According to CNBC.com 78 percent of US workers report living paycheck to paycheck. The biggest assumption is that this happens due to working wages being too low in comparison to living expenses. But how do we explain this happening to those who make upwards of 6 figures every year? Believe it or not, it is possible to be poor while earning a high income! What if I told you that behavior could play a huge role in living paycheck to paycheck? In this article, we will discuss 4 major habits that fuel living on the edge of your finances every month.
The content in this article is based on personal experience. This blog post is for educational purposes only. for more details, please read the full disclosure.
The habit of fearing success is keeping you poor.
Living in fear is an extremely crippling habit, and can solidify your spot in mediocracy if not overcome. What does fear look like in relation to success? It can differ based on where you are in life. My favorite habit that fear may drive people away from is negotiation. I was also guilty of this when I just graduated college. However, there are a plethora of things that this habit could get you.
Higher salary – This is a tough one, because a lot of people refrain from making waves in a new job. What I learned to do was tell myself that I have nothing to lose. In negotiation, the worst you can get is a no. However, the possibility of what you can gain far outweighs the fear of this habit.
Prices – I have never had fear in this department. Price checking and couponing are a godsend on your budget. There were times where the people with me would be embarrassed as i search the shelf for the cheapest option. However, in the end, the dopamine rush that you get from getting a deal is worth the criticism.
Bills – Did you know that you can negotiate certain bills? After having a certain amount of time beneath your belt with a company, you can call to negotiate price with your loyalty as leverage. My favorite bill to negotiate is my T-mobile one. it was part of my master plan to pay as little as possible on my phone plan.
Wanting to please everyone will keep you poor.
Being a people pleaser is one of the more severe habits, because it opens the door to being used, and taken advantage of.
Not knowing when or how to say no – plays a part in this because it makes people around you comfortable with expecting you to constantly jump through hoops to make them content. In the end it is not worth it, especially if the relationship is not symbiotic. Often times, when people get into this habit, they work extra hard to give people what they need and want. The sad part is when one becomes fed up and finally says no, to be met with contempt.
Failing to match what you are given – allows the people closest with you to hold you to the cross while they do the minimum, or nothing in return. While it is much better to give than to receive, being taken advantage of by loved ones is a joke. And should not be tolerated from the start. This is one of the most common way that people stay poor on their financial freedom journey. Establishing this boundary of give and take needs to be done from the start to avoid uncomfortable situations.
Grandstanding – while it may feel good to show others what you have worked for, what are your intentions? is it to be kind? or do you crave acceptance and attention? What do you actually gain from people knowing what you could do with your assets?
Surrounding yourself with the wrong crowd.
A habit that I proudly do not take part in – surrounding yourself with the wrong people can actually be covert. It is a form of self sabotage that sneaks up on most, because these people can be loved ones. One thing to keep in mind is that you re allowed to have different social groups for different situations. Being able to compartmentalize your relationships is a key habit to success in life. a few people that I like to avoid include:
– Dreamers: These people have wishes as opposed to goals. While having a wish isn’t necessarily a bad thing, where is the action behind it? If you find yourself around people who wish and do not do, it may be time to find more like minded people.
– Takers: My least favorite person. These people are greedy and selfish. Some may not even realize what they are doing when they ask and do not contribute. However that is no excuse to continue to allow it.
– Lazy people: They aren’t necessarily dangerous to you, unless you pick up on their habits. Be mindful of how you are sending your time with certain people. If you leave an interaction feeling demotivated, it may be time to rethink your past time activities.
– Complainers: These people give me anxiety. Being a solutions based person, I often want to help people find the answers to their problems. A key trait that I have learned is not to put it upon yourself to “fix” problems for people who do not ask for it. This may save you a lot of worrying in the future.
Not making a habit of planning.
To those familiar with this blog, you are already familiar with my love for planning and productivity. People who do not have a plan are more susceptible to being victim to living paycheck to paycheck and staying poor. Planning is a great habit for many reasons, with the main one being preparedness.
being prepared can come in many forms:
- Making a budget and sticking to it. This simple practice gets you into the habit of being prepared for the bare minimum expenses and saving. When that becomes second nature, it may be time to take your planning to the next level.
- Having a lump sum saved for emergencies Is a great supplementary act to your budget being fail-proof.
- Planning for the worst may sound over-reactionary. But what is productive about never having “doomsday” in mind? preparing for the worst can be as simple as having 1 year of expenses saved as opposed to 3 months. It doesn’t have to be apocalypse training.
- Planning for excess is one that people seem to struggle with. Getting by is great, but doing things like saving extra, or investing to make your money work for you is a great way to plan. It doesn’t stop with having a small savings.
I wanted to make a list of habits that could be making you poor because there are many assumptions about this subject. The common mistake is that people assume someone is poor due to not being a hard worker, or not having an education. While that could be the case in some scenarios, the more common one is the habits that we engrain into ourselves.
These four habits listed above are some that I have encountered myself, and I ever seem to see them mentioned in blogs like mine. Hopefully with more exposure, you will be lead to self realization, and correction if necessary. Anything is possible when you decide to take charge of your own life and finances. What are your thoughts on this topic? Are there any habits that you notice in people that are of a poor mindset?