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Written By Colin Graves

Do you prefer living life on the edge? Perhaps you’re afraid that creating a financial buffer, such as an emergency fund or a retirement savings plan will make for a boring life, without adventure. If so, you’ll find this article super helpful! By following the steps I’ve outlined below, I can guarantee you that life will never be boring.

Without further ado, here is my list of 7 surefire ways to stay broke.  Enjoy!

1. Always go out.

Let’s face it, staying home is for losers. It’s too hard to spend money if you never leave the house. I mean, how much fun can be had watching Netflix, playing board games, or having friends over for coffee. Lame. And if you ask me, family time is completely over-rated. Gardening? Bleh! It’s dirty work, and frankly, who wants to spend the entire summer nurturing produce, before it lands on their dining room table? This isn’t the stuff of a paycheck to paycheck lifestyle.

My advice, get out there and live life! Movies? Hit up the multiplex and ten dollar popcorn, baby! Sports? The place to be is at the stadium with your buddies. If you can spring for seasons tickets, even better! Not into sports?  I would recommend meeting friends for dinner or drinks, often.

2. Buy more house than you can afford.

If you want my advice, skip the starter home! Moving is a real hassle, and the fewer times you need to go through that, the better. Here’s what you do. Go to your bank. Find out what would be the highest mortgage amount they would deem affordable. Use that as your starting point when shopping for a home. Be warned, you’ll likely fall in love with something that is more expensive than the number your bank has given you, but that’s ok!  They’ll find a way to make it work. You may have to increase the mortgage amortization by a few years, or refinance your car loan, but hey, this is going to be your forever home, it’s worth it!

By the way, the property taxes will be astronomical. Details, details…it’ll all work out.

3. Parents, enroll your kids in as many extracurricular activities as possible.

Remember this, your child is a superstar. I mean, they have big league talent that needs to be nurtured. And if you aren’t going to give them the opportunity, then you’ll be watching your friends kids excel as your child sits on the sidelines. So don’t close any doors to them. Swimming, music lessons, dance, gymnastics, baseball, football.  But wait, it gets better.  You’ll have an opportunity to spend additional money on skill development camps, or elite level programs. Bring it on!  Trust me, your kids will love the over-stimulation, and you’ll never have to worry about an ‘emergency fund’!

NOTE: Avoid old fashioned activities like going to the park, for bike rides, or days at the beach. Yes, all of those things are absolutely free. But will they make your kids famous? I mean, think back to 30 years ago.  I highly doubt that society produced many doctors or lawyers, movie stars or ballplayers without the types of programs that exist today.

4. Own more than one vehicle.

This may be my personal favorite. There are SO many ways to layer additional costs onto your transportation budget….budget? First of all, make sure that you own at least one car for every driver living in your home. When your teenage son or daughter gets their license, it’s a prime opportunity to help them with the purchase of their first car.

Second, make sure you always buy new vehicles. This will give you the peace of mind of having a full warranty. Besides, you can amortize them over like, a decade, which will make it easier to afford a more luxurious ride, which you deserve.

Thirdly, and perhaps most important, make sure that one of your vehicles is a pickup truck. I know, I know, you live in a cul-de-sac and you haven’t seen a gravel road in years, but they are safer vehicles to drive. Also, it means you won’t have to borrow a buddy’s truck when you buy your new living room furniture next month.

5. Anyone want an iPhone?

Ok, so you cancelled your landline. Let’s not go crazy with saving money! Don’t get any ideas. If you’re not spending money on a traditional phone line, leverage your smartphone to avoid realizing any potential savings. Let’s see, you need one, your spouse will as well. And as soon as Apple or Samsung release a new model, remember that you will need to upgrade, whether or not your current phone is functioning perfectly. Oh, and don’t forget your 13-year old.  They will also need their own phone. After all, you’re a good parent, you’re looking out for their safety, and besides, it’s the only way to keep tabs on them!

