Let’s not beat around the bush, life can be hard. When you are short of a bob or two it can be very hard. Being short of money is no fun at all.
For many, they live in a perpetual cycle of ‘not being paid enough’ yet ‘having to pay out on bills which are too expensive’.
But many people do not realise, the things they do or don’t do actually compounds the problem. They are making their money situations worse for themselves.
Below is a list of 8 things which skint people generally do not do.
Do you do any of these?
If you are not doing any or all of the following 8 reasons then you yourself could be making your money problems a lot worse. And that is the last thing you need.
Read the list and check off the ones that you don’t do, then start to change that by implementing them.
1 You Don’t Budget
A budget is a serious tool. It is a money map, it tells you how much you have, how much you need, how much you have coming in and how much you have going out each month.
Some people budget weekly and even daily. They like to know what exactly they are doing with their money right down to the last penny.
If you don’t know how much you have coming in each month and how much is going out then how do you expect to keep on top of your finances?
You cannot complain that you never get out of your overdraft if you are not keeping tabs on the things you are spending your money on.
People who do not budget waste a lot of money on non-essential spending like frequent trips to coffee houses or eating out regularly. And that can really have a negative effect on people’s long term financial situations, not just their situation today.
Not budgeting is foolish. For all you know you could be haemorrhaging money all over the place on all kinds of crap. That is not good.
Some people say that those who do not budget are lazy and living in wilful ignorance. Maybe, but I think people are more scared. Scared to face the reality they are living, scared to own up to the problem they are making worse.
Budgeting should be empowering and it really can be. It can be the thing that really makes or breaks your financial worries.
Knowledge is power as they say. And there is nothing more powerful than knowing everything about your own finances. No matter how painful it might be at first.
What can you do?
Get a notepad and pen, sit at a table, turn off all distractions such as the TV and write down everything, and I do mean everything, that you have coming and going out.
Write a second list of all of the non-essential items which you have bought over the last month or two such as snacks, coffees, alcohol, cigarettes, takeaway meals, clothes etc. Build up the best picture of your spending habits and create a budget that you can follow.
Follow that budget to the letter!
2 You Don’t Save Money
To control your finances then you are going to HAVE to save money. I am not necessarily talking about putting money aside into a savings account. If you can then do so.
I am referring more to not spending money you can ill afford on non-essential items and either use it better to pay off more important things like debts or put it aside for the future.
Many debts are created when people buy silly things. Things that they want but do not need or cannot afford at that time.
Big TVs and cars can put people under as well as things like Christmas.
Christmas you might not be able to avoid but you can make it a cheaper affair. Cars and TVs on the other hand, you can choose what you buy and when.
The problem is, everyone wants a chocolate frog.
This is a story I once heard about a child who had a poorly ear, he needed to take medication to make it better.
He knew that the medication would make him feel better, he hated feeling poorly and his parents had explained several times how the medicine would make him better.
But, when it was time to take his medicine the child wanted a chocolate frog. He didn’t want to take the yucky awful tasting medication, instead he just simply wanted a tasty sweet chocolate frog.
He would rather keep himself poorly – which he hated – so that he could enjoy a short burst of pleasure.
It is illogical, it is a failing, a self destructive emotional craving.
That is a story of virtually all humans.
Saving is painful, it is the medication.
Spending is pleasure, it is the chocolate frog.
In reality, no one wants to be poorly longer than they have to but… we do love those sweet tasty chocolate fixes though don’t we?
Spending money what you don’t have or money which could be used better elsewhere is very damaging. It can really mess up your future and keep you in debt for longer.
To help you figure out where you can save money and change your financial situation read How Non Essential Spending Is The Death To Dreams And Why You Need To Become Mindful Of How You Use Your Money.
What can you do?
To prevent yourself suffering more you will need to save money and that will mean not ‘treating yourself’ to things you do not need. Or at least not as much.
Some people are constantly treating themselves to nights out, weekends away in a hotel, going to gigs, ordering takeaway food, buying designer clothes or shoes, bottles of wine etc. The list of treats is endless.
