You constantly turn down lunch and happy hour drinks with your co-workers. You get invited to a party but can’t afford a gift, so you don’t go. You need new clothes, but you can’t even afford to purchase used clothing from the thrift store. 

Life isn’t much fun when you are poor (or feel poor). 

It doesn’t have to be this way. You can take control of your finances and start filling your pockets rather than constantly finding them empty. Here are 8 things to do each month to stop being poor. 

1. Take Care of Yourself

First things first, you must take care of yourself. Have you ever heard the saying, “You can’t pour from an empty cup?” If you don’t take care of yourself, you won’t have anything left to give. 

So, if you are physically or mentally unwell, you won’t be able to work and earn money. Prioritize your physical and mental health. 

  • Get enough rest.
  • Eat healthily.
  • Exercise.
  • Focus on your own needs.
  • Keep your medical appointments.

2. Live Below Your Means

Have you ever received a paycheck, paid the bills, and then realized there is little to no money left over? If so, this means you are living beyond your means. And, if you live beyond your means, you will always feel poor. 

You won’t be able to get ahead until you start living below your means. 

Let’s say your household income is $100,000. If you are spending more than $100,000 a year, you’re living above your means. But, if you live off $80,000 a year instead, you’re living below your means.

The shift to living below your means starts with a budget. Write down your gross annual income and subtract all your essential recurring expenses. How much is left over once you subtract these essentials?

You want your budget to have enough left over for savings and investments. Stick with it, and soon budgeting will be so much easier.

Free Workshop – Join our free Simplify Money Workshop

The *only* way to save money is to spend less than you earn. That means you need to decrease your expenses or increase your income.

We want to help you do both.

Join our FREE Simplify Money Workshop to learn the fundamentals of growing wealth. Because when you can spend less than you earn, your money has no choice but to grow. You will build your savings and pay down debt. 

What’s more? We’ve got a bunch of free money-hacks to share with you:

  • Hacks to lower your monthly bills
  • Hacks to spend less on debt
  • Hacks to start investing
  • Hacks to increase your income by $20/month (with no extra effort)

This workshop has everything you need to accomplish the cardinal rule of personal finance: keep your income over your expenses.

Join our free 5-day Simplify Money Workshop, and start growing your wealth today.

3. Build an Emergency Fund

There are few things that feel worse than needing money suddenly for an emergency and not having any. 

Unexpected medical bills, car repairs, and plumbing problems are all things that can cause a financial crisis – especially if you don’t have an emergency fund. 

But, if you do have an emergency fund, you won’t feel the same sort of panic.

Start building an emergency fund by prioritizing it.

  • Take a percentage of every paycheck and add it to your savings.
  • Set these savings to be withdrawn from your paycheck automatically.
  • Make a goal for your emergency goal, such as $1000, and go from there. 

Build Your Emergency Fund with CIT Savings Builder

You want your emergency fund safe and available whenever you need it. A high-interest savings account is the perfect place to park it. CIT Bank has the solution. It’s called the CIT Savings Builder account, and it reserves its best rate for customers who either:

  • Make a monthly deposit of at least $100; or
  • Maintain a balance of $25,000. 

You only need $100 to get started, and when you deposit $100 every month, you earn the top tier rate (see banner below). That’s a great incentive to establish a regular savings habit and pad your emergency fund. 

See the CIT banner below for Savings Builder’s current interest rate.

Savings Builder

Open a CIT Savings Builder account now and get started

4. Pay Off Debt

If you have debt, you will never feel financially free. 

In other words, you will always feel poor. Having debt makes you feel like you will “never have enough money.” 

That’s a lie. You can pay off your debt and achieve financial freedom. Just as you budget to save, you need to budget to pay off debt.

  • Consider a balance transfer card that offers 0% interest.
  • Set a goal for when you want to pay off this debt.
  • Take how much you owe and divide it by the number of months to meet your goal.
  • Start paying it down. 

Lower Your Debt Interest Rate with a Credit Land Balance Transfer Card

You don’t have to keep paying ridiculously high interest rates. 

Balance Transfer Credit Cards take all of your credit card debt, and put it onto one card. Why would you do this? Because balance transfer credit cards offer lower interest rates, sometimes down to 0% APR for 12-18 months (your rates will depend on your credit score). Can you imagine 0% interest for an entire year? What an opportunity to get ahead!

Visit Credit Land Balance Transfer to see which credit card is perfect for you. I.e. the card offering the lowest interest rate ;).

5. Build a Strong Credit History

Sometimes being poor happens because you are stuck in a cycle. 

For example, let’s say you made poor financial decisions in your early twenties. As a result of those decisions, you have a bad credit score. 

Because you have a bad credit score, you wind up paying more for the same things as everyone else because you have higher interest rates and insurance premiums. 

To get lower rates, you need to boost your credit history.

  • Pay your bills on time.
  • Work towards being down debt by paying more than the minimum payment each month.
  • Review credit reports and look for discrepancies.

6. Consume Financial Resources

Pause. Take a moment to pat yourself on the back. Why? Because you are using your time to read this article on ways to stop being poor! 

That means you are investing your time in trying to learn better ways to manage your finances. Good for you!

Don’t stop here. We encourage you to keep consuming financial resources, such as this blog, as well as listening to podcasts and reading books like Rich Dad, Poor Dad. 

The more financial knowledge you consume, the easier it will become to live it out. 

Audible is Flush with Wealth-Building Audiobooks

Audiobooks have the edge over traditional books because of their versatility. You can’t read a regular book while you’re driving or running, but you can take an audiobook pretty much anywhere. That means most people can ramp up their reading without carving out any extra space in their schedules. 

When it comes to Audiobook selection, Audible is the best there is. Plus, subscribers get free access to original podcasts and other cool content. 

They have so many wealth-building resources, like the Rich Dad, Poor Dad series and The Simple Path to Wealth.

Try Audible for free for 30 days and see how much you (and your money) grow. 

7. Learn New Skills

If you feel poor or like you aren’t earning enough money, then it’s time to learn some new skills. 

You want to make yourself valuable and irreplaceable in the workforce. Boosting your skills can lead to promotions or more clients, which in turn means more money in your bank account. 

Having several skills also protects you from becoming bored and complacent. Don’t settle for a job that barely pays the bills when you can push yourself to work smarter, not necessarily harder. 

8. Start a Side Hustle

Over the past few years, the gig economy has taken off. You can be a part of it! 

Consider the new skills we just discussed. Can you use these skills to earn some money? Do you have a new hobby that could turn into a side hustle? You like to write? Start a blog. Like making videos? Become a YouTuber. Don’t overthink it.

Many Americans have found ways to pad their checking and savings accounts with side hustles. People you know are spending a few hours a night earning cash driving for Uber and Lyft, or they deliver for Instacart, DoorDash, or Grubhub.

You Can Stop Feeling Poor

You can live in a way that allows you to enjoy the fruits of your labor rather than feeling poor. You just need a little self-discipline to get started. And you can get started by using these eight tricks to move you from poor to comfortable. 

  • Take care of your physical, mental, and financial well-being.
  • Save money from every paycheck.
  • Stay open to learning. 

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