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Let’s Talk About the ‘I’m Broke’ Mindset

Being broke is no laughing matter, and many of us experience it at least once in our lives (sometimes WAY more than that). And despite what many gurus out there say, you can’t simply dream an ‘I’m broke’ situation away.

But dwelling on a dwindling money situation doesn’t help either. In fact, your negative mindset and the repeated ‘I’m broke’ mantra can really hold you back from changing your financial situation.

The ‘I’m broke’ mindset has been something that’s been eating at me all week due to a hastily decided mood, clients with changing situations and student loan payments that need to be made ASAP. 

But I’ve realized that the more I focus on my dwindling money situation, the less motivated I am to get myself out of it. It’s a mindset I need to change RIGHT NOW, and I thought I’d share about it because I can guarantee there’s someone out there that feels the same way.

So let’s talk about how to deal with your ‘I’m broke’ mindset so you can get back on track and change that situation.

Yes, I’m broke

Let’s be honest here, being broke is not a mindset. It’s a financial situation. Being broke means you have nothing or next-to-that sitting in your bank account. It might mean having thousands or tens of thousands of dollars in debt on credit cards, student loans or lines of credit.

It’s not a great situation to be in. It’s not a situation anyone dreams of being in. But it exists as a reality for many of us (myself included from time-to-time). And the negative mindset associated with it can really kill your motivation, productivity and overall ability to change your situation.

So while it’s important to understand your limitations (i.e. you can’t buy that adorable couch you want or you might have to eat KD for the next few weeks because it’s on sale for a dollar a pop at Safeway) and accept your situation, you need to take special care with the understanding that it’s a current situation. Not your overall lifestyle.

Otherwise… it might become one.

But being broke is a temporary situation, not a lifestyle

It’s easy to become overwhelmed with your situation and just accept it as is. To throw in the towel and succumb to the idea that you’ll be stuck living paycheck-to-paycheck for the foreseeable future. But accepting it can truthfully become a reality. 

This is going to sound a little flimsy to a lot of people—trust me, I’ve felt this way for a LONG time about mindsets—but you need to start reminding yourself that this is a temporary state. 

For me, this starts with telling myself that I’m going to make a sh*t ton of money today. It’s going to happen. I just know it. 

Does it always happen? No. Seriously, not at all. But I when I have a positive mindset I do better work, and the great work that I put out today comes back down the road to give me a hand when I really need it and least expect it.

Personal example time: As a full-time freelancer, I’m always sending out emails to see if I can write for blogs. And just this week, two of those emails that I sent out in April—you heard that right, APRIL—came back to me with offers. While these offers might only cover $500 or so a month, that’s WAY more than my entire student loan payment.

This happens to me more than I should. I’ll have bad, anxiety-filled weeks thinking about how I have no idea how my bills will be paid, then one morning I decide enough, I kick myself into a positive mindset, and low and behold, I have a KILLER week. It’s a wonder why I forget this every time I’m feeling down.

Your mindset matters.

So, stop acting like you’re broke

I am most certainly not talking about heading out and flashing around your credit card like you’re a thousandaire. Honestly, I think people take the “act like what you want to be” too far with all of the coaching positively out there.

But stop saying ‘I’m broke’ to anyone who will listen. Or, more importantly, stop telling yourself. Branding yourself constantly with the ‘I’m broke’ statement is a quick-and-easy way to bestow that situation on you in a more permanent matter. 

Yes, it exists. No, it doesn’t have to in the future.

A crash course in changing your ‘I’m broke’ mindset

I’m a firm believer in the fact that your mindset needs to change in the morning to positively affect your day. The days that I wake up and tell myself that I’m broke as a joke are the days that I find unproductive, riddled with anxiety and full of distraction. 

So, your mindset starts the moment you wake up. When you tell yourself “I’m going to make a sh*t ton of money today” … I won’t tell anyone you swore ?. 

I know this sounds silly, I know you’re sitting there doubting my methods. But try this simple, tiny little mantra every morning for a week and see how you feel. If you want to take it an extra step, say “I’m going to make a sh*t ton of money today” to yourself everytime you start to think about your crappy financial situation.

P.S. you can do this as a whisper or in your head if you’re worried about your coworkers think you’re a nutcase!

Need to master the mindset of wealth?

I’ve always felt that changing your mindset to be a flimsy way to change your life, financial situation or really anything. That is, until I read You Are A Badass At Making Money by Jen Sincero—it changed my life. 

Something about how Sincero approaches the reality of a crappy money mindset just spoke to me when I read it, and I haven’t looked back. You can get a paperback copy or listen to it as an audiobook.

BUT if you’re sitting there thinking ‘I’m broke’ please go to your local library and rent it… that’s how I read it!

Try my mindset mantra out and tell me how it works. Or, if you have your own, share it below in the comments!

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Tae H.

Tae H.

Tae loves all things Disney, pugs and entrepreneurship. She is a finance and travel writer and the founder of The Single Girl's Guide to Real Adulting. Naturally, she is single for life. She loves to write about anything that she thinks might help people live their best life on a reasonable budget. You can also catch her weekly on The Lady Dicks Podcast.

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