These are not essential items, they are not necessary, they are luxuries. Say this to yourself everyday, these are not essential items, they are luxuries. Say it to yourself while you are shopping and looking at all the nice pretty shiny blingy things on the shelves.
Whenever you are about to buy anything and you know that you are skint ask yourself one question: do I really need this? Ask it, think about it, answer yourself then ask it again. If you haven’t put the item back then you will suffer… again.
When you buy something you want but don’t actually need, any happiness that you feel from that purchase will be short lived. The initial happy buzz will turn to buyers remorse and possible feelings of depression, guilt and failure. Especially if you couldn’t afford the item in the first place.
There is no happy buzz when you are constantly skint. So stop making yourself skint and save money.
3 You Never Ask For Help Or Advice About Your Debts
If you have debts then you are not alone, the UK is now facing a serious debt crisis. The average UK household debt stands at around £15,400 with money being owed to banks, credit card companies and other lenders.
A lot of debt can be attributed to silly things like buying non-essential luxury items like TVs and holidays but not all debts are the fault of the person.
Sometimes life throws you a curveball. Serious illness, death of a family member or losing a job can very easily throw a person into a spiralling debt problem.
Debt, is a prison. It can be very hard to escape from.
Once a person is riding the spiralling debt rollercoaster it is very hard to stop it, let alone reverse it. During this period people can become very low. Anxiety and depression can set in and they can be very devastating.
Trying to be calm minded and motivated to earn money is near impossible when you are in debt with depression and anxiety.
A person with debts is advised to find help. Even if it is just talking to someone for half an hour once a month to ease anxiety and give useful money advice. Anything is better than nothing.
Don’t wallow in self pity, feeling sorry for yourself is not going to help. Suffering in silence and isolating yourself from people will only make the matter worse. Remember a problem shared is a problem solved.
A second pair of eyes looking in from the outside can often see solutions to problems the person engulfed by the situation cannot see.
A second person can offer up ideas on how to save extra money and maybe also earn some extra pounds without overwhelming yourself and wearing yourself out.
Seeking advice and help is not a bad thing. We live in a society where we idolise the self made entrepreneur or the person who pulled up his socks, dug deep and pulled himself from the mire with true grit and determination. We see this as Alpha behaviour and anything less is bad.
Well that simply is not true, it is the exception to the rule, it is in fact very rare. You should not compare yourself to others and only focus on you and your situation. You may be proud but as the other popular saying goes… pride goes before a fall.
What can you do?
Talk to someone, anyone, a close trusted friend or family member or for more advanced and impartial non-judgmental advice talk to a debt expert and counsellor.
Get advice quick, talk to someone as soon as the shit is starting to hit the fan. There is no reward for going it alone. Look online for debt help and debt help charities like StepChange.
4 You Don’t Switch
Humans generally like to take the easy route. A lot of people avoid hard work or what they perceive as hard work and one thing which is often perceived as hard work but could in fact save you A LOT of money is switching providers.
People who are skint most of the time or in a lot of debt generally do not switch around looking for the best deals.
It is crazy when you actually stop and think about it, people say they want to save money yet when it comes to sitting down to look into finding cheaper providers, having to make the phone calls or fill out forms online people opt to watch TV or scroll through social media instead.
In their minds, making phone calls, filling out forms or doing research takes time. But what could be just mere minutes or at tops a couple of hours work could actually leave you several hundred pounds better off.
Surely that is a good thing right?
Energy providers are all battling to get customers and so they offer up deals and cheaper tariffs to entice people in. A simple phone call is all that is needed to swap from one company to another and then you are back to saving money.
Why stop at energy providers?
Why not switch insurance companies too. They too are fighting for customers and many will try and beat your existing deal. From house insurance, car insurance to travel insurance. They all want your money and they will try and out beat each other.
These companies do not always reward you for your loyalty. Your money is your main concern, not keeping them happy. Big corporations have become so big that the personal touch and loyalty gratitude is a thing of the past. If you void on an insurance or miss a payment they won’t give a stuff whether you have been with them for the last twelve years or not.
It’s your money and you need to protect it and make the most of it.
What can you do?
Shop around, put the effort in and get the best deal you can. Why spend more than you have to on something that hopefully you will never have to use?
