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4 Destructive Broke Mindset Beliefs People Need To Get Rid Of

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Beating the broke mindset, this has to be one of my favorite topics to talk about. I can tell you that people in this country have a perception and beliefs that are the real reason they are in the financial state.

women holding a piggy bank

It’s 2020, and the broke mindset is alive and well now, and for this reason, I wanted to share this post because it is one of my personal favorites, and a good friend inspired it!

Her name is Laurie, and she is one of my favorite frugal bloggers around. A few years ago, she wrote this amazing post; you know what I’m talking about. The type of posts that touches you and motivates you to do something about it!

It is titled, How to Pay off Debt: Beating the Broke Mindset and let me tell you, it got me thinking about my mindset a few years ago. I wanted to write about this because many of us either had this mindset or continue to have this mindset.

After deciding to set on my debt-free journey, I discovered so many things about myself that I never knew nor liked. I, myself, wasn’t broke. I just had a broke mindset. This is a big difference.

The Broke Mindset is what gets us in financial trouble. The Broke Mindset doesn’t let us see how much at fault we are. The Broke Mindset will continue to lead you into a financial mess. Beating the broke mindset brought me into the right mindset and got me to where I am today.

Laurie, over at The Frugal Farmer, spoke about three Broke Beliefs that had lead us, and still leads people, into financial trouble. I wanted to write about my experience with these Broke Beliefs and how I broke from this mindset.

To pay my debt and take charge of my finances, I had to change my entire view of life. But, first, I had to modify the way I see money and the way I lived. To this day, I continue to change and view things differently.

photo of women showing her empty pocket

Beating the Broke Mindset

There’s Nothing We Can Do About It

I used to say this repeatedly when I used my credit cards to fix my car because I didn’t have an emergency fund. I thought credit cards were my emergency fund. When things broke down,  I used my credit cards to pay for it. Crap happens, and I was glad I had credit cards to get me through bad situations.

When I started to save money each week and realized how much money I was saving, I realized that I was doing it all wrong.

When I looked at the amount of debt I was accumulating and how stressful I would get when I looked at that figure, it wasn’t worth it. There’s nothing we can do about it was what my mind would tell me.

Then my way of thinking started to change as I continued to save money and the stress level began to go down. So I started to save money and paying my credit cards.

“There’s nothing we can do about it” mentality suddenly changed after seeing the results of taking charge of my debt because I WAS doing something about it.

We Deserve

This one to this day bugs me to no end. We live in a society where we think we deserve it.  We deserve a brand new state-of-the-art phone.  We deserve to go out every weekend.

Our children deserve brand-name clothing. We deserve that vacation because we worked hard for it.

That mentality got my a$$ in trouble many years ago. I wanted those brand new sneakers everyone was wearing.

I wanted to go out to the clubs because I worked so hard that week even though I didn’t have the money for it. But I deserved it!

My kid needs to have that cell phone because she deserves it even though I can barely pay my bills. 

Do you see the pattern here?

I felt for this mindset and belief that it contributed to my financial mess.

Once I decided to pay my debt and control my finances, the”I deserve” attitude came back to haunt me because I didn’t change my mindset.

When I was looking at my debt, and realized I deserved this because I wasn’t responsible for my finances in the first place.

The “I Deserve” belief had gotten me in trouble. How I got out of it was to write down my financial goals. Then, to analyze what exactly I deserved.

To be stressed out over debt or to enjoy the benefit of being debt-free or financial freedom?  So I worked hard every week to achieve my new financial goals.

Why should I deserve a night out? Everyone else works hard, some even harder than others, and they are not celebrating every Friday.

By changing this “We Deserve”  belief and sticking to my financial goals proved that this mindset could be modified completely.

We’re Not as Bad as the Others

This was my way of thinking years ago. I have a full-time job; I’m not on welfare, so I’m not as bad as others.

Shame on me!

This was my thinking when I went shopping when I bought shit I didn’t need.

I was a single mom working in my 20’s. I worked a lot and, at one point, 2 jobs and went to school.

I thought I had it under control. I looked at others and figured I was doing pretty freaking good.

I wasn’t as bad as others, so it was all good.  This belief helped me justify my actions.

Once I realized what I was doing, I realized I was in debt, just like others. Not as much as others, but almost there.

In a few years, I could have been just like them. Instead, I was just living a lie. I was lying to myself.

I was judging others as well to justify mine out of control spending. Being honest with myself and how I was living my life back then helped me financially and changed me into a better person.

Check out these posts:

I Will Pay It When I Get My Income Tax Refund/Bonus/Extra Check

This belief I added myself because it taught me a major lesson. This was my mindset many years ago and for so many years.

I will overspend with the idea that my refund was around the corner and I could pay my credit cards in full when I got the check.

Did this ever happen? Yes and no.

When I got my refund, I will pay a partial amount of my debt and spend the rest.

The same thing I did when I got my work bonus. Instead of saving it, I will spend it.

By June, I will be back to the same spending habit and wondering where my money went.

The lesson I learned the hard way is that never count on money you don’t have. I didn’t have a budget, so even if I did pay it fully, it was a cycle. As a result, my work bonus structure was changed, and we didn’t make a bonus.

Guess what? I was screwed.

I had a credit card debt that didn’t get paid in full because I was counting on money that was never there. So this was a hard lesson for me and a great one.

This changed the way I spent and did things. I was masking my problems and justifying my spending on future money. 

This mindset changed me completely, and I never count on money that I don’t have. EVER.

Life is too unpredictable and as tempting as it is to think that you will be getting extra money, it can also be dangerous.

