The Things Broke People Do

Unless you’ve just inherited wealth or have been born into poverty, chances are that your financial state is based on mainly on your habits.

In other words, there are things that wealthy people do, and there are things broke people do. Here are some of the more common broke-people traits.

Broke people:

  1. Buy now, pay later
  2. Spend more than they earn
  3. Usually feel compelled to pick up the tab when out with friends or coworkers
  4. Wouldn’t be caught dead with coupons
  5. Don’t understand why they can’t get ahead
  6. Don’t take responsibility for their own financial state
  7. Have no real idea of where their money went
  8. Forget to pay themselves at all, let alone first
  9. Say things like “Oh but I had to take out that loan, because _____ happened and I didn’t have enough money”

Can you think of any more things broke people do? How many of those things have you done? Sadly, I used to do all but numbers 3 & 4 on a regular basis. And yes, I was broke. On the plus side, I’ve got proof that people can change!


  • The usual excuse for the bad choices is I had no choice. This is true because of the things they do. Savings provide choices. This is the number one way to stop being broke.

  • I agree with you that savings provides choices. It’s not too often that people truly have no choice though — it’s just that often the choices are unpalatable.

  • Anastasia Kinkusic

    Thanks for posting this, Jackie! It helps me see that I’m in the process of changing my habits. The new refrigerator that I wanted to buy on credit I’m “putting off” til I can pay cash. I also have an ancient cell phone that still works – no big rush to go buy a Smart Phone, at least not til I take care of a few bills. Delayed gratification can actually feel good :)

  • Beck

    Hi there. i am a single mom. i bought my home 2003 at a time when things were ok in england. Have worked last twenty years and very hard too. Was told by my previous government employer that they dont make people redundent and that my best bet was to stay where i am. but here i am in 2011 redundant, unemployed, three children, with a noose round my neck (a mortgage)! I bought my council home, with a view to moving out of this depraved area to somewhere more ‘family friendly’!!! Believe me, i had the very best of intensions. I now feel like this was a big, big mistake. feel trapped and dont know what to do for the better. what can i do to improved (or get out) of this situation? Any advice would be greatfully received. THANK YOU!

    • Hm, things can definitely change when you least expect it. I don’t know much of anything about how things work in England, but are you able to make your payments with your existing income? What is the market like there? Would selling your house work and buying or renting something less expensive work, since you feel like the mortgage is dragging you down? What about job prospects? I would start by taking stock of where things stand in reality (as opposed to how you are feeling). I know that for me at least things are often not as bad as I feel once I get the facts. Then once you do have the facts, you can learn more about what your options are.

  • Neil

    They usually invest in other people, versus investing in themselves. Example, broke people spend more time watching sports & entertainment instead of working towards their own futures.