Most of us have been there. You have three dollars in your checking account, and it’s five more days until payday. You may feel overwhelmed and not sure what to do. Unfortunately, many people in this circumstance feel that there is nothing to be done and, out of desperation, ignore their situation – continuing to live life as if their finances aren’t dire. However, all this does is make the situation worse. Instead, consider things to avoid when you’re broke so even if you’re not improving your situation, you’re not making it worse.
Things to Avoid When You’re Broke
Using Credit Cards
When you’re broke, credit cards can feel like a lifeline. For a while, at least until you reach your credit limit, you can continue to maintain your current lifestyle. But, this is a mistake! You’re broke! If you admit that and are frugal with your money, once your current financial hardship ends, you’ll be in a position to improve your finances. However, if you have to pay back thousands of dollars of debt, you’ll still be broke. Please don’t make this mistake.
Paying for Entertainment
Entertainment is expensive. Movie tickets cost $10 or more; a meal out costs $10 to $40, depending on where you dine. Netflix costs $13 a month. All of these expenses add up over 30 days. If you’re broke, don’t pay for your entertainment!
Go to the library and check out a movie for free. Attend a local free concert at the university. Invite friends over for board games.
Nobody says you can’t have fun when you’re broke, but find ways to be entertained that don’t cost any money.
Not Having a Budget
Burying your head in the sand is easy when you have no money. If you ignore the situation, it won’t exist, right? Wrong. Ideally, you should be budgeting every month, but this is even more important when you’re broke.
You have limited money, and you have to decide where that money should go. When you have a plan that you can follow, you’re much more likely to not overspend. Having a budget and following it is absolutely necessary when you’re broke so you don’t make your financial situation worse.
Hiding Your Situation
Being broke is embarrassing, but being honest with your family and friends is the best way to handle the situation. If you’re not honest and you pretend that everything is fine, your friends may be offended when you repeatedly turn down invitations. If they know your situation, they may be more willing to find things you can do together without putting a financial strain on you.
Things to Remember When You’re Broke
Even though at the moment you may feel hopeless, remember that you’re likely not going to be broke forever. You will get a better job or have fewer expenses in the future (probably the former rather than the latter). Your financial situation will improve, but that improvement can come faster if you make sure to consider these things to avoid when you’re broke. Don’t make your future more difficult by making bad money decisions when money is tight!
Melissa is a writer and virtual assistant. She earned her Master’s from Southern Illinois University, and her Bachelor’s in English from the University of Michigan. When she’s not working, you can find her homeschooling her kids, reading a good book, or cooking. She resides in New York, where she loves the natural beauty of the area.