How To Be Happy When You’re Broke

11 Tips To Be Happy Even When You Have No Money

Being broke can be a dark and depressing place to be. Not only do you feel trapped and helpless, but you also miss out on the basic amenities that many take for granted.

You see your friends going out and having fun. Celebrities on tv seem to have an endless supply of luxuries. And you’re there trying to make sure you have this month’s rent and food.

If you’re struggling to be happy when you’re broke, I share some helpful tips below.

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1. Realize That Being Poor Doesn’t Have To Be Permanent

While you may feel that your situation will stay the same for the rest of your life, it doesn’t have to be that way.

Realizing that you don’t want to stay poor is the first step in changing your mindset. Now you can start implementing small changes in your life that will send it on a different trajectory in the future.

2. Set Goals 

Just like in any other area of our lives, it’s important to set realistic goals that you’re working towards.

If one of your goals is to get a different career, then research what certifications or skill sets you need to break into that field.

Working little by little towards your new career will add up over time until you can make the transition.

Another goal you may have is to do better at budgeting on a daily basis. Or you may make a goal to lower your housing expenses.

Whatever your goals are, setting clear and actionable goals makes them easier to accomplish as opposed to being dreams. Check out my post on setting and achieving financial goals for an easy step by step plan.

3. Celebrate Even The Smallest Victories

When you’re able to come in under budget one month, that’s a financial victory!

You’ll have a little extra money that you can put in your savings because of it, and you’ll begin to notice you’re picking up traction in “getting out of the hole.”

Celebrate that victory with your partner, spouse, or trusted friends. It’s a big deal! 

woman with her arms outstretched celebrating with a view of the sky and palm trees

4. Have A Gratitude Journal

Did you know that complaining actually rewires your brain?

Showing gratitude and ending on the positive are ways to start overcoming this cycle of negativity.

Even when you’re broke, you still can be thankful for what you do have. Maybe you’ve been blessed with amazing children or a wonderful spouse.

Find things that have nothing to do with money that you are grateful for and write it down in a journal.

Make it a point to write one thing in your journal every day. Whenever you’re feeling negative, you can look back through your journal to help recenter your mindset.

5. Learn To Be Generous 

Just because money is tight, doesn’t mean you still can’t be generous.

Even a small amount of what we do have can go a long way. This could mean with our time, money or talents.

What are your strengths or talents that you could be helpful towards others?

Helping out in a soup kitchen or homeless shelter not only helps those in need but renews a purpose in our lives. 

6. Get a Hobby Or Something You Enjoy Doing 

Picking up a hobby doesn’t have to cost money. Local community centers and libraries often have free clubs and events.

If you like writing, join a creative writing group. Book clubs, public speaking groups, or community service clubs are all great options that are free.

It will take your mind off of being unhappy and onto something more relaxed and enjoyable. 

7. Avoid Spending Temptations

Stay away, far away from spending money on things that you don’t need.

Doing so isn’t going to make you happy. Cut up that credit card and put that money in the bank, out of sight and out of mind.

Often, impulse spending and retail therapy are used as quick emotional fixes. But the effect doesn’t last long.

Once the dopamine spike wanes, you’ll feel even more stressed from spending money you didn’t have. 

two female friends in a coffee shop laughing and having fun

8. Find Fun Things To Do That Are Free 

Living a broke lifestyle doesn’t mean you still can’t go out and enjoy yourself as a family.

There are many things in your area that won’t cost you a penny, that are also fun to do. Get up, and find out what they are. 

Having no money doesn’t mean you can’t date either. There is a surprisingly large amount of free or cheap budget-friendly date ideas you may have never thought of.

9. Don’t Stress About Bills

No matter what, bills are always going to be there. Even if you had a million dollars tomorrow, there will still be bills to pay.

Even if you were financially independent, you’d still have property taxes, food, utilities, medical, and transportation costs to cover.

I mention this to let you know it’s alright to let go of the stress of bills. As long as you’re working hard and taking on extra jobs, you’re doing the best that you can.

While having your phone turned off for non-payment is not ideal, don’t let this one thing or period in your life define you.

Take care of what you need to survive first – food, shelter, clothing, water, electricity, and transportation.

10. Be Rich In Mindset

Just because you’re poor doesn’t mean your mindset has to be. There are several distinct habits that the rich do that poor people don’t.

That’s not to say that just because you’re poor currently, it has to stay that way. By working to change some of your habits to rich habits, you’ll be setting yourself up for a happier and more fulfilled life.

11. Find Like-Minded Friends

Maybe you aren’t even REALLY broke but only feel like it due to your friend’s spending habits.

If you earn enough to live comfortably but constantly feel like you can’t keep up, it’s time to find more like-minded friends.

Finding people who have similar goals or have less expensive tastes, is a good way to get an instant pay raise. You won’t feel a need to keep up and overspend as you do with your other friends.

Conclusion

I hope the above tips helped to answer the question of how to be happy when you’re broke.

By making positive mindset changes, setting actionable goals, and finding ways to still do fun things, you can create a happy money mindset even if you’re technically poor.

If you’ve struggled financially in the past, what are some ways you learned to cope with the frustrations that come with?

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Steffa Mantilla

Budgeting & Debt Payoff Expert

Steffa is the founder behind Money Tamer. After paying off over $80,000 in debt through budgeting, she now teaches families how to get their own finances in order. Steffa’s background in operant conditioning and behavioral husbandry has given her an understanding of motivation and motivators. She uses this training to help people understand the reasons “why” behind their money behaviors and how to successfully change them. You can learn more about her here.

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Staying Positive & Happy Even When You’re Broke

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