Dave Ramsey often says he has been broke, but he’s never been poor. “There’s a difference between being poor and being broke,” Ramsey said. “Poor is a state of mind; broke is I’m passing through.”
Ramsey sees three basic reasons people are poor:
- Their government is corrupt, and there is no economy to participate in.
- People are oppressed and taken advantage of.
- People make bad decisions with their money and lives.
We don’t have much control over Nos. 1 and 2, but we have a lot of control when it comes to No. 3, the decisions we make.
1. Check Your Diet
Food is dang expensive. So if you’re eating more than necessary, it’s costing you… a lot.
To save money on food, try counting your calories. By limiting your eating to what your body needs, you’ll save a money on food AND get healthy. Talk about a win-win.
Earn Cash Back at the Grocery Store ($20 Welcome Bonus)
Ibotta pays you to shop for groceries. Download the free app, create a cash-back grocery list, and go grocery shopping. When you get home, take a picture of your receipt with the Ibotta app, and money will immediately be deposited into your Ibotta account.
It’s real money too! Deposit your Ibotta money directly into your bank account, or redeem it for a free gift cards to your favorite stores like Amazon, Walmart, or GameStop.
Want to learn a few more ways to earn money with Ibotta. Watch our helpful Ibotta Explainer Video below. 👇
*COVID-19 Hack: Since you’re cooking at home, you’re probably buying more groceries than ever. Ibotta saves you money on groceries nearly every grocery trip. Grab your receipt, snap a pic, and earn cash back. (You’ll get a $20 welcome bonus just for using the app.) Another tip if you’ve been having your grocers delivered: Ibotta will give you 2% cash back on your Insacart delivers. So you’ll save on the delivery fee, and you still get to take a picture of your receipt to earn more cash back.
2. Stop Making Impulse Purchases
This is a tough one. Sometimes the impulse is to go out for dinner because you are too tired to cook. Sometimes its something cheap on Amazon. Sometimes it’s buying one extra cup of coffee for the day. None of these are expensive by themselves…
But impulse buys, if left unchecked, will keep you in the poor house.
A good way to keep yourself from making impulse purchases is to put more steps between picking out an item and buying it. When shopping online, that could mean leaving it in your cart for 24 hours before purchasing. It could also mean price checking and looking for promo codes.
Pro tip: Abandoning your cart for 24hrs sometimes gets you a promo code sent to your email.
Price Check with Wikibuy
Speaking of price checks and promo codes: if you want to save money shopping online, especially at Amazon, add the free Wikibuy extension to your browser. Wikibuy tracks price fluctuations across multiple retailers. Not to mention, they have a database full of active coupon codes that you can apply at checkout.
What’s more: Wikibuy works automatically. Before you check out, Wikibuy will let you know if there is another retailer offering a better price, or it will alert you to a promo code for your order. I was on Walmart.com to look for a camera strap, and Wikibuy popped up and let me know about a 2% off coupon. So, I activated it.
Earn Automatic Cash Back with Dosh
Dosh is a free app that says it is “the easiest money you’ve ever made.” And, it’s true. Just link a credit or debit card to the app, and when you use it at participating retailers, you will earn cash back. I bought some bagels at a local restaurant in Orlando, and Dosh informed me in minutes that I earned $2. Here’s just a sample of other cash back opportunities:
- BJ’s Wholesale Club, up to $40 cash back
- Aeropostale, 4%
- Instacart grocery delivery, 2%
- Sam’s Club, 3%
- Disney+, up to $16 back
Download Dosh for free, and start earning cash back.
3. Debt Happens When You Spend More than You Earn
I get it, sometimes there just ain’t enough money. So, what do you do? Charge your purchases to a credit card. You buy a home you really cannot afford. You buy a car that’s out of your price range, but you just can’t live without it.
4. You Spend Money Blindly
If you don’t have a budget, it’s like planning a trip across the country to a destination you’ve never visited and expecting to arrive without a hitch.
If you have no clue how much you pay out in bills every month or how much you earn, then kiss getting ahead good-bye. It’s not going to happen. Make a list of all your expenses and when they are due. Mark down when you get paid, and how much you will take home. Then, work to make sure you have enough money to pay your bills on time. Set aside money each pay period to pay the rent (or mortgage) and car payment. Be sure to budget money for savings.
“Help me stop being poor!”
Here are the facts. The *only* way to save money is to spend less than you earn. There’s no way around it.
So what does this mean for you? It means you need to either decrease your expenses or increase your income.
We want to help you do both. Join our 6-day Savings-Account Accelerator Workshop. We’ll send you expense-lowering tools and techniques (and even a few tips on how to boost your income). These frugal-living hacks will help you accomplish the cardinal rule of personal finance: keep your income over your expenses.
When you can spend less than you earn, your money will grow. You will build your savings, pay down debt, and save for retirement.
Join our free 6-day Savings-Account Accelerator Workshop, and start growing your wealth today.
5. “Save What Remains” Does Not Work
Do not wait to save money at the end of the month! “Save what remains” is not a saving strategy that works.
Instead, make it habit to save money before you spend it. When your paycheck hits your checking account, transfer 5% of that money into your savings account. Then do not touch it! It’s your emergency fund. Discipline yourself to live on what remains, and your emergency fund will grow.
Saves Money Faster With High-Interest Banking
How much do banks pay in interest? The national average is 0.08%. That’s nothing. $10,000 in savings will earn you $8 in interest after one year. Whoop-die-doo…
Don’t be average. Bank smart. Put your money into a high-yield savings account like CIT’s Savings Builder. Last I checked, the Savings Builder interest rate was 5X the national average. That’s a boost your emergency fund will feel. See the CIT banner below for Savings Builder’s current interest rate.
Learn more about CIT’s Savings Builder Account here. Because if you want to build your emergency fund fast, you need to collect all the free money you can.
- Related: Ultimate Guide to Saving Money
6. Wasting Time and not Improving Your Skills
Just as we always have money for fast food or coffee but not for savings, it seems like we always have time for video games and Facebook, but not to improve our skills. Many governors issued stay-at-home orders, but how many really spent that free time learning new skills to be better positioned to earn more money when the economy opened up?
The founders of BudgetingCouple.com were on different career tracks until they took a course on launching a blog, driving Pinterest traffic, and becoming a six-figure blogger. They gave up professional careers in health care (one for people, the other for animals) to improve their skill sets. It changed their lives forever.
7. Failing to Learn from Mistakes
I have made a lot of mistakes in life. College was start and stop for me. I finally earned a bachelor’s degree by the time I was 34 years old. Most have theirs by the time they are 22 or 23. So, my opportunity for tremendous income growth was severely limited because it took me so long to get a degree.
I eventually discovered what I wanted to do, but it took a while. I was terrible with money until I took a Dave Ramsey course with my wife. It was later in life before I wasn’t living paycheck to paycheck.
Consider each mistake an opportunity to learn something new. Thomas Edison once said: “Never get discouraged if you fail. Learn from it. Keep trying.”
Also See: 9 Dave Ramsey Money Tips You Need to Try
Make a Plan Today to Improve Yourself
You have a chance today to turn things around. If you have struggled with money, then it is time to change that.
Download apps like Ibotta to save on groceries and earn cash back.
If you shop online, then add the Wikibuy browser extension to your computer. There is no need in paying more than you have to.
Take control of your life by taking control of your finances. Get out of the poor house, stay out of the poor house, and live the life you have always imagined.
Read These Next:
- Best High-Interest Savings Account in 2020
- How to Budget: An Actionable Guide
- 12 Best Apps to Save Money & Get Cash Back
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