This content was first published on and should not be copied or reproduced.

Do you ever look at your bank account and ask yourself the question, “Why am I broke?”

You’re not alone – millions of people find themselves broke because they aren’t managing their finances effectively.

The good news is that you can change your situation with some focus and discipline.

In this article, we’ll look at the top 10 reasons people might be broke, along with tips to help you get back on track financially.

10 Reasons Why You Might Be Broke

Reason 1: You Are Living Beyond Your Means

One of the most common reasons people end up broke is that they are spending more money than they earn.

It’s easy to get caught up in the habit of swiping the credit card or making impulse buys. But when your expenses consistently exceed your income, you’ll inevitably end up drained.

To fix this, you need to track where your money is actually going each month.

Download a budgeting app or make your own Excel spreadsheet to log your income and categorize expenses.

This will show you where you may be overspending so you can cut back. Prioritize needs like housing, utilities, food and transport.

Limit discretionary spending on wants like dining out, entertainment and shopping. With a budget, you can align your lifestyle with what you can realistically afford long-term.


Reason 2: You Aren’t Earning Enough

While reckless spending is often to blame, another reason for being broke is simply not making enough money.

If your income can barely cover the basics, you’ll find yourself stretched thin pretty quickly can constantly telling yourself, “I am broke!”.

Low wages, reduced hours or income instability can all trap you in financial insecurity.

There are a few ways to give yourself a pay boost. See if there are opportunities for promotions or overtime at your current job.

Find a higher paying job – even a modest increase can make a difference.

Or start a side hustle using your skills and passions to generate more cash. Building up your income provides the fuel for financial security.

Reason 3: You Have No Emergency Savings

When unexpected expenses come up, you can easily end up broke if you don’t have any savings to cover the costs.

A car repair or medical bill means you’ll have to use your regular income to cover the crisis.

With no emergency fund as a buffer, your bank balance gets wiped out quickly.

To avoid this, start funneling part of each paycheck into a dedicated savings account for a rainy day.

Even small amounts add up over time. Try to save 3-6 months’ worth of basic living expenses.

This gives you a cushion so when emergencies arise, you can pay for them without draining your regular funds and avoid going broke.

why am i broke

Reason 4: You Have Too Much Debt

From student loans to credit cards, debt payments can overwhelm your income and leave you constantly broke.

High monthly payments make it hard to get ahead, and debt costs a ton in interest over time.

If you owe a lot across multiple accounts, it’s easy for debts (especially credit card debt) to spiral out of control.

Get a handle on your debt by listing all accounts and interest rates. Come up with a debt payoff plan, either through the avalanche or snowball methods.

Try to cut expenses to direct more money towards paying off debts faster.

Look into balance transfer cards or debt consolidation loans to reduce interest costs.

Aggressively tackle your debt so payments don’t leave you always broke.

Reason 5: You Have Disorganized Finances

When you aren’t on top of your finances, it’s easy for things to slip through the cracks. Forgetting due dates leads to late fees.

Not monitoring accounts closely results in overdraft charges. Letting old accounts sit opens you up to monthly fees.

Financial disorganization can cost you a ton of money.

Get everything in order by creating a master list of all your accounts with login details, balances and due dates.

Set payment reminders on your phone and calendar. Consolidate or close unused accounts.

Use budget apps to track balances and spending. Being organized prevents you from losing money to sloppiness.

Reason 6: You Make Impulse Purchases

It’s tempting when you see something you want to just buy it without a second thought.

But making impulse purchase after impulse purchase is an easy way to bust your budget. Little spontaneity here and there adds up fast.

Too often, you’ll end up broke and regretting those on-a-whim buys.

Curb impulse spending by implementing a 24-hour rule – if you want to buy something nonessential, wait 24 hours before making the purchase.

This creates a buffer for the initial excitement to fade. Also, limit online shopping trips to once a month or on payday.

Browsing the internet frequently makes it too easy to thoughtlessly spend. By controlling spontaneous purchases, you avoid draining your funds.

Reason 7: You Try Keeping Up Appearances

It’s natural to want to fit in and impress others. But when you’re overspending on material things just to compete with friends, neighbors or social media influencers, you can sabotage your finances.

Obsessing over appearances leads to buying things you can’t really afford, along with feeling pressured to spend money anytime you’re socializing. This gets expensive quickly.

