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20 Reasons Why Being Broke Can Be Happy And Fun

20 Reasons Why Being Broke Can Be Happy And Fun

Unless you’ve been really lucky, or somehow managed to land an amazing job right out of school, you probably know what it feels like to be pretty flat broke.

You know, scraping by to make rent, buy groceries, pay off student loans, and still have a tiny, tiny amount to live like a normal person.

But you’ve gotta admit: there are some good parts about being broke.

Don’t believe it? Check it out.

How Being Broke Can Be Pretty Sweet

1. When it comes to having fun, you get creative.

Who needs to spend a ton of money at the club when you can do this:

jim-carrey-tape-o

    2. When you do go to the club, your friends often offer to buy you a drink…

    alcohol

      3. …because they know when you’re doing well financially, you’ll return the favor.

      Any time you’re out with friends and you don’t have to worry about the bar tab, this is you:

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      gatsby

        4. You appreciate the pure beauty of thrift stores.

        macklemore

          Seriously, Macklemore’s got it right. It’s so much fun!

          5. And you totally rock the look you’ve got, because you’re no walking billboard.

          Don’t need any Prada to strut your stuff!

          giphy

            6. Sale at your favorite store? Drink specials? Free Ritas? Yeah, you already know about all that.

            yes

              You are the queen / king of coupons. You know, since you kinda need that extra money for, like, sustenance and stuff.

              7. You treat the possessions you do have with so much care.

              When you finally manage to save up enough money for a working computer, that sucker will last.

              pleadingcomputer

                8. You’ve learned to cope with stress.

                You don’t mind being busy or balancing a billion things, just as long as you’re not checking your bank account balance. Because when you do, you generally react like this:

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                bank account

                  9. On payday, you feel like this…

                  treat yoself

                    …even if “treating yourself” means buying takeout for dinner that night. This lo mein tastes like victory.

                    10. Speaking of food, you appreciate everything that’s not rice or Ramen way more.

                    mac and cheese

                      11. And when you only have a few things left in the fridge, you make it work.

                      When someone tries to explain that you can’t make a meal out of ketchup, tuna, and Saltines, you’re like…

                      challenge

                        12. The dollar menu exists, and it’s a wonderful thing.

                        mcdonalds

                          Well, at least it is for the first three minutes, until you’re like this:

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                          dying

                            But let’s just take that as it comes.

                            13. That moment you find a twenty in the pocket of your old pants…

                            …pretty much pure bliss.

                            dollar

                              14. Your willpower is unbreakable.

                              You’ve got a budget, and you’re sticking to it!

                              no

                                 

                                Mainly because you’re slightly afraid of what would happen if you didn’t, but shhhhh.

                                15. You know that when you do make the big bucks, you will know how to manage it.

                                You’ll see your friends buying $8 coffees at Starbucks, and you’ll still be like:

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                                nooo

                                  16. But you know that money isn’t the important thing.

                                  You’ve learned how to have fun and love life without a ton of it.

                                  fun

                                    17. For example, who needs a gym when you can go outside and soak up the sun?

                                    hot babe

                                      18. And who needs a fancy wine and cheese night when you can have a Netflix and pizza night?

                                      tv

                                        So much more fun. (A huge thanks to that friend whose Netflix account you’ve bombarded.)

                                        19. Because you know that you appreciate what you can afford a million times more…

                                        You don’t take life for granted. Every time you get something nice, even if it’s little, you react like this:

                                        overjoyed

                                          And life is way nicer that way.

                                          20. …and you have learned what is really important.

                                          friends

                                            Featured photo credit: Sharon Drummond via flickr.com

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                                            Published on September 17, 2018

                                            How Being Smart With Your Money Leads to Financial Success

                                            How Being Smart With Your Money Leads to Financial Success

                                            Achieving financial success is not something that just happens. Maybe if you win the lottery or something, but for the average person like you or me, it comes from a series of small steps you take over a long period of time.

                                            With each step, you form a new smart money habit. And with each smart money habit, you build towards financial independence.

                                            So what sort of habits can you form to get on that path? Let’s take a look at smart money habits you can start today to get you closer to a financially independent future.

                                            1. Avoid being “penny wise but pound foolish”

                                            It’s tempting to try saving a couple cents here and there when buying small items. However, that’s not where the real money is saved. You’re putting in extra effort for something that doesn’t move the needle.

                                            You get the most bang when you’re able to cut down on your bigger bills. For example, finding a lower interest rate for your mortgage could save you $50+ per month. And cutting your transportation bill by purchasing a cheaper car or taking public transportation can provide large gains as well.

                                            So, look at your recurring expenses such as housing, transportation, and insurance, and see where there’s wiggle room. It’s a much better use of your time than trying to pinch pennies here and there on smaller purchases.

                                            2. When you want something big, wait

                                            Impulsivity can get you in trouble in most aspects of life. Finances are no different.

                                            It’s human nature to see something and want it right then and there. It starts as a kid in the checkout line at the grocery store, and it continues on through adulthood.

