5 easy ways to become broke (and stay broke)

– a rookie’s guide

Literally spending your life away is definitely no fun. Debt can be crushing in more ways than one. But, if you want to go broke and stay broke, this is your ultimate How To guide.

1. Get a credit card (or two) and buy what you can’t afford

The quickest and easiest way to get in over your head is to get a credit card. Credit cards are like quicksand. Avoid that sinking feeling – and a lifetime of debt – by going for a debit card, rather than a credit Card. That way you’re only spending your own money, not the bank’s, and you won’t pay any interest.

Remember, buy only what you can afford to pay for. If you don’t have the cash in the bank or in your wallet to buy it, you can’t afford it.

2. Get sucked in by ‘Shop Now Pay Later’ and ‘Unbeatable!’ loans

Big business is seriously onto the fact that we struggle these days to wait for what we want. Instant gratification is promoted as the new normal, as is living on credit. When you sign on the dotted line for a cheap car loan or shop with Afterpay, however, you’re only delaying the inevitable. You have to pay that money back eventually, usually with lots of fees and interest, especially if you miss any repayments.

Saving up for what you want is always better in the long run. You’ll only pay the true cost of the item and you won’t be racking up more and more debt. Future you thanks you for your self-control.

3. Treat yourself, with a Cash Advance

If you’ve already got a credit card (and haven’t cut it up yet, based on the sage advice given in point 1), whatever you do, don’t use it for drawing cash out at the atm. Banks won’t often explain this, but as soon as you do that, you have to pay it back with interest. Lots of interest.

Are you seeing a pattern yet? Getting out of BrokeTown comes down to living within your means; making sure that what goes out isn’t more than what comes in.

4. Ignore boring bank statements and bills

No good can come from avoiding your mail and letting payments slide. Often this avoidance happens, not because we don’t want to pay our bills, but because we’re too overwhelmed and fatigued by the thought of mounting debt.

If you need help ripping off the Band-Aid and sorting out your budget and bills, there’s plenty of free financial counselling services out there for you. We’ve got some links below, but don’t jump ahead just yet – check out Number 5!

5. Keep up with the Joneses

We get it. When you’re in your teens and early 20s, material things matter. But you know what? They actually don’t. It’s a total rookie error to think that clothes, cars and gadgets make you special. You’re gold all on your own. This is a mindset shift that HAS to happen if you want to live a more content life.

Forget about matching what your friends or those around you spend money on. Run your own race. And make sure you take care of your needs before your wants.

Every time you’re about to spend money on something, stop and ask yourself if you need it. If it’s a ‘want’ rather than a ‘need’, ask yourself why you want it. And be honest with yourself. You’d be amazed what a difference this simple moment can make. Avoid all 5 of the major money mistakes above, and you’ll be really amazed.

Getting free help from financial stress

If you need help – to work out how to budget and how to clear your debts – there’s free help out there for you. Check out these guys:

Financial Counselling Australia

The National Debt Helpline

The Salvation Army

Wesley Mission Financial Counselling

If you’re in our neighbourhood, you can come see us at for Financial Help too. We can help with no-interest loans for education, training, driving lessons, or even to set up your home. #welisten

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