The Real Reason You’re Broke

May 23, 2016
Let's explore the real reason you're broke., and it's not what you're probably thinking it is either!
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Before I make some of you get all up in your feelings, let me ask you a few questions.

  1. Do you save your last $1 or do you spend your last $1? I’m talking about those very last four quarters you have to your name. What do you do with them?
  2. Do you pay your power bill or go shopping with that power bill money?
  3. Do you write a bad check to one of your bill collectors and say a quick prayer that it won’t go through until your paycheck arrives in your account?
  4. Do you have any savings at all?
  5. If someone asked you why you’re broke, what would be your reply?

Got your juices flowing? Good.

You being here tells me enough. Especially if you answered yes to 4 out of 5 above.  It tells me you’re broke and you want to know why (or you could be here or entertainment purposes too and you’re totally welcome here, btw). And see, that’s the problem right there. You’re broke and you want me to tell you why you’re broke.

Stick with me, I’ll explain.

Why are you broke?

Now back to question five from above, if someone asked you why you’re broke, would your answer be one of the following:

“I don’t make enough.”

“I’m poor.”

“I came from nothing.”

“It’s not God’s will for me to be rich.”

“I don’t know.”

I’ve heard all the answers above. I’ve even claimed once or twice in my life that I didn’t make enough money. Just lying to myself and other people like it was nothing. Truthfully, the majority of us have broken mindsets and have believed certain money lies our entire lives. Fortunately, I’ve been delivered and if you’re still inflicted with these beliefs, my hope is after reading this you will be delivered too. Or at least on your way to deliverance.

The real reason you’re broke

See the real reason you’re broke isn’t because of any of the tired excuses above. The real reason you’re broke is because you don’t do what you say you want to do. You say you want to save money, but you don’t. You say you want to be debt free, but you’re dodging bill collectors. You say, you say, you say…

I came to this conclusion long before reading, You’re Broke Because You Want to Be by Larry Winget. See, I didn’t want to make this post about a review of this particular book because I know many would skip right on past it (and some of you  are ready to hit the back button right now, but stay a little longer). No one wants to hear they are broke and it’s their own fault. I know I wouldn’t if I was still claiming broke.

But let Larry tell it, you’re broke and it’s because you want to be? Trust me, if I’d saw the title of this book around eight years ago, I would have Kanye shrugged my way right on past it. However, that was then and this is now. Curiosity got the best of me and I had to hear what this man was talking about especially if that means it could help one of you. I’ve rambled enough, let me get into the meat of what this book is about and get on with my point.

You’re broke because you want to be

There is one quote from this novel you need to hear. Once you hear it you need to keep ingrained in some of your membranes. Write it on the mirror. Carry it in your purse. I don’t care, just don’t forget it. It will help you.

“What you think about, talk about, and get off your ass and do something about comes about.”

Let me tell you why this quote was so profound to me. I’ve been dreaming of being free of my student loan debt since the day I got that first bill from Great Lakes way back yonder. And all I did was dream. Almost ten years of dreaming and my balance sat there and continued to mock my behind until I decided it was time for me to actually get it done.

Thinking about paying the bills don’t pay the bills. Talking about paying the bills don’t pay the bills. It’s you getting off of that arse of yours and clicking payment or running your monthly bill errands that actually pays the bills.

Larry’s logic on why you’re broke because you want to be (and my big fat co-sign)

If such logic applies to bill payments and getting myself out of student loan debt, you’d better bet your last dollar the same logic applies to being broke. Why does it apply? Because, those who want to get ahead, they get ahead. They make a plan, they save their money, they hustle their way out of debt and they make ish happen.

It’s all in the mindset. If you’re about your business with little income and make a habit of paying bills on time, saving, and living within your means, you will certainly do the same thing if you’re making more money. If you’re broke and you’re not trying to pay your bills on time, save more, or cut your expenses, earning more money ain’t going to “fix” you. You’re still going to be broke and it’s simply because you have made the choice to stay that way.

“You can’t get ahead until you are willing to give up the things that are keeping you broke.”

According to Larry, not having money isn’t your problem. Your lack of money comes from the result of several other problems like your attitude, sense of entitlement, laziness, lack of discipline, and thinking. Basically, your priorities are jacked up and the value you put on things will keep you broke.

