Are You Broke? You Should Never Buy These Things:
Are you broke or struggling financially? If so, there are certain things you should avoid buying. If you take a look at your budget, these are things that simply must go.
According to PEW Charitable Trust, a staggering 80% of Americans are in debt. Most do not have $500 in an emergency fund to cover a basic car repair or hospital bill.
Unfortunately, personal finance is not taught in most schools (unless you are taking a business class) and people continue to dig themselves into a hole because they never learned how to handle money.
Yet, personal finance is a simple matter of knowing how much money you bring in and how much money you need to cover your bills. Yes, we could go into great detail on this subject alone, but it is a simple input versus output mathematical equation. However, if you need help with your budget, then check out these posts:
- Learn How to Budget
- 7 Ways to Create an Absolutely Perfect Budget for You
- 7 Steps to Completely Get Rid of Debt for Good
- Money Help When You Can’t Pay the Bills
- 7 Money Mistakes and How to Fix Them
- 52 Week Penny Saving Challenge
- Best Savings Hacks Without Clipping Coupons
Yet, once you have determined your input/output equation then it is best to live within your means and pay down debt to avoid paying more for everything the rest of your life (because of interest). If you have credit card debt you are paying interest on everything you buy with your credit card. Chances are you probably don’t remember half of the items on your bill, but you are now paying WAY more for each and every purchase because the interest is high, especially if you have late fees.
Nonetheless, debt is not a life sentence and you can become debt-free. Learning to live within your means and only buy your “needs” until your debt is paid off, is the best option to live a better life.
Need Versus Want
When you sit down and look at your budget, there are items you simply cannot live without. These are in your “needs” group. You “needs” category will include bills such as housing/living, utilities, food, phone, and transportation. These are items that cannot be cut and should come first when your paycheck arrives.
However, we are all human and we all want things from time to time. Unless you are extremely disciplined and have trained your brain to “not want” you to end up buying these unnecessary items each time you shop online or step into a store. Yet, the “want” purchase shouldn’t be a problem unless you are already in debt.
If you have no money, using credit cards or money you need for bills is a mistake. Therefore, It is best to cut back and learn to be frugal during these tough times.
If you think cutting things from your budget will make you feel deprived, I will let you know, I have cut most of the things listed below and because of that, I was able to save money and pay cash for the things I want in life.
My husband and I are not broke because we choose to live frugally and forgo pricey items. Nonetheless, we value experiences much more than stuff. Because we choose to live this way, we have been able to travel and enjoy our lives together and after paying off our debt we are able to buy some of our “wants”.
All I am saying is if you need money help, take a look at the list below and cut these items from your budget. Being broke is not fun, but you can slowly but surely learn to get out of debt and live better!
In the meantime, do you buy any of the following? If so, these things need to go so you can build an emergency fund or retirement and eventually live the life you want with less money stress.
In time, you will be able to pay off debt and live a better life.
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Are You Broke? You Should Never Buy These 7 Things:
1. Lotto tickets
These are the greatest waste of money. Ask yourself if you have been hit by lightning and survived. If so, go ahead and buy a ticket. If not, your chances of winning are slim to none. In fact, you are statistically more likely to be hit by lightning with a one in 10,000 chance.
I admit I used to buy lotto tickets because I had hope that I would win. The most I ever won in a single game was $4. Moreover, I later realized I would have a better chance at becoming rich by investing my money wisely and finding the best savings account with a high-interest rate.
If you are ready to invest in the stock market, try putting your money away in a great online bank. Click here to see a great interest rate on a bank that is FDIC insured. Use this account to build up your savings account.
It is very tempting to drink your troubles away. However, if you are drinking every weekend, you are throwing money away and worsening your health.
If you are buying a 12-pack of beer every weekend, you are spending around $12 on average which totals out to $48 per month you could be putting away for an emergency fund. If you saved $48 every month for a year, you would have $576 in savings at the end of the year.
I know drinking is tempting but think of all the money you could be saving. If you can’t stop drinking completely and this is how you unwind every weekend, just try cutting your drinking in half. You would still have $288 in savings at the end of the year.
3. New clothes, shoes, purses
If you are broke, you will have to make do with what you have for now. There may come a time when you can splurge again, but if you are aiming for a debt-free life, these are items you CAN live without.
