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The 7 Sorriest Excuses for Being Broke

by Shawanda Greene

Lazy, sleeping cat

Photo by William Hawkins

I’ve legitimately been called a lot of things: smart, selfish, compassionate, nappy headed, beautiful, ample bosomed. (I’m just kidding about that last one.) In writing this blog post, I’m slightly concerned that “heartless” will be added to the list.

Humbly do I ask your forgiveness in advance.

Okay. Enough with the pleasantries.

Too often we accept popular beliefs that you can’t get ahead in life because of your circumstances. Such beliefs are only thinly veiled excuses for mediocrity. I’ve gathered the sorriest and most frequently repeated excuses I’ve heard over the years. Perhaps you recognize a few of them. Perhaps you’ve used a few of them.

1. I don’t want to lose my governmental assistance.

So, lemme get this straight. You’re going to remain perpetually impoverished because you’re scared Uncle Sam will stop giving you money? This level of laziness should be a criminal offense punishable with up to 5 years in prison.

Do you really think it’s wise to place your financial well being in the hands of someone who, as of March 7th, 2011, is $14,186,168,803,680.47 in debt? In case you’re having a hard time mentally processing that figure, it’s about $14.2 trillion.

2. Everything is so expensive these days.

No it’s not.

Yeah, yeah, yeah. Food and gas prices are increasing. Such is life. There’s information all over the internets that tell you how to save money on these items. If you haven’t read any of the countless articles on how to reduce the cost of either, then here are two quick and dirty tips:

Food – Waste less.

Gas – Drive less.

Get about the business of brainstorming some ideas to accomplish these objectives.

If you live in New York, Washington, D.C., Boston, Los Angeles, or San Francisco, get accustomed to paying ungodly sums of money for housing. You knew what you were getting into before you moved.

For now, even I gotta cry uncle on health care. That ish is expensiiiiive

3. My ex-husband/ex-wife doesn’t provide any monetary support for the kids.

That’s unfortunate.

No, really. People should honor their obligations.

To the extent you can use the legal system to coax a deadbeat into doing what they ought, then I encourage you to do so. Since you’re the responsible one, it looks like you’ll be shouldering the burden of caring for your family while ensuring the security of your financial future. Congratulations.

4. The economy is bad.

They tell me the unemployment rate is 8.9%. There are areas of the country where it’s better. There are areas where it’s worst.

Wherever you live, I guarantee you can find at least one person who’s working two jobs.

The most important thing to remember here is to distance yourself from those who’ve replaced the greeting “Hello” with “Boy, times are hard.”

5. I don’t make enough money.

First off, you probably do make enough money – just not enough for the life you want or believe you deserve.

Second, if your income doesn’t meet your standards, then it’s up to you to find a way to increase it.

Again, to the internets! Oh, and uh, the library works too. Nothing wrong with reading an actual book.

6. We’re a single income household.

Voluntarily? I’m assuming if you made a conscious decision to drastically reduce your family’s income, it was because one parent functions in a stay-at-home role. That’s cool, but you may be surprised to find that stay-at-home is not synonymous with earn-absolutely-no-money!

7. I have to enable help my daddy, sister, daughter, cousins….

No you don’t.

Ya’ll know I love quotes, so I’ll close by sharing one that expresses perfectly what I’m trying to say.

People are always blaming their circumstances for what they are. I don’t believe in circumstances. The people who get on in this world are the people who get up and look for the circumstances they want, and if they can’t find them, make them. ~ George Bernard Shaw

Well said, Mr. Shaw.

Which excuses have you heard or used for your dismal financial situation?

What are some valid reasons for being broke, and most important, what have you done about it?

Did you enjoy this article?
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{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

Jillian March 8, 2011 at 9:02 PM

Oh my gosh! I love this! Especially the bit about educating yourself by using the internet. As the first college graduate in my family, and the first to get their financial life together, I've essentially "raised" myself by watching what other people do and Google. I figure, after the age of 18, I can be affected by my childhood in my heart, but it's my responsibility to get past in my life. If I don't have a life skill, I need to find out how to develop it. There's so much information out there! Sometimes it's embarrassing and frustrating, but I'd rather learn and put what I learn to use, than just whine about it in poverty.

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TheyCallMeCheap March 9, 2011 at 9:10 PM

Thanks! I'm glad you enjoyed it. You certainly have the right attitude. My dad couldn't even read, and that never stopped him from making a living to support us. If you have the desire and the gumption, there's a way to make it.

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debtfreedivas October 8, 2011 at 9:33 PM

Great points! I think #5 is the most common. Not what you make…it's what you do with what you have.

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Shawanda October 11, 2011 at 6:07 AM

Thanks! Too often people forget the basics. I'm always amazed by people who make good incomes and can barely keep their bills paid.

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L Bee and the Money Tree July 30, 2012 at 11:53 AM

Great post-I’m always loving what you do over here Shawanda!
L Bee and the Money Tree recently posted..Designer Furniture in Your Twenties will screw you.My Profile

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