7 Reasons Why You’re Always Broke

Day 153/365: “I have no money” is always on you!

Photo by NeONBRAND on Unsplash

The original title for this post was “7 Reasons Why You’re Not Rich Yet”, but as money and richness are related, but not the same thing, I think a better title for this post is the one you see above. This is because having money is just a step towards getting to where you can consider yourself to be rich.

People have money and are still not rich. Why? Because, go figure, they spend it on useless crap they never actually need. And when they’re left without money, they usually can’t gather the previous sum they’d have, which makes them poor and vulnerable.

They don’t have a steady job, no skills to monetize upon and no ways to land on a silent income.

The list below proves why, for years on end, I never actually felt like I had money. This was before freelancing, back when I was a journalist full time and with a decent income for my country. Although I was commuting by my car and it cost me $50 at most a month, living out of my parent’s house and spending $50 on my own expenses, I was still not having money.

Why? Because I was constantly doing these 7 things:

1. Eating out too much

When you think about it, having a meal out every once in a while doesn’t sound that expensive. You know your favourites, you know how much you’ll pay, you can work around it. But the truth is when you’re working a job and have little time to cook or do anything else, eating out turns into almost an addiction. It seems normal, but it’s not. If you put it on paper, a meal out is 60% more expensive than if you were to cook and eat it at home.

I used to love going to a restaurant in town and have the salmon with grilled veggies. It costs around $15 for the dish, a bottle of water and a little tip for the server. At home, the same meal would cost around $6–$7 ($5 for a good piece of salmon, $1 for some grilled veggies, $1 for as much water as you want and 0$ for the waiter) so less than half the cost of the restaurant version.

This was my number one reason why I never had money in my bank. I loved eating out, not just for lunch when I’d order takeout (and never pack one, of course) but also for dinners and even breakfasts sometimes. Eating out is one of the most money-consuming habits you can have. Limit eating out for special occasions, like going out with the family or friends once a week, or during weekends. The less you do it, the better.

2. Having too much free time

When I was working as a full-time journalist, I always had a lot of free time. Not just after work, but also in the newsroom. We used to work for just 5 of the 8 or 9 hours (sometimes 10–12) that we’d spend at the office. As a journalist, you’re relying on people responding back to your emails, setting up interviews or answer question via the phone sometimes.

But most of the time, people take their time to do just that, which leaves you with a lot of windows during the day. This was simply used as free time by me and my colleagues. Instead of maybe doing something on the side, like a little content creation, I preferred watching Youtube and playing the PlayStation at work. Yes, I used to travel with the console in my backpack.

I sold the game now. I don’t watch Youtube but rarely, on the weekends and when I’m not travelling. I have no more free time, because every time I find myself having free time, I work to get some more money or other benefits. I write some more for my upcoming project, I help my dad with his future business, I go out and destroy my bike, I go to my friends and have a chat, I do something valuable and meaningful.

3. Going on too many vacations

Most of you know me and my vacations. I am a fanatic for travel. I travel as much and as far as I can, but back in the days, travelling was extremely expensive for me, because I always put the most money into it. That was money I couldn’t afford to spend on travel, that was spend just on that.

Also, I took a little too many trips for my age and financial possibilities. When you have little money, the worst thing you can do is spend it on things that you can withhold. Even if it’s about the thing you most love. You have to have limitations because if you don’t set up some limits, you’re never going to afford travelling like you really dream about doing.

4. Never learning new stuff

You make money by monetising on your skills. But guess what? You don’t have to have just one skill. You don’t have to be just a barber. You can be a barber, psychotherapist, writer and wedding photographer at the same time. I know a guy who does all of the above and he’s doing great.

I was never learning new things back in the days when money was never enough for me. I was ok with writing, as good or as bad as I used to do it, and never even got an interest in learning some more. But then, I decided to give English another try and I self-educated myself into a better understanding of grammar, style and everything else.

It turned my life around. I am now a full-time content creator because of that decision to learn something new. Money is never an issue now, mainly because of that decision to learn something new. To improve on a skill that was never improved on. Learn new stuff, and money will naturally appear.

5. Being ok with a terrible job

It’s never ok to be ok with not being ok. Read that a couple of times. It even got me dizzy at first, but it makes sense now. The truth about jobs is this: if you’re not comfortable doing it, it’s not worth it. It doesn’t matter if your pay is astronomical. It’s not worth it, period.

I used to work at the local TV station, back when I started doing the journalism thing. I had a great team, but the boss was simply… too much. Always complaining, always angry, always shouting and always not satisfied by me and my colleague’s work.

It’s not ok to be ok with that, and I learned it the hard way. Because even if you make money, good money, out of a job like that, it will never feel like you’re paid enough, even if you are.

You are constantly on the rush, constantly having that idiotic voice in your head that tells you you’re not good enough, even if you are. It’s not worth it, and your good salary will feel like peanuts at the end of the month.

6. Having too many wrong friends

At the beginning of 2018, I forever broke my ties with 3 or 4 of my what I thought were good friends. In all honesty, I now realise wrong friends can exist and are nothing but draining you and your goodwill. Having the wrong people around you for too long can break you.

I used to see this girl (yes, I did had a girl friend, that’s possible) a lot and we got along great. But for some reason, I never felt like she was to be trusted, and when she started saying that I only went to see her for my benefits (not what you’re thinking about) I really couldn’t cope with it anymore.

So I said goodbye, blocked her on all social media, erased her number and was done with it.

What this has to do with having no money? It does, because the time you spend with your friends, true friends needs to be profitable. Not actually money profitable, as you’re not going to have dollars rain on you when you sip from a Pepsi with your gang, but profitable in a personal growing sense. In an educational sense.

If you spend time in a valuable way, that will ultimately turn into more money. If you spend the right amount of time with good people, you don’t need to be with them every day, of for hours on end. Less is more, and when you’re with the right people, good company could really turn a difficult day into a memorable one, even with no money.

7. Sleeping in every weekend

I’m finishing writing this post just as the clock turns 12 at noon. It’s Saturday, June 3rd, 2018. A year ago, I’d barely be awake at this hour. I’d be a lazy mess, angry or moody, unemployed and struggling on all aspects of life.

Now, I’m up from 6:45 this morning. I managed to take my dad to work first thing in the morning, then went to three different stores to buy some stuff the heating guy needs for his work (I’m having my heating system upgraded at the house) did the groceries for the next two weeks and went to the train station to buy a ticket for later today, when I’ll be off to Sibiu for the weekend.

Sleeping in is not a profitable thing to do. Even if it feels like I just spent a lot of money by waking up so early, it also means that if you create a habit out of it, which I am doing right now, and quite successfully, you can win your money back every day.

Even if you travel often. Even if you overdo the groceries (who doesn’t do that anyway? Screw that list!) Even if you have house expenses to cover, taxes, gas, train tickets and meals out.

Waking up as early as you’re comfortable with (I’m not waking up at 6:45 every morning, but I usually do raise up before 8:00) gives you the chance to do so many even before other people start the day.

This habit empowers you at a subconscious level because when you look at the time and see it’s still before lunch, and you’re done with so much for the day, you can’t but feel like a superhero.

I’m off to take a shower and get ready for the weekend. See you back here tomorrow, from the beautiful Transylvanian town of Sibiu. I promise I’ll post some pictures just as I did from the last trip in Veneto, Italy (one and two)

Ciao!

Thank you for your time!

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I’m on a mission to write 365 articles in 2018. This is definitely the biggest writing challenge of my life so far. If you’d like to be part of the journey, please follow me here on Medium.com for the daily posts!

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