If you had more money, you certainly wouldn’t keep it long because of all these other problems that you need to deal with. More money is not always the solution. Larry describes this best, if you’re a jackass without money, you  would be a jackass with money – and I’m putting it nicely. He isn’t as kind. Bottom line, money doesn’t change the person, it just brings more attention to what values were already there.

So should you read it?

Well, let’s see…

Are you broke?  Are you broke because you want to be or because you never do what you say you want to do?

Then yes, you might want to cop one of these at your earliest convenience if you’re looking for a change. If being broke doesn’t apply to you, at the very least you’ll be entertained by the gall this guy has to talk to folks the way he does. It’s pretty interesting to say the least.

So if you’re broke and plan to read this, I will caution you. You may very well get your feelings hurt because Winget does not bite his tongue. He straight up calls you out on everything and will have you in your feelings before you even get to chapter one. But my guess is, if you’re broke and you’re tired of being broke, you won’t care. You’ll take the strong verbal reprimands he delivers and you’ll do the work he tells you to do.

If you can handle that aspect of this book and you’re willing to do the work, 👊 fist bumps 👊. I’m proud of you.

The fact you’ve lasted this long tells me you’re seriously ready to get your finances out of jacked up mode and on the course towards that ballin future you’re always talking about. Go ahead and get your copy of You’re Broke Because You Want to Be. Then do the work and make the changes. Don’t believe it’s that simple? Then you’ve proven Larry’s point and solidified my co-sign (and that’s unfortunate). 😉

Have any of you already read You’re Broke Because You Want to Be? What did you learn from it?  If not, let’s hear your point of view…. why do you think people are “broke”?


Let's explore the real reason you're broke., and it's not what you're probably thinking it is either!

*Part of Financially Savvy Saturdays on brokeGIRLrich, Disease Called Debt and I Am the Future Me

Latoya Scott
CFEI/Social Entrepreneur
Latoya Scott is a Certified Financial Education Instructor and personal finance writer with a mission to help millennials learn how to stop living paycheck to paycheck so they can become financially carefree.

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  • Aliyyah @RichAndHappyBlog May 23, 2016 at 12:28 pm

    I think some people are “broke” because they have become comfortable with just getting by or struggling and they associate themselves with people who are just as comfortable.

    One of the best things blogging has done for me is connect me with people who are hustlers and motivate me to do more.
    Aliyyah @RichAndHappyBlog recently posted…How An Increase In Salary Made Me HappierMy Profile

    • Latoya S. May 23, 2016 at 1:57 pm

      This is true. Those who want better have to surround themselves with likeminded individuals. I’m fortunate enough to have a few people like that in my life in addition to the blogging community.
      Latoya S. recently posted…The Real Reason You’re BrokeMy Profile

  • Stefan - The Millennial Budget May 23, 2016 at 2:28 pm

    Some people are broke because their income may be too low to afford basic necessities which is understandable. Then there are people who make 6 figures a year and are broke because they rather splurge their money than save. Blogging has opened my eyes up to Financial Freedom and hopefully it is something I will carry through my life.
    Stefan – The Millennial Budget recently posted…8 Ways to Make Your Money Work for You!My Profile

  • Latoya May 23, 2016 at 2:37 pm

    I actually consider those who are unable to afford basic necessities as being poor. I could seriously write a whole post on why I consider those classifications to be different, but for the most part it’s because I think being broke is a mindset and a choice. Those who can’t afford to put a roof over their head don’t have enough money to do so. Those who are “broke” have the money, they just choose to spend it in a way that isn’t financially prudent.
    Latoya recently posted…The Real Reason You’re BrokeMy Profile

  • Apathy Ends May 24, 2016 at 12:19 am

    I have not read this particular book, but I will put it on my ever growing list – from your post I like his attitude 🙂

    Most people are broke by choice, their habits and decisions push their money out the door in inefficient ways
    Apathy Ends recently posted…Easy Weekend DIY ProjectsMy Profile

    • Latoya S. May 24, 2016 at 11:22 am

      Hope you enjoy it!