So there you have my thought about Laurie’s excellent post. I hope you learned from this and took it to heart.

It was by changing these mindset beliefs that I have control over my finances today. 

It was by changing my mindset that I became who I am now. I hope you enjoyed Laurie’s post as much as I did and learned how to beat a broke mindset.

Your turn: What are your thoughts about beating the broke mindset?

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86 Comments

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  3. OhmyGosh I need to read your post over and over! I am REALLY bad about ” well…we’re not as bad as others” – geez. Thanks for sharing this! đŸ™‚

  4. Working on our mindset is an important topic in so many areas of life, but especially finances. There is so much to be said for perspective.

  5. Great words of truth here. Too many think they are “entitled” Still we all, myself included, tend to indulge and spoil ourselves from time to time.

  6. All so so true! We’re working on all of these things right now – it’s a slow process, but we get better about it each day.

  7. These are some great points and I think you’ve really hit on some of the justifications we make to spend money we don’t have.

  8. We use the tax return excuse. This is the first year we have not done this and were able to save our money. Great tips!

  9. It sounds like you had a come to Jesus with your finances. It takes discipline to set aside foolish money handling. Dave Ramsey helped me get a grip.

  10. Great post and great ideas! Being in a good financial situation is very important for a lot of things in your life. Financial stress can bring a lot of problems in a marriage and family.

  11. Wonderful advice. In the past I have not been the best at managing my finances. I have done the credit card thing & waited for tax checks. Thanks for a great post.

  12. as a couple we do the Dave Ramsey plan, it works great for us
    It baffles me that people use their credit cards so much when it comes close to Christmas , they are until the next Christmas paying it off.

    1. Agree! We read DR’s book and that’s how we got motivated to take control of our finances. My opinion is if your finances are a mess then best leave the CC alone. Thank you Terri

  13. Savings can be so helpful. Automatically putting it away before you have the temptation to spend helps too. I’m glad you were able to break out of the broke mindset.

  14. Great advice and we have to be reminded about it everyday. It helps us to stay focus in our lives.

  15. I really love this post. I’m in college right now, married, and have only one part-time source of income for our family. BUT, somehow we have still managed every single month, because of the reasons you wrote. I think especially coming from middle class parents to where we are now, it is difficult to get out of that “deserving” mentality.

  16. Amazing post! I definitely was caught in the “I deserve it” stage years ago before kids! Now we budget and pinch pennies to save save save!

  17. This is so true and I’m really happy I’m finally over a lot of this. I don’t care what car, purse, shoes, phone I have. The important thing is that I can afford what I have…

  18. Once again, bravo! Great post that makes some probably squirm in their seats a bit. Entitlement in this country makes me sick. Grat post.

  19. Great post, you covered all the important points. I’m bookmarking this post as a reminder for later.

  20. Such a great post! I’m still trying to get my debt under control! I’ve already learned to not count that money I don’t have and will be closing my accounts once it’s paid off. Definitely not worth the hassle!

    1. Thank you Jessica. One advice I will give you is not to close ALL your accounts. Keep one or two open to help your credit score.

  21. So great to get your finances under control. I’m a few thousand dollars away from paying off my student debt, and I know it will be so rewarding once that happens. Gotta’ chip away….

  22. Very interesting. Budgeting is very important. Thanks for sharing your experience and letting everyone know that it is possible to change the way you think about spending.

  23. This is great insight! My husband and I always struggle getting on a budget. It’ll be wonderful once we get our finances under control and this definitely sets my mind set up to doing it the right way đŸ™‚ Thanks!

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  27. Thanks for this great article. I know that we have trouble with the “deserve” mentality, but need to keep thinking about the big picture. We paid off $12,000 in credit card debt last year, but still have a long way go:

    http://creatingmykaleidoscope.com/2015/01/03/confronting-the-credit-cards/

    1. You paid off $12K in CC debt last year! WTG!! That’s amazing. Keep it up and if you need support email me!

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  41. I too suffered the “I deserve” mentality! That and peer pressure got me in major financial trouble. Straight outta high school I got my first credit card, store charge cards and then another credit card and felt it was my duty to keep up with my friends – my parents were the same way so why not?! Good grief. “I’m doing good in college, I work part time, I’m not a screw up – I DESERVE TO BUY XY AND Z!” And buy lunch almost every day AND buy dinner every so often for my friends and buy a new outfit to go out to said dinner. I was so insecure. And around the wrong people. I tried to buy my friends friendship, buy their loyalty and I was right to be insecure in those relationships, because when I started saying “No I can’t” sure enough those friendships dismantled. But my husband was ecstatic when I started getting my finances under control (because we didn’t have joint accounts yet I still felt like my money was MY money). 7 years later; no debt, emergency fund and we just bought a modest home this year – all on my husbands income AND we can afford for me to be a stay at home mom. Life is easier now and I’m content for the first time in my life. Great post – sorry my comment was long! LOL!

    1. Don’t apologize I love it! Your story is so similar to mine and sure enough I lost a few “friends” when I learned to say no too. Thank you for sharing your inspiring story.

  42. I’ve been a victim of that mentality in the past myself. I think most people have at one time or another. Once I finally understood that a mindset of abundance is the only way of thinking that leads to success, I got rid of scarcity thinking and it’s definitely made a difference in the way I live my life!

    I recently wrote an article that addresses this mentality. It’s about how to get out of scarcity thinking and develop an abundance mindset. You can find it here: http://www.cfinancialfreedom.com/abundance-vs-scarcity-mindset/

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