Are you tired of being broke? You’re not alone.
The cycle of living paycheck to paycheck, struggling with debt, and feeling like there’s no way out can be tough. Live that way for so long, and you start to think it’s your only option.
Be glad that it isn’t the case.
Like many of life’s troubles, financial problems can often be solved with the right habits. The best time to make those changes is today. Embrace these 10 habits if you’re tired of being broke.
1. Discover Why You’re Broke
If you want to fix your financial situation, you need to identify the root cause. If you’re broke, it’s for one of two reasons: An income problem or a spending problem.
An income problem means you aren’t bringing in enough money to cover your basic needs. A spending problem means you’re earning enough on paper, but you’re overspending. So, which is it? Understanding the problem provides the key to solving it.
Track Your Finances with Empower
Most broke people think they have an income problem (and some do). But when they get serious about tracking their finances, most actually discover that their spending is the real issue.
Empower is a money management app featuring powerful, automated financial tracking. Once you connect your accounts, Empower imports your transactions and sorts them into income and spending categories.
In an instant, you’ll see how your spending stacks up against your income, and exactly where your money is going. When you see your finances laid out in black and white with no judgment, you will understand if you have to adjust your income or spending.
2. Stop Paying Interest on Debt
Debt sucks for several reasons, the biggest being it costs you money. Not only must you pay back money you already spent, but you pay a fee (interest) on top of that. When big chunks of your income go toward interest and debt payments, it’s hard to get ahead.
Good news: There are ways to get around interest, but only if you know what you’re doing. You’ve got to ditch interest with a Balance transfer Credit Card.
Ditch Interest with a Balance Transfer Credit Card
Want to break up with interest? You can. Balance Transfer Credit Cards want to help you get out of debt faster. How does it work? You will transfer all of your credit card debt (from every credit card) onto one Balance Transfer Card. This will give you one payment a month, and the best part is that your interest rate could be significantly lower.
You will pay no (or low) interest for 12 to 18 months (your rate will depend on your credit score). How much money do you pay in interest every month? What if you could put all of that money towards actually paying down your debt? How much faster could you become debt free?
Check out Credit Land to find a balance transfer credit card that will help you become debt-free.
3. Cancel Unwanted Subscriptions
If you’re tired of being broke, it’s time to reduce your spending. Looking at your subscriptions is a great place to start. What do you pay for and what do you actually use?
Truth is, many people pay for subscriptions they’ve forgotten about and get no value from. Those have to go! The only problem is that most people don’t have the time or patience to deal with it.
Negotiate Lower Prices on Your Bills
Most people think of their cell phone, internet, and insurance bills as fixed costs. They don’t realize it might be possible to get a better deal. But think about it: If you could lower even a couple of your bills, you could reduce your spending substantially.
That said, most people can’t be bothered to shop around for quotes or call up their providers to haggle over price.
That’s why you need Billshark. They work with your service providers to negotiate the best possible deal. They even keep track of promotional offers and renegotiate when special pricing ends, so you never have to worry.
And the best part about Billshark? You only pay for the service if they save you money.
Get started with Billshark (+ get $25 in Reward Dollars when you send in your bills) and start paying less now.
4. Don’t Eat Out
When you start tracking your spending with Empower, you might notice you’re spending more on certain things than you initially thought. I’m willing to bet food tops the list. Specifically, restaurant food.
If you’re tired of being broke, you have to cut back on eating out. For the price of most restaurant meals, you could have five or more at home. The key is to shop for groceries intentionally, so your fridge is stocked with the ingredients you need to eat well at home.
Don’t know what to cook? Use Google. The recipe at the top of your Google search will have lots of 5 star reviews (that’s how it got to the top of Googe) which means it’s practically guaranteed to be delicious. You’ll be impressed with what you’re able to cook when you start letting Google be your recipe book.
Score Cash Back on Your Groceries with Ibotta
When it comes to food, you want to reduce spending without sacrificing quality. Do this by earning cash back at the grocery store with Ibotta.
Ibotta is one of the best cash back apps on the market. It partners with more than 400 retailers to offer cash back on groceries you were buying anyway. Before you shop, simply open the app and add the offers you want. When you’re finished, upload a picture of your receipt to claim free money.
Check out our Helpful Ibotta Explainer video for more information:
- Related: 15 Tips to Save Money On Groceries
5. Save on Energy
Little things add up. Stop wasting money on electricity you’re not really using. That means turning off the lights when you leave a room, shutting down your computer when you’re finished, and turning down the heat when you leave for work. Follow these simple strategies to save money.
Shop for the Best Rates
Did you know there may be more than one electricity provider in your area? That’s something many people don’t realize. In many parts of the country, you have a choice. And when there are multiple providers competing for business, that means there are deals to be had.
Head to ElectricityRates.com. After you plug in your zip code, Electricity Rates will find and compare all of the power providers in your area. Simply select the provider with the lowest rate, and lower your monthly electric bill for good. What’s more? Electricity rates guarantees no gap in coverage and no loss in quality. Nothing changes, only your bill.
To learn about your options and find the best price in your area, go to ElectricyRates.com and pop in your zip code.
“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.
6. Earn Cash Back with Dosh
Spending less isn’t about giving up all the things you enjoy. It’s about leveraging easy opportunities to earn and save. Dosh is one of those opportunities. Dosh is a free app that pays you cash back when you shop, dine, and travel. All you have to do is link your cards and shop as you normally would.
Dosh has more than 100,000 partners that pay, so you’re bound to score some free cash. Once you’ve earned $25, redeem through Paypal or Venmo.
Download Dosh (grab your $1 welcome bonus when you connect your card) and start earning cash back effortlessly on everyday purchases.
7. Earn Cash Back with Coin Out
With Coin Out, you earn rewards every time you shop. Simply snap a picture of *any* receipt from any retailer, and you’ll earn cash back. It doesn’t get more versatile than that.
Simply download the free Coin Out app, shop normal, and upload your receipts. Take things up a notch with extra cash back when you shop online at Coin Out partner retailers or sign up for offers through the app.
Ready to start earning cash back on every purchase you make? Sign up for Coin Out now.
8. Invest to Stay Ahead of the Game
Money saved in a regular bank account depreciates over time. As the cost of living rises, the purchasing power of that money decreases. That’s why it’s crucial to invest money earmarked for the future. When you invest your money long term, it’s likely to increase in value.
It’s Easy to Invest with Acorns
Acorns makes investing easy by rounding up your daily purchases and investing the spare change (e.g. If your coffee costs $4.60, you will invest $0.40). This is genius, especially for people who struggle to save. You never miss the money, but those regular investments add up. You’ll also earn bonus investments when you spend at Acorns partners.
If you’re looking for a simple retirement account, Acorns Later has you covered. It recommends a diversified IRA portfolio based on your goals and rebalances it regularly. It’s perfect for the hands-off investor who wants to keep things as easy as possible.
CIT Makes Growing Your Savings Simple
If you might need your money in the short term, investing in the market might not be for you. That doesn’t mean you should park your funds in a basic bank account, though. A high-interest savings account is your friend.
CIT Savings Builder pays up to 10X the national APY average when you maintain an automatic $100 monthly deposit. That literally means 10X the free interest money. This makes establishing healthy savings habits easy while ensuring your money increases in value. Check out CIT’s current interest rate on the live banner below.
9. Get a Side Hustle
Remember, you’re broke because you have an income problem or a spending problem. Most of the strategies listed here focus on the spending problem, because it’s more common. But if you have an income problem, there’s a clear answer: Earn more money. How do you do it? Start a side hustle!
A side hustle is a job or business you work in addition to your full-time employment. It’s often a flexible, work-from-home situation that earns you extra income in between your other responsibilities.
If you’re not sure where to start, I recommend ZipRecruiter. It’s your source for flexible, remote, and work-from-home jobs. Simply identify the types of work you’re interested in and check out the listings — there are tons.
10. Avoid Wasting Money
If you’re tired of being broke, it’s time to stop wasting money. That means being very intentional with your spending. Resist buying things just because you want them in the moment. Instead, spend your money on quality products, services, and experiences that will make your life easier or better.
Keep Your Priorities Straight with Empower
Empower is a great example of a service that makes your life easier. Knowing where you stand financially means you can confidently spend your money on the things that matter. If you’re overspending on something that doesn’t matter, Empower makes it impossible to ignore.
What are you waiting for? Download Empower and take control of your money.
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Save More Money! Read these next…
- 43 Hacks to Live on One Income & Never Be Poor
- 7 Habits of Women Who Always Have Money
- Must-Try Frugal Hacks of the Super Rich (borderline genius)
No Money in the Bank?
If you struggle to save money, it’s because you don’t know how to do it. Start growing your wealth every month with our 6-Day Free Workshop.
Sandra Parsons is a freelance writer specializing in personal finance, travel, and health & psychology. Her work has been featured on sites like Club Thrifty, MoneyTips, and Credit Knocks. She also freelances for Wooster Media Group LLC. Sandra lives in Eastern Canada with her husband and son.