The internet is a great way to research deals fast. Go to the companies websites direct as you may get a better deal than going through the comparison websites. Comparison websites have to make a commision and so sometimes their deals are no better than going direct.
But it would be prudent to do both, check the company websites and the comparison websites to find the best and cheapest deal you can get.
5 You Don’t Card Hop
Credit cards can be some of the biggest debts you are likely to have. It is so easy to ‘pop it’ on the credit card. Gifts, clothing, holidays, food and even rent, people will put anything and everything on a credit card.
This is exactly what credit cards want you to do. The bigger debt you make the more you will pay back in interest. They offer you a small credit at first but once you start to use a card and they see you making regular payments that credit will increase… often a lot.
They want you to keep buying with your card. The more you buy the more interest you will accrue meaning they make more money out of you. Credit card debts can be crippling. Interest payments make up a hefty chunk of the repayment each month.
On paper it looks like you owe them £5,000 but with the interest on top you could be looking to pay back £7,000 or more. If you keep spending then that debt will increase and if you repeatedly miss any payments then they may ask you to pay the whole amount back in full.
People who are continually skint generally hammer their credit cards and do not do what is called credit card hopping, or credit card juggling. Very often chronic debtors are so skint they are unable to apply for new credit cards or if they were accepted they would have a very high APR repayment interest rate.
There is a way to use credit cards and pay back the money without paying interest. Or at least a lot of interest.
Many credit cards offer 0% interest to new customers on balance transfers. You simply pay off the balance over a set time. Usually the minimum payment is not enough to pay off the balance within that 0% time frame.
They are hoping that you will either make extra purchases, carry on using the card after the 0% interest rate period has ended or default on the repayments. You will pay interest on all new purchases or on any remaining balance after that time period has ended.
It is important that before the 0% time period has elapsed you find another 0% interest on balance transfers deal and hop cards. Keep doing this until the debt is cleared and you have not paid out a lot in interest. Hopefully none.
That £5,000 debt would have stayed at £5,000.
Again this is one of those jobs which seems a time consuming pain in the arse, but it really is not. What may take you an hour or two at the most only needs to be done once every 6 -12 months and can save you thousands!
What can you do?
If your credit card spending is spiralling then you need to take action.
Keep a close eye on all of your credit card spending. Monitor it weekly and monthly. When it is getting out of hand, stop using it.
Look for other credit card deals focusing on those that offer a 0% interest on balance transfer deals. Look for those which have the longest deal offer and transfer your balance over.
Take note of the date when the 0% period is coming to an end. Before that time elapses look for another deal and swap cards. Transfer the old balance to the new card offering 0% on balance transfers.
Keep paying that balance off regularly. Increase the repayments if you can afford it to pay off the balance faster and to avoid accidentally slipping into the interest paying period.
6 You Don’t Invest
Ok, I can hear you saying, ‘If I am skint, how can I invest in anything?’ Which is a fair comment. However if I told you that both the billionaires Warren Buffet and Roman Abramovich were once in your position, working in jobs they didn’t enjoy, living between payday to payday.
They are now billionaires with more money than they could possible spend. The big difference between them and people who are constantly skint is their priorities and desire to leave being poor behind.
Investing is not just for the rich, investing is what made ordinary people rich.
Warren Buffet and Roman Abramovich made sure that all of their immediate bills such as living costs were met, they avoided a lot of unnecessary non-essential spending and invested any spare pennies they had.
They knew that their finances were a mere reflection of their previous spending habits. If one month they spent money which they did not have they knew that they would be extremely skint the following month. And so on and so forth.
If however they kept investing their money on things which were showing signs of increasing their value in the future then what they invest this month would be worth more next month. In several months time they could sell off their investments and walk away with a healthier bank balance.
This is how Roman Abramovich acquired the oil company that he started working for. He bought shares in it until he became the major shareholder.
Warren Buffet refused to buy a car on HP like his friends as he saw no logic in spending his hard earned money on a thing which was going to continually take up a large chunk of his money each month.
As well as the high HP repayments, the car had running costs like fuel and maintenance plus it would depreciate in value every time it was used.