                                            We get an idea in our head of something we want, and it’s hard not to go out and get it right then.

                                            A good example is wanting a new car. Perhaps you’ve had your car for several years. It’s crossed the 100k mile mark. Maybe maintenance is due, and you’re annoyed that you need to replace the timing belt or purchase new tires.

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                                            So, you get the itch.

                                            You start digging around online, and you realize you could trade in your current car for something newer and more exciting… all for a few hundred bucks a month. Then you get obsessed.

                                            Here’s where you have to take a step back.

                                            Your newfound obsession is clouding your judgement. Rather than giving into the impulse, wait it out.

                                            Set a timeframe for yourself. Maybe you come back to the decision three months down the road. See if the obsession lasts.

                                            It might, but often, a funny thing happens. Often, you forget about it. And often, you find that the new car wasn’t a need at all.

                                            The impulse faded. And you just saved yourself a ton of money.

                                            3. Live smaller than you can afford

                                            You finally get that big raise. And you want to celebrate – and why not?

                                            You’ve been looking forward to this forever. And after all, it was all due to your hard work.

                                            That’s fine, splurge a little. However, make it a one-time deal and be done.

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                                            Don’t get caught in the trap that just because you’re now making more money, you should spend more.

                                            Too often, people get more money and feel like they that gives them the means to buy a bigger house, a bigger car… you know the drill. Resist.

                                            The fact is that living smaller than what you can afford is one of the fastest ways to build savings.

                                            But if you constantly upgrade as you begin to make more, then you’ll never get ahead. You’ll just build up more debt along the way and have just as little wiggle room as before.

                                            4. Practice smart grocery shopping

                                            Food… it’s one of the biggest portions of any budget. And if you’re not careful, it can be one of the biggest drains on your wallet.

                                            But luckily, there are a few things you can do to ensure that you stay smart with your money when buying groceries.

                                            Create a grocery budget

                                            Set a strict weekly grocery budget. When you know how much you can spend on groceries, you can then plan your weekly menu around it.

                                            Once you know what all you need, you can go shopping and keep a running tally as you shop to ensure you’re on track.

                                            I tend to do this in my head, rounding for each item. However, writing it down as you go would probably work best for most people.

                                            Make a list… and never deviate

                                            Never go to the grocery store without a list. If you go to the store with a ballpark idea in mind, you don’t have a true ide of what you need.

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                                            You’re not well-researched. You don’t know what the sales are. As a result, you’re going to make decisions on the fly.

                                            These impulse decisions will lead to overspending, which will derail your grocery budget.

                                            Eat before going grocery shopping

                                            It’s also important to eat prior to going to the grocery store. Hunger is a powerful force.

                                            If you’re shopping on an empty stomach, everything is going to look good. In particular, you may find a lot of ready-made, processed snacks will look enticing.

                                            After all, you’re hungry now and that food is easily available. So subconsciously, you may lean towards those items.

                                            Unfortunately, not only are those items typically less healthy, but they’re likely more expensive. You pay for convenience.

                                            However, when you eat prior to shopping, then you’ll shop with a clear mind. Your hunger won’t cloud your judgement, influencing you to make poor decisions like a cartoon devil resting on your shoulder whispering in your ear.

                                            This makes it much easier to stick to your grocery plan.

                                            5. Cancel your gym membership

                                            Now that you’re all set on your food, it’s time to get smart about managing your budget in terms of physical fitness. And let’s begin by avoiding the gym. The gym bill, that is.

                                            The average gym membership costs around $60 per month. That’s $720 a year.

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                                            Yet, two out of three gym memberships go unused. That means two-thirds of people who have a gym membership are literally giving away almost a thousand bucks a year. It’s crazy!

                                            I recommend seeking an alternative. One good alternative is to look into fitness streaming services.

                                            Streaming services allow you to stream hundreds of workouts like Insanity and p90x, right in your own home for around $10-20 a month. That’s $40-50 less a month than the average gym membership.

                                            Of course, then there’s the free option. The internet is full of free workouts that you can do on your own with minimal or no equipment.

                                            For example, there’s the Couch to 5K program, that I personally used a decade ago to ease myself from couch potato to running my first 5K race. If I could do it, anyone could.

                                            Then there are free resources like reddit that have limitless information on workouts. The Fitness subreddit has done all the research for you, populating workout tips and detailed workout routines for anyone to use in their wiki.

                                            There are several routines that require no equipment. And you can join in on the subreddit to become part of the community, making it easier for those seeking comraderie and encouragement in their fitness goals. All for free.

                                            It’s baby steps… And baby steps can start now!

                                            I’ve never met anyone that can’t stand to be a bit smarter with their money. And on the flip side, anyone can get smarter with their money. But remember, it doesn’t happen all at once.

                                            Begin by fighting your impulses. Prepare for the week and be smart at the store. And cut monthly expenses like gym memberships that are overpriced and you probably aren’t getting your money’s worth out of anyway.

                                            The devil is in the details. And the details can change your lifestyle and prep you for a financially independent future.

                                            Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

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