  • Chonce May 24, 2016 at 12:36 pm

    Your financial success relies heavily on your mindset and I don’t believe many people understand that. It’s a hard concept to grasp but once you get it, you’ll have a whole new outlook on the world and your finances. I hate when people say they’re broke because they don’t earn enough. My follow up question is: “What will you do with your money if you earned more?” Their answer usually contributes to their broke mindset and lifestyle.
    Chonce recently posted…Wedding Budget Review + PicturesMy Profile

    • Latoya S. May 24, 2016 at 4:34 pm

      Hi Chonce,

      Unfortunately, I’ve found the same to be true when I follow-up with individuals who claim their broke. That’s often the first thing I get at when someone asks how can they get themselves together financially. I ask, “What would you do with more money?” and depending on their answer I’ll know everything I need to know on whether I should even give advice.
      Latoya S. recently posted…The Real Reason You’re BrokeMy Profile

  • Colin Ashby May 24, 2016 at 2:45 pm

    Great post! I imagine this post could ignite some retaliations. People should know there is a difference between being broke and being poor.

    In order to “break broke” a person HAS to change their mindset. They have to take time and really see what they want out of life and what their goals are and go from there.

    A person should ask themselves, “Okay what would be my ideal amount of income? Then see what the gap between their ideal income and their current income is. Start figuring out ways to close the gap!
    Colin Ashby recently posted…My Commencement Address to College GraduatesMy Profile

    • Latoya S. May 24, 2016 at 4:35 pm

      Hi, Colin!

      I like that a lot, that’s a great way to look at things. Figure out what you want and how much you have and figure out a way to close the gap! Excellent advice:)
      Latoya S. recently posted…The Real Reason You’re BrokeMy Profile

  • Sarah Li Cain May 26, 2016 at 12:41 am

    I AM TOTALLY SCREAMING YES! I have to overcome this broke mentality too, more so now that I’m making such a big move.

    We are ALL abundant. I was lying on the floor yesterday with my son as he was drinking his milk, and I was reminded how we have so much. He’s healthy, happy, and I cannot ask for more.

    • Latoya Scott May 28, 2016 at 12:56 pm

      Hey, Sarah! This is so true. There is abundance all around us:)

  • Prudence Debtfree May 27, 2016 at 11:37 pm

    I like “tell-it-like-it-is” writers. Dave Ramsey is that way, and I personally know 2 people who didn’t want to finish reading his book because they found him “too hard”. His words were actually refreshing for me. If it’s my fault/ responsibility, it’s within my power to do something about it. If it’s something that has happened TO me, I have no power to change it. Sounds like Larry Winget offers people a chance to have the perspective of both humility and the power to change.
    Prudence Debtfree recently posted…Kay the BF Minimalist: Open to Advice on Managing InheritanceMy Profile

    • Latoya Scott May 28, 2016 at 1:03 pm

      I agree. I feel like being coddled about money is contributing to the financial situation of many. People don’t want to get their feelings hurt and don’t want to own up to their mistakes because it’s hard to do. I’ve had to go through it so I can say that; however, going through it opened my eyes and helped me change my mindset about money for the better.

  • Catherine Alford May 28, 2016 at 2:31 pm

    I love this post! I know there are people who are truly struggling, but most people (I’d say) are really “broke” because of the reasons you outline.
    Catherine Alford recently posted…How to Make All Your Dreams for Your Family Come TrueMy Profile

  • Lola August 25, 2016 at 1:48 pm

    I completely agree. A few months back, I had to admit to myself that my mindset was what was keeping me broke. I’ve always had a somewhat decent income, but still struggle to get ahead and save. Any tax return I ever got would be gone in a couple weeks. I did a lot of thinking and research and came to the conclusion that my past relationships (i.e, I had to “hide” money from my husband when I was married or he would spend it all) as well as my current one with my teen child. Out of a feeling of guilt for working when she was young combined with the overall feeling we were “poor”, I struggled to help her keep up with name brand clothing labels, toys, trips etc that her wealthier peers had. It’s going to be quite difficult as my my child is extremely headstrong and will make my life torture, but I have to say no to those things that aren’t necessities-at least until we get ahead. It’s a hard pill to swallow-knowing I’m my own worst enemy. But it’s true.

    • Latoya Scott August 25, 2016 at 2:19 pm

      Hi, Lola! Thanks so much for sharing your story with us. I know it can be difficult when kids have to get used to something, but a little financial literacy for her now can go a long way in helping make her financial outlook brighter. I commend you for realizing the issue and for being willing to put in work to do something about it!