How to cope with being flat broke. Realizing that you are flat broke can be the hardest day in someone's life. There are a few things that you can do to cope with being broke, still have what you need, and get back up and on your feet again. These tips may not work for everyone, since there are many reasons that people become "broke".
First, determine why you are broke. Did you just over spend? Did you loose your job? You need to see what caused the situation to begin with. If spending is your issue, that is an area that you will want to focus on. If lack of a job, for whatever reason, is the the cause, then we need to look at what you can do with what you have to earn income. Again, there are many reasons for being broke, so determine what caused yours, accept it, and lets move forward.
Working on you. Now that you know why you are broke, lets look at what we can do to fix the issue. If you are employed, look at your expenses. What is it costing to commute to work, how much are you spending on rent, and your other daily expenses. If it is costing more than you make to get to work due to high gas prices, you may want to look into a career change. If you are overspending, keep reading, we will address that later. If you are unemployed, we need to see what we can do to get some income into your household. Keep reading for ways to boost your income, employed or not.
Boosting your income with what you have to offer! If you look around your home, there are more than likely some things that you can do without. You may need to do a "spring cleaning" and collect all of these things together. Have a sale, or post on the internet, and sell what you dont need or dont use for extra money. Old movies, games, and clothes are big money makers. You can also offer services to make some money as well. Offer baby sitting, house cleaning, dog walking, or whatever your expertice is. A few hours spent looking at both your material offerings and what you are good at will really turn around into some fast cash.
You will still need a resolution for the long term. You can't live off of selling your possessions forever! So, if you are looking for a job, make sure that you get out there and find something for you. If you are not able to work, keep examining what you have to offer that others may pay for. Cutting grass, raking leaves, even running errrands with elderly neighbors can be money makers as well.
Once you have cash in your pocket, examine what you are spending it on. First sit down and take a look at your monthly expenses, and determine what you can cut to save extra money. Choose a slower internet connection, remove a movie channel from your tv package, or cut the minutes on your cell phone. Do small things as well, like turning off lights when you leave a room, car pool to work, and recycle your cans for cash. If your rent is too much, find a lower rent place to live, and one that is possibly closer to working opportunities for you. If you are close enough, you can even walk or bike to work, saving even more money in the long run. Cut out all the other extras. If you stop at the drive through for coffee every morning, save yourself 5.00 a day by making coffee at home and getting up a few minutes earlier. Not only will you save on the cost of the coffee, but on gas and time as well. Eat at home rather than eating out, or if you do eat out, share a meal or get water to drink to save the extra money.
Being broke can send you on a downward spiral quite quickly, but with the tips above you should be able to keep some income coming into your home, and reduce on what you are spending. There is one more step however. We need to change your habits so that we don't fall back into the "broke" cycle. Start looking for money saving or money making opportunities. When you buy new clothes, sell something old. If you buy a new game or movie, sell an old one. The exchange will not only make you some money, but will keep your home clutter free. Shop sales, clearance, and with coupons. There are so many food and non food items that you can get for free or nearly free when shopping smart. If money seems to be a recurring issue for you and your family, shop sales and stock up. Having an extra tube of toothpaste can ease the stress on your pocket. Buy it now on sale with a coupon, almost for free... which saves you from spending well over 3.00 per tube when you do finally run out.
Last, remember to think when you buy. If you are renting, think about what you really are looking for in an apartment. Is the pool really a necessity when it boosts your rent by 200.00 per month? It is something that you may have to forego to save the money. Do you really need the junk food? Instead, think when you are at the market and buy non-perishable items and non junk food items that will not only be cheaper, but healthier for you. Do you really need that new cd? If you have a collection it may be hard to pass up, but maybe it is something that could be asked for as a gift, or even purchased second hand in a couple of months, saving you on the cost.
Examine where you are, and what got you here. Now make changes to your lifestyle to make some money and get back on your feet. But don't forget to look at the long haul, what is in your future? Plan ahead with money savings, having a supply of needed items, and have ideas of what you can do in a pinch to make a few extra dollars, and you are well on your way from flat broke.