8 Reasons Why Being Broke is Expensive

You don’t just spend less or have less to spend. It also costs more.

Person standing at lake leaning on barrier. Shoulders and arms are visible, the lake in the background surrounded by trees.
Person standing at lake leaning on barrier. Shoulders and arms are visible, the lake in the background surrounded by trees.
Photo by Ümit Bulut on Unsplash

“Just” get a new income

If the current budget is too low to live off, the only way to improve your situation is to increase your income, ideally through work you like. The longer it takes to find it, the higher the pressure and mental strain you experience. Applying for jobs when reaching the end of my wallet felt draining. Staying positive while my bank account sitting in the corner of the room with a timer telling me “Just a few weeks left and game over!”. That felt like a challenge.

It’s draining to worry about pennies all the time.

Worrying about pennies and loose change costs mental energy.

  • Do I need this?
  • A chocolate bar of 80 cents because I want it or a loaf of bread that feeds me for days?
  • Can I get this item cheaper elsewhere?

Mental health? That’s for later

Health care beyond the basics costs extra. How can you afford therapy when you have no resources? At the same time, ignoring your health now, whether mental or physical, will eventually come and bite you. Issues won’t mystically vanish in thin air.


Eating out or ordering food is never an option. When doing grocery shopping you buy the absolute cheapest items which might not be the most nutritious, just to fill your belly. Buying the cheapest junk can in the long run lead to health deficiencies. In that sense, it might be cheap now, but it can cost you more to undo the negative effects of eating junk later on.

Save money? With what money?

You cannot save because you don’t have any room in the budget to do so. Every cent goes to the absolute basics such as rent and groceries. If unexpected expenses were to arise, you’d have to cut down expenses on the only area where there’s “room” to decrease spending, and that would be: food, further impacting your health.

It costs time

When choosing between time and price, you always choose for a lower price at the expense of time. If you can save even 5 cents on an item by going to supermarket B, that’s how it will be. At the end of the week of month this will have amounted to a few saved euros, but your time will be gone.

You always for the cheapest option.

Researching what the absolute cheapest option is costs time. To do the research itself, and go to the place at hand, because you cannot afford to spend the extra $1–5 by ordering or outsourcing it.

“Just outsource and buy back your time”, they say.

With what money though? Outsource tasks you don’t want to do, but when there’s no flexibility in the budget? Then it’s not an option now.

  • Learning to do more with less money
  • Getting a grip on my expenses by making an overview of exactly what I had, where I stood and what I could spend [ template]

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Writing my way to progress. Topics: personal growth, life lessons, tooling & (failed) ventures.

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