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14 Reasons Why You’re Always Broke


Do you ever wonder, “Why does it always seem like I don’t have any money?” Many people believe it’s because they don’t have enough money coming in, but this is hardly ever the case (and in fact, did not make my top 13). Nope, there are many other reasons why you’re always broke and all of them have to do with either your actions or your mentality. It’s as simple as that.

#1. You’re always broke because you aren’t putting money away first

Many people choose to pay their bills, buy a few fun things, and then think about putting some money into savings at the end of the month. Well guess what? If you wait until the end of the month to save, then it is quite likely that there will be nothing left to put into savings! We humans have an uncanny ability to spend all of the money that we have. Fill out your direct deposit forms again and choose to put 10% or more into a separate account from the start. Chances are that you will not need this money at the end of the month and you have successfully begun saving.

#2. You’re always broke because you buy and sell stock frequently

There are quite a few cocky people in this world that believe they can beat the market by buying and selling single stocks in a short time-frame. In their minds, they are sophisticated investors that believe they know more about the market then the average investor and can therefore profit on everyone else’s stupidity. In reality, these “day traders” are the morons that only average about 6% earnings in the market, while the rest of us earn 10% by investing passively in a well-established index fund. Trading individual stocks for life is a great way to stay broke.

#3. You’re always broke because you keep buying too much house

There is always that allure of the perfect house that you’ve always wanted. Since your bank said you can afford it, you buy it. However, the monthly payments are almost more than you can handle. So, everyday you plod off to work just so you can afford that lousy house payment for the next 30 years. This house is keeping you broke.

#4. You’re always broke because you like an extravagant lifestyle

It certainly is fun to live an extravagant lifestyle – always going to parties, out to eat, and on vacations that make all of your friends jealous – but it definitely comes with a price. Living extravagantly will keep your cash flow low (especially if you are purchasing these experiences on credit) and will keep you broke for a very long time.

#5. You’re always broke because you borrow from your 401(k)

For some reason, there are some people out there that think it is sophisticated to borrow money from your 401(k) rather than the bank. Sure, you don’t have to pay interest on this money, but it can get you into a whole mess of trouble. If you get fired, want to switch jobs, or feel like you have to quit, then your loan from your 401(k) is immediately due back in your account. And, if you are borrowing $10,000 or more, you likely don’t have this cash sitting around. So, you’ll have to start paying withdrawal penalties. Please, just leave your money in your 401(k).

#6. You’re always broke because you’re not watching your pennies

I know buying a soda or coffee here and there seems like no big deal, but when you do it every day it can really add up – especially when you factor these expenses up over a lifetime. Watch your pennies and you’ll notice that you might not be as broke as you thought you were.

#7. You’re always broke because you’re not watching your dollars

If it’s possible to go broke on the small stuff, then it is certainly possible to go broke by purchasing larger items. When you need another car, you don’t necessarily need a brand new top of the line model. Be smart with your big purchases. Buy a car that is four years old or more. It will still be quite dependable and will get you from point A to point B.

#8. You’re always broke because you care too much about what people think of you

If you’re always wondering what people think of you, then you will likely be broke forever. You want people to respect you so you buy flashy things that will impress them. But, if you cannot afford these high priced items, then you are only keeping yourself in the poor house. Stop caring what people think about you. Chances are, they aren’t thinking about you anyway.

#9. You’re always broke because nothing is ever your fault – you’re a victim

These people really bother me. I call them finger pointers. Rather than take accountability for their own actions, they point the blame at everyone else. This does two things, (1) it causes people not to like you because you constantly point the finger at them and (2) it causes you to stay broke because you never learn from your mistakes (because after all, you didn’t make them – that was sarcasm by the way).

#10. You’re always broke because you aren’t punctual

Late people hardly ever prosper. If you tell someone you’ll meet them at 6pm and you constantly show up at 6:10, they are going to doubt your abilities and capabilities. After all, you can’t even stick to a simple schedule!

#11. You’re always broke because you only think about today

Broke people are notorious for only thinking about their life today. Let’s say there is a new movie that just hit the theaters, but it’s the end of the month and you don’t have any money left to spend. Well, because you REALLY want to see this movie, you decide to borrow some money from your next paycheck (by using your credit card) so that you can go watch it today. Obviously, this way of life is going to keep you broke for a very long time.

#12. You’re always broke because you never delay your gratification

Along the same lines, if you have absolutely no delayed gratification, then you will retain your “broke” status quite easily. It seems that everyone in our nation today needs to have everything that they want NOW. Kids graduate from college and they immediately buy a new car, then a house, and then a shiny lawn mower to cut the grass. Why not just wait a few years and pay cash for these items? It would allow you to be much wealthier.

#13. You’re always broke because you think that lots of stuff will make you happy

Our society promotes that stuff equals happiness. The commercials on the TV and online show the big houses and nice cars and people dancing around them having the time of their lives. This just isn’t reality. The reality is, comfort, security, and experiences cause happiness, and you can get these for pretty cheap if you have the right friends. 🙂

#14. You’re always broke because you always think of why you can’t, rather than how you can

Broke people always tell people why they (themselves) cannot do something. You know, they could have made millions in a new business venture, but someone stole their idea. They could have had that new job, but their Aunt Susie passed away and they had to take care of the arrangements. Broke people have excusitis. They make excuses all day rather than figuring out how to make something of their life. If you start thinking of how you can instead of coming up with reasons why you can’t, you will become wealthy very soon.

What is keeping you broke? Change today and become wealthy!


AUTHOR Derek Sall

Derek has a Bachelor's degree in Finance and a Master's in Business. As a finance manager in the corporate world, he regularly identified and solved problems at the C-suite level. Today, Derek isn't interested in helping big companies. Instead, he's helping individuals win financially--one email, one article, one person at a time.


  1. Love #8. When you stop caring what other people think, many of these other things will fall into place.

    • Very true Mike. I have never really been one to care about what others think of me. I am a little arrogant that way I suppose. I just assume that my way of thinking is right and that everyone else is crazy. All the while, they probably think that I’m the crazy one!

  2. All true statements. It took some time to learn how to respect our money. We were
    great at paying bills on time. Great at not piling on debt. Great at stopping when
    the money was low. We were awful at saving.

    Now, we have no debts. We have a large % of income going to savings. Funny though, I “feel” broke. I use to
    “feel” rich when payday hit. ha,ha! That was a very ignorant place to be. 🙂

    • Ha, I think that is similar to the majority of people. They assume that because they pay all of their bills and don’t pile on debt, that they are good with their money. Not true. Sounds like you have taken the leap to actually increasing your savings. Nice work!

  3. That’s about sums it up. Being broke is just a temporary status. Saying that you are poor is a permanent thing, while broke is more of a temporary. I’d rather go broke than poor any day of the year. How to retire a millionaire if your not going to change mindsets (think of how you can, rather than why you can’t) and not change the words that you use as well?

    • Being broke is temporary, but making broke decisions all the time can really make you poor quite fast (by loading up the credit card debt). Thanks for the comment Jeff!

  4. I think my biggest downfall with all of this is extravagant lifestyles. I wouldn’t say I’m broke, let alone always broke, but I could definitely save more money by downgrading my lifestyle; not going out for dinner as often, not getting frequent hair cuts and buying nice clothing. Especially travel; I spend thousands per year on travel and if I didn’t do that, I would have a lot more money saved. I do have a good chunk saved though so I choose to enjoy my money.

    • It’s not always a bad thing to go on trips and experience life, but if you have zero savings at the end of each year then you should probably scale it back a bit. Sounds like you are doing it right. 🙂 Thanks for the comment Daisy!

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