Normally, I would make this post a play on words and remind you that if you have friends, family, good health or even one reason to smile you certainly aren’t broke. But unfortunately, I know that finances are big part of everyone’s life. No matter what you do there a times when there never seems to be enough of it. So while the cheesy quotes and heart warming tidbits might be great for showing you why you are rich in life, the below are actual accountable examples for the logics and realists out theres who need reassurance that their idea of broke is simply in their heads.
- You have a savings account.
It sounds minor, but I recently found out that many people aren’t able to open a savings account. Some don’t have one because they owe a bank so they aren’t allowed to open one. Meanwhile others just can’t afford to save so they figure why bother opening an account? Regardless, if you even have a savings account realize you are a step above the rest.
2. You have money in that account
If you can take it a step further and say that you have some funds in said account you are definitely not as broke as you think you are. There was a point in time when I was continuously draining my saving accounts to pay bills, fix the car, etc. If you have any money in your savings account and are able to keep it there you are in good shape.
3. Retirement is a thought and planning is in motion
For those who are broke, the idea of not working (even if later on in life) is not an option, yet alone a thought. However, if you’ve begun thinking about retirement and have a plan in motion to get there that means there is hope and your “brokeness” is simply all in your head.
4. You have something banks or debt collectors can take from you.
It sounds crazy, but hear me out. No one ever wants to owe banks or debt collectors because you’re still paying something off. The thought of the bank coming to take your precious items is enough to lose sleep over. But did you ever think that the fact you have something that can be taken puts you in a different category? It means you have an asset. Whether it’s the car, your home, or your wages, you have something worth taking. Of course, you never want it to come to that, but be proud that you something of value.
5. You give to a cause you believe in
Whether it’s a monetary donation monthly or annually, clothing donation or donation of time, you aren’t broke the way you think you are. Those who are truly broke can’t afford to donate money because they need it get by. They’re unable to donate clothes because they would sell it or donate time because the little free time they have would be spent making more money or resting.
6. An emergency came up and you managed to hustle your way out of it
A few weeks ago, the brakes on the car were shot and I had to make an emergency trip to the doctor as I was feeling ill. A few years ago my husband and I would have forgone fixing the brakes and even going to the doctor because the money simply wasn’t there. This time we were able to handle these emergencies without even batting an eye. Whether you had to get creative to come up with the money or had it prepared, the fact that you were able to take care of the situation shows your financial status is better than you presumed. A broke version of you may have just ignored it and hoped it go away on it’s own.
7. Some aspect of your life is automated
If you are able to automate your savings, bill payment or monthly IRA contribution you are in a good place. Automations means you don’t go into panic mode wondering if there is enough money in the account before that automatic withdrawal hits.
8. You’ve invested in yourself
Being able to take up a hobby, pay for a class or work on that business venture is a sign that you have at least a little disposable income.
9. Rent or mortgage was paid on time
I don’t know about you but I always dread the first of the month. Paying rent is never fun, especially when you are paying high rent in NJ. But each month I’m proud of myself for being able to pay it on time each month. That wasn’t always the case. There have been times that rent would be paid up to 8 days late. If that was you just last month, but this month you’re right on schedule be happy that you’re not as broke as you thought.
10. A budget has been created and mastered
There are people who don’t have money to budget yet alone mastering one. You’re ability to create a budget and
11. You open the mail
Mail is notorious for bringing nothing but bills. When you’re broke you know this and don’t open the open the mail. After mail is synonymous with bills and bills just means owing someone else money you don’t have because you’re broke. But when you’re not broke you open the mail expecting to see bills and figure out how to deal with it.
12. You avoid the lottery
13. Payments exceeding the minimum are put towards debt
Even if it’s just on one account, your ability to pay even a few dollars more than the minimum is a step up.
14. Paying yourself first has become second nature
Everyone knows that paying yourself first is necessary for achieving wealth and financial security. But that doesn’t stop the sweat from pouring when trying to figure out you’ll pay yourself first and still have money to pay the bills. Once you’ve actually done this without blinking an eye you know you’re broke days are behind you.
15. Full coverage insurance is backing you
Liability insurance is nice and a necessity. But full coverage is king. Nothing is better than being able to afford that extra piece of mind.
16. You can afford to say no (and not feel guilty)
A few years back when my husband lost his job and things were tight, we considered getting jobs working minimum wage at the Mexican Post. Though we said no in the hopes that something came along, we felt so guilty saying no even though we were in dire need of the money. Those days are long now. Opportunities to work always pop up but when saying no is option, you know things can’t possible be as bad as you make it out to be.
17. A $100 setback no longer breaks you
Once upon a time $5 over budget was enough to send you spiraling out of control to skipped meals, unpaid bills and tons of stress. If you can now bump that number up to $100 you should be proud. That means a speeding ticket or unexpected flat tire won’t send you into the poor house. Sure, the idea that anything over $100 was enough to break is upsetting but knowing that it’s increased is proof of progress.
18. Something is always left over after paying bills to carry you over to the next month
You may still be living pay check to pay check but if you have enough for gas, food and other necessities after bills are paid you just might be in pretty good shape.
19. You’re only using 30 percent of your available credit.
First of all, the fact that you even have credit is something to be happy about it. If you’re not even using all of it give yourself a pat on the back even if you’re credit score isn’t where you’d like it be yet.
I know many of these items may not apply to everyone. If you are shaking your head in disappointment because you still haven’t reached some of these milestones, remember that you are a work in progress. This list wasn’t created to make you feel bad, worthless or broke. It was created to help you realize how far you’ve come even if it’s something that seems small. Even if you can identify with only one or two of these examples you are most definitely richer than you think you are. And with each day you’re only getting richer.
Did any of the items hit home to you? What things make you realize that you aren’t as broke as you once thought?
TERRIfic Quip: Being broke is only just inside your head