Every day a car goes down in value whether it is used or not. Warren’s friends wanted the coolest looking girl impressing cars they could afford. They wanted to look cool and they wanted that fun experience but in the long run it cost them dearly.
Warren on the other hand, no longer has any day to day financial issues because he invested whatever spare cash he had on things that increased in value.
Investing isn’t just about buying shares in growing companies. People bought crypto-currencies like bitcoin and when the word about them got out, more and more people started to buy them. The price went up and some people sold off what they owned and made a nice tidy packet.
You can also invest in products to sell. There are people who search online or at local car boot sales and at charity shops for items they think are priced cheap which they could sell for a higher price making a nice decent profit. This is called reselling and it is basically what all retail is.
One man made a small killing by buying up a lot of energy saving light bulbs that a large supermarket chain was offering as a 2 for 1 offer. He more than doubled his money when he sold them separately on eBay to people who didn’t know about the offer or simply couldn’t get to the supermarket.
EBay is a great platform for making money from a side business. Read this post 5 Reasons Why eBay Is The King Of The Side Hustles to learn more.
Shops buy stock from the suppliers at a set price and then they markup the items with a price that they wish to sell it for. A price they will make a profit from.
Depending on what the item is, the demand for it and the availability, markup on products for resale can range from 50% to… well whatever some people are willing to pay.
If you had a spare £2 sat lonely in the bottom of your pocket and you saw an item that you knew people were willing to pay £20 for it, and you had the opportunity to buy it for £2, would you? If you knew where to sell it for an £18 profit would you?
That is basic retail and you can do that.
What can you do?
If you find that you have some spare cash at the end of each month, you might want to consider investing it. You can either look into buying stocks and shares or you can invest in items to sell which you can make a profit on.
Before buying shares you should always do plenty of research or find one or two mentors who that you can learn from. There is nothing more powerful than borrowing the information of someone who specialises in that field. Knowledge is power… even if you had to buy that information.
If reselling is your preferred option then the next time you are out shopping pop into the local charity shops and look for fantastic bargains which you think other people may buy off you on eBay, Amazon or Facebook for a profit.
Keep your eyes peeled in supermarkets and other stores for discounted deals and offers. Just because ASDA or Tesco are doing a 2 for 1 offer doesn’t mean that everyone knows about it.
7 You Don’t Take Advantage Of Money Making Opportunities
There are hundreds if not thousands of ways to make money these days. Many of them can be done from the comfort of your home while snuggled up on your sofa in your pyjamas playing on your mobile phone.
Others may require a larger laptop at a desk and others will have you doing something more physical. There are so many great ways and opportunities to make money today that it is actually staggering. Many of them require no or very little upfront investment. Here are 5 ways to make money online with little or no investment.
We live in the greatest time ever known to man. We are connected to the rest of the world in ways we simply couldn’t imagine 20 or so years ago.
We have access to the internet which allows us to communicate with people all around the world and more importantly, sell products and services to them.
For some strange reason people make up excuses as to why they are skint or cannot make money.
Claiming that they are…
“I can’t do it.”
“I don’t know how to.”
“It won’t work for me.”
Etc etc etc.
It has never been easier to make money these days. Seriously!
You can even make money when you buy products. Sites like TopCashBack and Quidco offer you the opportunity to make money every time you make a purchase.
There are multiple companies which will pay people to answer surveys or even watch adverts. Tesco Mobile will offer its customers a cheaper monthly mobile tariff if they will watch adverts every time they turn on their phone.
It’s not quite making money but it is saving money, and what do you do? Put the phone down and put the kettle on while the adverts play. They hope you are watching the adverts but you don’t really need to.
With platforms like eBay, Etsy, Gumtree, Shpock and even Facebook people can make money reselling old items or things that they have bought cheap for resale.
If you cannot offer a service like writing or being an online virtual assistant, not good at spotting bargains to resell or don’t want to go and do anything physical like dog walking then maybe you can create something to sell from other items.
The guy who hand painted these caps made an extra £10,000 from his hand painted caps and shoes whilst working a day job. He sourced caps and shoes then hand painted designs onto them.