The solution? Stop comparing yourself to others and try focusing just on your own goals. Buy things that align with your values, not based on what others might think.

When out with friends, suggest free or low-cost activities like hiking or game nights. Cultivate gratitude for what you have instead of getting caught up in envy.

Living beyond your means just for appearances keeps you trapped in the paycheck to paycheck cycle.

why am i broke

Reason 8: You Aren’t Investing

Investing allows you to put your money to work generating returns. But if you aren’t investing, your money just sits there stagnant.

Lost investment gains over decades can really add up, robbing you of key opportunities to build wealth.

Before you know it, you’re broke and behind on saving for goals like retirement.

Start by contributing enough to your 401(k) to get any employer match – that’s free money!

Open an IRA if you need additional tax-advantaged retirement savings space. Invest in a low-cost index fund to let the market work for you over time.

Use tools like Robinhood or Acorns to invest your spare change in stocks and ETFs.

Turning on the investing faucet early helps grow your wealth exponentially over time.

Reason 9: You Have No Financial Goals

Living paycheck to paycheck makes it hard to build financial security. Without proper money goals, it’s easy to fritter away cash on nonessentials and end up broke.

Shorter-term goals like saving up for a vacation also get neglected.

Get on track by defining some financial goals for the next few months and next few years. Make a list of things you want to save for, fund or pay off.

Turn these into tangible targets with deadlines to create a roadmap for your money.

Checking progress helps you budget purposefully each month to accomplish your aims versus mindlessly overspending on whims. Goals turn wishes into reality.

Reason 10: You Splurge on Social Spending

Hanging out with friends is an important part of life. But constantly overspending on social outings like dinners out, bar trips and entertainment can strain your budget.

Mindless social spending usually provides fleeting happiness compared to the financial stress it causes over time.

Set limits on discretionary social spending by allocating a fixed amount to a “fun budget” each month that you can use on things like meals out or weekend activities.

When you want to spend outside this, look for free or low-cost hangout alternatives. Host friends for a potluck dinner or board games night instead of going to a restaurant.

Scale back bar hopping. Applying some moderation helps balance your social life with your financial goals.

Build better money habits over time

If you identify with some of the reasons above for being broke, don’t panic!

Now that you know what behaviors may be holding you back financially, you can start adjusting.

With focused effort, you can take control of your finances. Create a budget, increase your income, reduce debt, save and invest.

Making smarter money moves now allows you to change course and build the financial freedom you want.

Be kind to yourself if you occasionally slip up – just get back on track the next day.

Consistency with the financial fixes leads to long-term results.

Practice patience and dedication, and you will find yourself heading steadily towards economic security, with a good amount in the bank instead of being broke.

Frequently Asked Questions

How long does it take to fix being broke?

It depends on your specific situation, but typically turning your finances around takes 6-12 months of consistency with budgeting, cutting expenses, paying off debt and saving. Don’t give up if you don’t see immediate differences in the first couple months. Stay disciplined and results will come.

What should I focus on first to stop being broke?

Start with the basics – track your spending, make a budget that aligns with your income, build emergency savings and pay off high interest debts first. Handling these foundational money issues makes fixing the rest easier.

How can I stop frivolous spending when trying to get out of being broke?

Avoid stores and online shopping except for essentials. Limit cash you carry and pause credit cards to remove temptation and discretionary spending ability. Find free hobbies. Meal plan and cook at home. Say “no” to optional social outings that cost money.

What mindset changes can help me stop being broke?

Adopt an attitude of gratitude for what you have. Ignore societal pressures to overspend. Believe in your ability to succeed. Focus on your intrinsic value, not material things. Foster contentment and value savings progress over new purchases. Remain patient and persistent.

How do I stay motivated when trying to improve my personal finances?

Visualize your goals. Calculate debt payoff or savings projections. Reward milestones. Track net worth increases. Maintain an inspiration board. Read motivational books/blogs. Consider a community like Reddit for support. Review progress regularly.

Should I get professional help with learning how to budget and manage money?

If you’ve tried to fix your finances yourself and struggled, then yes – working with a financial advisor or money coach can help. They can offer expertise tailored to your situation that can make changing money habits much easier.

This content was first published on and should not be copied or reproduced.
This site contains product affiliate links. We may receive a commission if you make a purchase after clicking one of these links. 

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *