How to Break the Cycle of Being Normal and Broke

The first step towards changing your life and creating your dream business, is admitting you want to change, and acknowledging you need it.

When it comes to it’s money and business (or anything else), no one can change your mindset but you.

So, what happens when you finally figure out you want to change, and you’re sick and tired of being normal and broke?

Where do you go from there?

We all get stuck inside this rat race called life. Going around and around on our wheel like a caged hamster. We are moving forward, but never progressing.

It’s Time to Get Radical

The amount of effort and thought you put into changing, is the amount of results you will see. Put in a mediocre amount of effort and you will see mediocre change.

But if you are radical and don’t care what other people think, you will see radical changes. However, that takes courage. You have to be a phenomenal person, living in a nominal world.

You will reap what you sow, that’s the universal law of life.

- Being in debt is normal.

- Living paycheck to paycheck is normal.

- Basing your choices on what you can afford, is normal.

Well, normal sucks!

Once you decide you don’t want to be normal anymore, is when you’ll see progress in your life. To stop being average, you have to make the decision to jump off the incessant merry-go-round.

Yes, it’s painful. It takes effort and sacrifice, but it’s worth it.

You won’t change until you’re sick of being broke, enough to start taking action. I know we are all discouraged and tired of being broke. But have you had enough?

If you’re unhappy with your job, then why don’t you quit? It’s completely pointless to do the same things, over and over but expect to see different results.

You have to change your actions, to see the re-action you want.

Sacrifice is Inevitable

There are only two ways to be successful with your finances and your business.

  • Spend less
  • Earn more

Spending wisely is a major part of experiencing financial freedom, but spending less has it’s limits. There is only so much you can cut back on, before you are living life on bare bones.

Your income is the greatest tool in your financial arsenal.

It’s only limited by you and the amount of effort you put into it. You really can earn as much as you want! I truly believe that.

I know what my strengths and weaknesses are, and I’m the only person that’s holding me back. It’s not bad to have confidence in your career and to be good at your job.

I’m very good at what I do, and I’m worth every penny I’m paid. I’m constantly learning, trying to be better and improving. But I also work my butt off.

I’m diligent, focused and I make sacrifices. I don’t take many holiday or vacation days, and I work when I’m sick. I’m dependable and honest, but that comes at a price.

We Only Limit Ourselves

When was the last time you did something that was scary and just a little crazy (in a good way)? Exactly. For me that’s a very rare occurrence, because I like to play it safe.

But how do we know we’ll fail if we don’t try? We limit ourselves with fear, insecurity and by not making the necessary sacrifices.

What is the price you are willing to pay for financial freedom? Nothing in life is free. If you aren’t paying with money you’re paying with time.

Yes, Change is Possible

Several months ago I told one of my friends that I wanted to start a blog. I’ve always loved writing and both my parents have written and published books, and are fascinating speakers. I guess it’s in my blood.

I didn’t know very much about writing, blogging or the technical parts of running a website. All I knew is that I wanted to try, and then I took action.

I’ve made some mistakes, and will continue to make them as I travel down this road. It’s been something I dreamed of doing but never thought I was good enough.

But I pushed past the fear and I jumped off the hamster wheel. I made a decision, to start changing. So go ahead and try something new. Take a leap of faith, because you will never know until you try.

Are you tired of being normal and broke? What’s your plan of action?

Photo Credit: SLR Jester

About the author: Carrie Smith is the financial artist and editor behind Careful Cents. She helps creative entrepreneurs make a living with their creations, and reach financial freedom through systems and financial organization. She’s been featured in The Huffington Post, Glamour Magazine, Kiplinger Finance and several other business websites. In May 2013 she quit her full-time accounting job to pursue entrepreneurship and blogging. You can find her on Twitter or Instagram @carefulcents.

Comments on this entry are closed.

  • Daisy December 6, 2011, 7:09 am

    Im definitely tired of being broke! But I don’t think I’m the norm. I’m putting myself through school without relying on loans by working and living paycheque to paycheque. Sometimes I slip up and buy things for myself but otherwise I try to stay out of debt and hope that all of this school will increase my earning power! *Crosses fingers*

    • Carrie Smith December 6, 2011, 8:24 am

      Oh you’re definitely not normal (not in a bad way though!). Sometimes I get tired of worrying about money and trying to get out of debt, but the thing with us is that we are working on changing that. Most people just get student loans to get through school, but you chose not to. You are working, living within your means so you can have a better future.

      That’s called taking action! Kudos!

      • Martilyo December 6, 2011, 9:00 am

        It is good to be weird ;-)

    • Broke Gal NYC December 6, 2011, 8:35 am

      That’s awesome that you’re working so hard to get through your education debt-free! As someone with a nice chunk of student debt, your hard work will definitely pay off when you have extra income to save and invest.

