How Being Broke Has Saved Me From Financial Burden

rawpixel-570908-unsplash_700x.jpg

Let me tell you, there was a time I lived paycheque to paycheque. It was not pretty. It really sucked having to always look forward to the next pay because there’s nothing left in your account to make ends meet. Sometimes, there’s an error with payroll and you have to wait a bit longer before you get paid and you have bills waiting for you. Well, thankfully, I got to a point where I said enough was enough! I decided to take control of my money [Read the What Having A Relationship With My Money Has Taught Me post] and started taking action that no longer left me with anxiety about whether or not I had money and how I was going to make ends meet until the next payday.

I HAD TO DEVELOP THE “BROKE” MINDSET

The “broke” mindset is a powerful mindset. It sounds bad but in hindsight, was what saved me from financial burden. It’s easy to calculate how much you get paid in your head and subtract your bills (the ones you can remember) and tell yourself you have $X to spend for the rest of the month. That’s the wrong way to look at your finances and can only lead you down one path: debt.

 

WHAT IS THE “BROKE” MINDSET?

The “broke” mindset is when you tell yourself and act like you’re always broke. If there’s no money to spend, you can’t really spend it. Essentially, I tell everyone and I mean everyone, that I have no money. I tell them all that I’m on a budget and so I can’t spend $X amount. I had to teach myself to keep doing this. Even if I saw $10k in my account, I was still broke in my mind. I stopped going shopping, I did my nails myself at home, I only did my eyebrows whenever I went back home to visit my parents (it only cost me $3 for threading!) and swapped going out to dinner with friends to eating at home. This sounds like I was unable to enjoy life but to be honest, I enjoyed life even more. If you’re like me and you are able to entertain yourself, cutting these “fun” things are a non-issue.

I recall when I got a notification from my money tracking app, Mint, and it said I spent $13 in the past week. The $13 was on Tim Hortons because I worked from home that day and so I had to buy breakfast (I usually get breakfast at work). By constantly telling myself I had no money, I started believing it and ended up saving more money in the long-run.

Something I also had to do was curb “only” from my vocabulary as it pertained to money. My mum used to hate when I would say something “only cost…” She always told me that “only” was still money spent. It took me a while to stop thinking like this but I’m glad I did as it really helped me put things into perspective as it pertained to my money. To be honest, I still catch myself saying this but I’m definitely better than I used to be. It’s so easy to say something “only” costs a certain price however, this mind-set only takes you down a slippery slope. That money could have gone to your savings or investments.

 

THE ULTIMATE WAY TO BELIEVE YOU’RE “BROKE”

Auto-transfer is your best-friend. The best way to curb spending is to have the money leave your account as soon as you get paid. That way, it appears as if you never earned the money to begin with. I get paid bi-monthly and every time my pay hits my account, money is taken out and put in different buckets. The first is a savings account I like to call “future savings.” This is a long-term savings account so I don’t touch it. Another is a savings account for travel - this is essential because I do travel quite often. A third savings account is for bills. I know all the bills I have due in a specific month and during which pay cycle and so that also comes out. A fourth savings account is my investment (also retirement) accounts. I have a set amount taken out of my account for that as well. So, by the time I open my bank app to check what I actually have, all the important funds are already gone so I can see a clear snapshot of money I have left to spend.

Seeing an accurate snapshot is so freeing and has really helped me to have a consistent flow of cash through my bank account and I’m never in a situation where I can’t afford anything I want to get. Sometimes, you just have to discipline yourself and choose your priorities. My priority is building wealth and I had to take these steps in order to take me one step closer to achieving this.

I’m still not there yet and it is a constant battle (Nandos is my weakness) however, I am loving this life of financial freedom and I most certainly will keep these habits for the long-term.

Have you ever developed this mindset before and if so, how successful were you in achieving your own goals? I would love to hear from you!

Written by Victory Omotayo