In the picture below of home made gifts you will see a light made from a log. This light was made by hollowing out a log found in a small wood to which a cheap strip light bought from B&Q was added. Not the easiest thing to make without tools but they would sell for a cracking price.
The meditation chair was made from redundant ply wood discs sourced from a company that made large speakers. The discs were being thrown out. The hand made and hand painted meditation chair sold for £30.
The worry monster cuddly toy was made from old clothing and material. Very easy to do by anyone who knows how to do basic sewing.
There are the other money making opportunities which cost money to buy like home study courses or weekend seminars but are worth it in the long run. Sports trading is huge at the moment with it being TAX FREE profits. There are people who make thousands each month using betting exchanges like BetFair.
These are not bookmakers, they don’t just offer you a back bet against their lay bet. You can make both back bets and lay bets with other people.
You are not betting against the bookie. BetFair take a commision from all transactions, they are just a middleman platform. All bets are with other gamblers and this gives you the opportunity to become a sports trader as opposed to being a gambler.
Sports traders do not just chose a team or a result and wait for the sport to finish, that’s is gambling. Sports traders do research and chose a possible short time outcome then place bets which they cash out of when they have earned enough or a specific time has elapsed.
I know people make a lot of money using sports trading, not only from my own research and experience but I have personally met and spent time with several people who do it regularly.
What can you do?
Look around you for opportunities to make money.
Think long and hard at what you think you can do for extra money.
Is there a service you can offer in exchange for money?
Is there something you can make to sell?
Is there something online you can utilise?
What would you like to do or could do easily to generate an extra income?
Is there a course or product that you like the look of which could teach you how to make money doing something like sports trading, blogging, becoming a self published author, forex trading?
To earn more money you will need to take action, opportunities and methods surround us everyday. It is just a case of people becoming brave and taking action.
Nothing ventured nothing gained as the saying goes.
If you want to have more money for whatever reason you will need to do something about it and that will require you finding something you think you can do, or would like to do and make a start.
8. You Blame Other People All The Time For Your Misfortunes
This is a big one, something that is rife in today’s society.
People blame other people for their own misfortunes. People do not take responsibility for their own actions especially those who are skint. If you are skint then you might want to take a look at your own opinions and behaviours.
Skint people will blame anyone and everyone as to why they are skint or cannot get what they want from life. No one is exempt from their blame. The government, individual politicians, foreigners, employers, the council, the TAX office (To be fair these buggers don’t help though 🙂 ), the less fortunate and vulnerable, other cultures, martians and plutonians.
Everyone is the blame for skint people being skint… apart from the skint person themselves.
Now we at SmarterCash are not going to say that life isn’t hard and that making money is always easy, far from it. We have had our personal tragedies and problems to deal with over the years. We have had issues with debts and had to work hard doing frustrating day jobs, having to spend time with people we don’t identify with just to prevent ourselves going under.
We know that life is hard but playing the blame game does not help anyone. Certainly not the person who is skint. All that blaming others will do is to keep reinforcing the belief that somehow other people are responsible for your financial status.
It simply is not true.
You are the one who makes your decisions. You decided to buy things you cannot afford or to not learn the skills which would help you to earn a better wage. It was you who decided to spend your spare time watching TV and doing recreational fun things instead of running a side business.
You are responsible for what you earn, what you spend and what you save.
You are responsible for the things you do, the things you can do and the things you can learn to do.
You are the only one who can earn your money, save your money and manage your money.
It’s your money. It’s your life. You are responsible and you are in control of it.
What can you do?
Stop blaming other people and take responsibility of your actions. That means everything that you say and do. Including everything you do with your money.
Cultivate a mindset where you spend less time blaming other people for your woes and focus on changing your own life for the better. Forget the others, it is your life.
If you need more money, find a way to do it. Work at it and simply ignore others. Your life and your financial stability is your responsibility and that means you are responsible for your results.
Only you can take the actions which end with the desired results. You, you and YOU,
No one else can live your life and no one else can earn your money for you.
If you want to learn how to make money, save money and generally manage your money better as well as join a growing community of fellow Smashers with the opportunity to enter competitions and challenges with prizes then join the SmarterCash forum here: (Coming Soon)