Try checking out second-hand clothing options. You can still find very nice clothing that is even new or gently used. Try Facebook groups, Thredup, and/or Poshmark (Use code MasMax for $5 coupon) for the latest styles at a lower price.
If shopping is your weekend hobby, find something else to do with your time. Start a side hustle or exercise. Moreover, if you go to the mall often, you will want more items and continue the cycle.
4. Pricey restaurants
Restaurants are fun treats! However, pricey restaurants can wreak havoc on your budget. You will be better off meal planning and eating at home for now.
Need help meal planning? Check out my favorite Healthy Meal Planning bundle here.
We all have that friend or family member that continually asks us out to expensive restaurants. Learn to say no or offer cheaper suggestions or happy hours. You can save on going out to eat, but my best advice is to learn how to meal plan and eat at home as much as possible. You can cut your food bill down by at least $200 per month if you are a family of four and you stop dining out once a week. That is an extra $2400 to put away in your savings account or use to pay off debt.
5. New car
A new car is a total waste of money, whether you are broke or not. We saved around $15,000 buying a used car. We bought a 2015 Explorer in 2017. Our car had around 38,000 miles on it but still had the “new car” smell. We also calculated how much time it would take us to pay off the loan. Financial guru, Suzie Orman suggests only buying a car you can pay off within three years. We could have paid our loan off in three years, however, we worked hard and paid it off in one year.
The car looked new, but by buying a used one with low miles we saved a ton! Leave the new cars for the rich person that has money to throw away.
Leasing is also a waste of money. You will never pay off your car and always have a car payment. If you want to get out of Debt, leasing doesn’t make sense for the long-term. My husband and I have paid off both of our cars and we expect to have car repairs each year to keep them up and running, but setting aside money for car repairs is still WAY cheaper than leasing.
It is a great feeling to own our car outright. We are now working on paying off our mortgage! Debt-free living is in reach if you decide to live frugally and use a budget.
6. Get a pet
Although cute and furry, pets are expensive. If you are broke you will not have the proper funding to take care of basic health needs such as shots, vet’s visits, grooming, food, flea and tick medication, and other expenses. Yes, I have fallen victim to the cute barks from the little puppy behind the glass at the pet store and went home and thought about it.
The fact is, I had a Shih Tzu and she passed away. I loved my dog very much, but her pet expenses added up. Her grooming alone cost $50 every few months. Since I have two young kids, I decided it would be wise to wait until they are older and I am debt-free before I buy – or better yet rescue -another pet.
However, if you are broke you need to take care of yourself before you decide to care for another living creature. If you are a total pet-person, avoid pet stores and pet adoptions sites until you have wiped out your debt.
If you already bought the pet, check around for a family member or someone else better able to care for your pet. That way you can still visit or petsit, but will not dig yourself further into debt because of your cute furry friend.
Pro Tip: If you love pets and are in dire need of cash, you can try Rover and get paid to petsit walk other people’s dogs. Just think, you will get your “pet fix” but get paid for it.
7. Pricey Concert Tickets
Sure concerts are fun, but if you are in debt it is best to find free things to occupy your time. You can wait to see your favorite artist the next time they come around. Instead of spending that $100 on a concert ticket, try putting that money away in your savings account or emergency fund. Get ready to build up your savings, decrease debt, and start building wealth. Then you can see any concert you want. But for now, check your local city flyer for free concerts and events.
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7 Things You Should Never Buy When You are Broke Conclusion:
When you are broke, it is difficult to get out of debt; however, if you learn to stop buying things that are keeping you in debt, you will start to see a light at the end of your debt tunnel. You will be able to save money and live better. After cutting your budget, you can build up an emergency fund and you will have “fun” spending money again.
Take care – Sarah
Do you waste money on any of the above or have another “do not buy” item? If so, leave me a comment! I would love to hear from you.
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3 Comments on Are You Broke? You Should Never Buy These Seven Things
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I don’t buy any of those things. I do have pets though (all the pets I’ve ever had have been rescued). I couldn’t live without something to come home to and cuddle. Please never buy a pet. Please adopt/rescue and save a life.
Great article! Doing some of these things but will definitely try to incorporate all into our budget and financial practices.
This is SO true. The only way to not be broke is to save your money. And the only way to save your money is to not spend it.