10 Big Reasons You're Always Broke

Stephanie Booth | Apr 21, 2016 Money

woman upset at broken piggybank

Ever feel like the ATM is snickering at you when you do a balance inquiry? Don't take this personally, but it might be time to take a closer look -- gulp -- at your money habits.

"Oftentimes, poor savings habits are the result of bad spending behaviors," explains Andrea Woroch, a consumer and money saving expert who frequently gives advice on national TV shows like Today, Good Morning America, and Dr Oz.

Click through to learn the most insidious ways you're secretly sabotaging your savings.



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  • You Spend Before You Save


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    If we had to shop for a nest egg, we'd probably have one. But "only 23 percent of us have enough savings to cover six months of expenses," says Woroch. Although we SHOULD. To be more green, "start thinking about monthly savings contributions as any other bill you have to pay," Woroch advises.

  • You Act on Impulse


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    Ever come home from the grocery store, shocked at what made its way into your bags? You're not alone. "Sixty-one percent of shoppers purchase one to three extra items not on their shopping list," Woroch says. And while the occasional pack of gum won't hurt, "making impulsive purchases a habit adds up over time and shrinks your bank account," she notes.

  • You Eat Out All the Time


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    Last year, for the first time ever, Americans spent more on dining than groceries, says Woroch. "While the convenience of dining out is tough to beat," she admits, "the surplus you're paying is likely a big reason you're always broke."

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  • You Give in to Emotions


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    Retail therapy after a tough week may be okay every once in a while, but "emotional spending usually leads to a big dent in your savings," says Woroch. "Choose an alternative way to control your emotions, like getting some exercise or meeting with a friend to vent."

  • You Have Zero Cash for Emergencies


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    True, creating an emergency fund doesn't sound nearly as fun as a trip to the Bahamas and a new SUV. But learning to say no is essential so you don't find yourself in a financial tough spot, explains Woroch. "Even saving small amounts will add up in the long run ... and better prepare you for the unexpected."

  • You're Easily Influenced by Your Friends


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    Surround yourself with pals who consistently splurge on pricey meals, exotic vacays, and luxury items, and "you may feel the pressure to keep up with their lifestyle even if that means going into debt," Woroch says. The best friends for your budget? Those who are financially stable and enjoy activities that don't always cost a hunk of change.

  • You Take a YOLO Approach to Decision Making


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    Of course, you want to live life to its fullest. "But careless spending today can cause problems tomorrow and hinder your ability to enjoy your lifestyle," points out Woroch. FYI, YOLO purchases are most likely to take place on or around payday, as a type of "reward." A better strategy? "Budget in these purchases and prioritize," Woroch says.

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  • You Only Pay the Minimum on Your Credit Card


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    Let's be blunt here. "Making the minimum payment will get you nowhere," says Woroch. "In fact, these minimum payments likely only cover the interest fees charged on your account every month." To get ahead, you need to double -- or even TRIPLE -- the amount due.

  • You Can't Pass Up a Sale


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    "If you jump on every email offer or pop into every store flashing a sale sign," Woroch says, "it's time to reevaulate your deal-hunting strategy." Unsubscribe from store notifications, cancel snail mail catalogs, and delete those flash sale apps already. When you HAVE to make a purchase, "use a mobile tool like Coupon Sherpa which allows you to access coupons from hundreds of retailers," Woroch suggests.

  • You're Afraid to Face Your Debt Demons


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    Don't like to think about money? We hear you. But "ignoring debt will put you in a far worse position down the road and will keep you from achieving other financial goals," says Woroch. Organize your financial statements so you know just how much debt you have. Set up auto-payments to avoid late fees and rising APRs, "then combine side hustle income with reduced discretionary spending to put every last penny toward reducing your debt," Woroch advises.

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