  • Broke Gal NYC December 6, 2011, 8:34 am

    This is so spot on! I don’t get it when I hear people say they have their head in the sand about money and don’t save because it’s “too hard” or “stressful.” Personally, I find having significant savings and game plans for numerous financial scenarios much more comforting then wondering how I’m going to stay afloat next month. I think in these rough economic times you really have to take advice like yours to heart. Great post!

    • Carrie Smith December 6, 2011, 10:08 am

      I agree, making sacrifices to become more financially stable is definitely worth it. It’s not that hard, it just depends on your mindset, and how much you WANT to. 

      • Victoria Bowman Morris December 6, 2011, 12:38 pm

        I love you Carrie, but I honestly don’t think I agree with you here. It is THAT hard for us. Raising 4 kids on paycheck to paycheck with no luxuries in life takes alot of sacrifice and stress. Hard to save what you do not have and sometimes the situations in life make it near impossible for change even when you really want to. But then again, my mindset is always a little “off”.

        • Carrie Smith December 6, 2011, 12:46 pm

          I don’t pretend to know what it’s like to have kids or to juggle all the activities, a house and money too. It’s definitely hard and stressful, no doubt about that. I don’t have all the answers, but it takes patience, and consistency.

          It’s easy to get discouraged, and I do too at times. But we just gotta keep our mindset positive! I know you are one of the few people who do work and aren’t sitting around being lazy and entitled. That’s what its all about!

  • Martilyo December 6, 2011, 8:59 am

    Most excellent article!  If you want change, it is time to get ANGRY…angry at yourself… that is what I always say.  That anger can be focused into positive change.  I think the most important aspect is self awareness.  Knowing what is actually happening to yourself and doing something about it.  I have a saying… whether you can or you can’t, you’re right!

    • Carrie Smith December 6, 2011, 10:05 am

      That’s a great saying, and it’s very true! You gotta get angry with yourself ENOUGH to take action and make changes. It takes courage but it’s definitely worth it.

  • Shannyn December 6, 2011, 9:25 am

    Normal does suck!  I loved this post, as I made many of the same conclusions this year and it transformed my life.  I learned to be happy living frugally and spending around my priorities to maximize what I did have and feel rich and thankful….living like that actually made wealth manifest and I’m doing better financially (both with spending habits and with the income I’m making) than ever before and I don’t feel as if I had to make any “hard changes,” just change the way I think and what my goals were, it’s awesome!

    Great post Carrie, you rock!

    • Carrie Smith December 6, 2011, 10:07 am

      Your story is one that has inspired me even more in my new career path. You decided to be happy and to put your heart and soul into what you do. You might think they were hard changes, but it’s just because you have a positive mindset. That’s something we all need more of! 

      I’m glad you enjoyed the post. :)

  • Victoria Bowman Morris December 6, 2011, 12:33 pm

    You already know how I feel about all this, so thank you for putting it into your words. Love you :)

    • Carrie Smith December 6, 2011, 12:47 pm

      Of course! Love you back :) Thanks for commenting too!

  • Newlywweds on a Budget December 7, 2011, 12:14 pm

    This post really resonated with me. I am not one to simply complain about my situation. It sucks not having enough money as I would like, but I am working hard and doing what I can to increase our income. I’m not waiting around to win the lottery , although that would be nice too : P

    • Carrie Smith December 7, 2011, 2:07 pm

      That’s a great approach to the problem, it might take some time but your dedication will pay off. I wouldn’t mind winning the lottery too! Except for maybe the taxes due on it, but thats just the tax nerd side of me showing through. Thanks for the comment.

  • kathryn February 19, 2013, 4:18 am

    Being frugal is not always easy, especially when you think you cannot cut expenses any further. Add in 4 kids (which we also have, and on a single income) and you start to think it is even more futile. The great part about the internet, is there is a vast amount of knowledge out there. I consider myself preety aware, but I am constantly learning new things (or remembering).
    Here are just a few suggestions. Using reusable family wipes (aka toilet paper), hankerchiefs instead of kleenex. Use material from thrift store cotton sheets and flanellette, and binding an edge on them. Make your own laundry detergent. Make for foods from scratch, cut out junk food. Buy in bulk. Drink water.
    Cleaning products can be made with many products in your home.
    So whenever you think you can’t do anymore..ask your kids for suggestions. Getting them involved always helps.

  • prak July 31, 2013, 1:23 am

    hey nice post! I feel like im getting to a point where I’m just sick of living in the same monotonous pattern in life. It can be very discouraging and painful but I believe that what separates successful people from unsuccessful people are that successful people use pain to their advantage. As a stepping stone to get to where they want to be. Btw I just recently became inspired to start my own self-development blog which gives me some hope, you can check it out here: