditch them now, you will not regret it! It feels great to stop being broke!
More From Carly on Purpose: