If you're reading this article, there's a high chance that you may know someone that's financially struggling and it's more common than you think. You have to remember that every individual's financial situation is unique. When you see that something works for someone else doesn't mean that it always works for you. Don't try to compare yourself to others.
The reason I say that you shouldn't compare yourself to others is that appearances are deceiving. When you see that friend purchasing a new vehicle or home, you have to keep in mind that they may have taken some serious debt.
Americans Financially Struggling Statistics
So how many Americans are financially struggling, you asked?
According to Forbes:
- At least 17% or 43 million Americans are financially struggling with all phases of their lives.
- Around 54% or 135 million Americans are financially struggling with some aspects of their lives.
- 29% or 73 million Americans are prepping, borrowing, spending, and saving.
- More than 70% of Americans have some kind of financial struggle.
CBS News released a video on this topic too:
That's a huge number. If you're one of the 70% of Americans that are struggling, then continue reading this article. If you know someone that is struggling, don't hesitate to share because there could be some helpful tips.
In this article, you will find useful tips on what to do when you are completely broke.
1. Search For Help in The Right Place
You may or may have not reached that point in your life where you feel completely helpless. Who do you turn to?
Doesn't it feel great to spend time with an individual or somewhere that can help solve the majority of your problems?
When you worry about money, it can lead to:
Especially when you're behind on rent or car payment, it feels like you're carrying a bunch of bricks on your back. My suggestions are:
- Find someone you trust and that you can depend on. Venting out your problems to someone you trust could help tremendously.
- While it's not the best, going on helpful forums can ease the stress and gives you an idea of what you should do. There are many subreddits with great useful advice. I recommend going on r/povertyfinance for helpful advice.
- Create a checklist and focus on one thing at a time. With a checklist, it's a great way to stay organize and keep track of eliminating your problems.
2. Stop Blaming Yourself
One of the most dangerous games an individual can play when they're financially struggling is the blame game. You have to understand that nobody wins and your problems will never be solved. The only solution is you and your actions.
Who's fault is it?
- It's not your mom's!
- It's not your dog!
- You can't blame your teacher!
- Nope, not your grandmother's!
- It's not my fault. It's YOURS!
3. Find Out Why You Are Financially Struggling
You start off with a cup of coffee at Starbucks every morning before starting your day. You go out and spend recklessly. There are many reasons and they all add up. If you spend $3 on a cup of coffee every day for a month, that's $90. If you eat out and spend around $10 a day, that's $300 a month.
This is why you're completely broke and financially struggling. If you can't afford to spend on yourself, why spend money on things you don't need in the first place. I was young and dumb at one point in my life and didn't learn how to budget. It takes a lot of self-discipline to spend on things you truly need. It also feels good to see your bank account higher than before.
What you can do:
- Keep track of your spendings.
- Use an app that helps you with budgeting.
- Spend on things you NEED. Not want.
- Learn to save!
- Learn to say no to expensive plans!
4. Start Doing Something Regardless of What It Is
You have 24 hours in a day. You can start by getting a job. If you already have one, then I suggest finding a hobby that can earn your side income. For example, if you're great with video editing or photography, why not sell your service?
It might sound hard but you have to understand that it takes work to get out of that being-broke loophole.
What can you do:
- Find a job! You can job hunt on Craigslist, Indeed, or LinkedIn. There are many media platforms that will help you get a job.
- Don't procrastinate.
- Perfect your resume.
- See what you're good at and utilize that skill to earn an extra buck! You can sell your services on Fiverr, Upwork, and many more.
- Learn a skill. With the power of the internet, you can learn almost anything nowadays.
- Start getting certified. There are many programs online where you can earn your certifications for free. All it takes is a little studying, a test, and you'll get your certificate. I can promise you that it'll look great on your resume as well.
- Learn to cook! This will help you in the long run because eating out can add up quickly.
5. Determine What You Don't Need or Can Live Without
I've seen people with hardly any money in their bank account yet they still go clubbing every week. If you're struggling and can't afford to take care of yourself, you need to get rid of:
- Expensive plans.
- Cancel your Netflix or Hulu account.
- Cancel your Spotify account.
- You don't need coffee every day!
- You don't need to buy a new skin on Fortnite.
- You don't need to eat out.
There are many free things you can do. Although it might sound boring, it's better to have money than go completely broke.
You can learn to network with people by volunteering. There are parks, public basketball courts, beaches, and many more.
6. If You're In a Hole, Stop Digging
You want your friends to like you? Are you embarrassed by people knowing that you're financially struggling? Learn to like yourself first without spending. You're already in trouble, so why make it worse for yourself? You know you're on your last $10 so why go spend it eating out when you can spend a week's worth of meal and utilize your time to find a job, learn a skill, or something to improve yourself on.
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