6. Never buy used.

Whenever you have to make a purchase, always ask yourself;  can I buy this item new? Whether it be big ticket items, such as vehicles or appliances, or smaller stuff, like clothing or sports equipment, this is one of the best ways to make sure you spend ALL of your hard earned money.

Hint: The best way to avoid buying used is to leave things to the last minute. When you’re pressured for time, it’s always more convenient to head to the nearest store to find what you’re looking for.

7. Dine out often.

If you’re already following the steps I’ve listed so far, but still have money left over when payday arrives, try this one. It’s a surefire budget killer.

Look for every opportunity to eat out at restaurants. Depending on the size (as in number), of family you have, a couple of restaurant meals will rival the cost of an entire weeks worth of groceries. Think about that. Two meals in a restaurant versus 21 meals at prepared at home. This one is a bit of a stealth spend though. You probably won’t realize how effectively dining out is killing your bank account, then all of the sudden,‘poof’, your money is gone. It adds up quick!


There you have it, my 7 steps to keep you living paycheck to paycheck. The sarcasm? I’ve laid it on pretty thick. If you’ve made it this far, it goes without saying that the “advice” is full of crap.

But, beneath my sarcastic delivery is a voice, and a message. It’s the voice of mass marketing, of advertising campaigns, of our consumer obsessed society. Their message is that you deserve it, and that you deserve it today. Life is to be experienced, and there’s no better way to experience it than with (insert product name here). Another message is that ‘good’ parents provide their kids with every opportunity, and should never let them go without.

Mass marketers say jump, we say, how high.

It’s very effective. To varying degrees, much of our society has surrendered control of their spending decisions to these mass marketing agencies. Retail giants know just the right emotional levers to pull, to convince people to part with their hard earned dollars. Trust me, they’ve had lots of practice.

The best way to avoid living paycheck to paycheck?

Don’t let your intelligence be insulted. Don’t allow yourself to be treated like sheep.

Stand out from the herd, you won’t regret it.

34 thoughts on “7 SUREFIRE WAYS TO STAY BROKE”

  1. Don’t forget about the huge upside that accompanies day trading! Definitely worth paying multiple gurus so you learn all the tricks. Plus, you get all the thrills of knowing that you’re going to crush the market, get rich, and retire early. I don’t know why more people don’t take advantage of it!

  2. I’ll add a few:

    1. Always, always send your kids to private school. Public school is for saps.

    2. Spend a lot of time on social media looking at pictures of other people’s stuff and holiday photos. Never give yourself a moment to be satisfied. Keep a close eye on the Joneses.

    3. Have no purpose, no hobby. Let yourself get nice and bored. Then fill that void with shopping and mall time.

    4. Never invest in a 401k. That is the government telling you what is best for your money. You’re too smart for that.

  3. We’re guilty of owning two cars (one for each of us). I don’t always buy used, but I don’t buy anything unless it’s on sale. And even then it’s a higher quality, and only if I need it…and only if I’ve saved up cash for it.

    • Hey TWL, thanks for sharing! Currently, we also own two vehicles, so guilty as charged lol. For about 10 years we only owned the one, but due to a daily commute and three teen/pre teen kids, it’s a tough sacrifice to make right now. We won’t hesitate to go back to one when the time comes though. 🙂

  4. Love this, MMM! I think you should also make that new house look like a picture out of a Pottery Barn ad – make sure you buy matching/coordinating furniture and decor. Your old furnishings just won’t look right in that new house.

  5. Hah! Great article, don’t forget to impulse buy random stuff online whenever something catches your eye! Can’t have too many electric can openers! lol 🙂

  6. This is great! I wish I had written it. You might include patronizing artisanal donut shops (yes, they are a thing here in Portland).

    I’m forwarding to my family and friends who really need a smack of sarcasm upside their heads!

  7. Tip No. 3: I think you mean enroll, not enrol. (Unless you were being frugal, in which case, kudos to you!)

  8. Although I completely agree with you on these, I think you can do all of this if you increase your income and get your finances correct first. I don’t think anyone needs to do everything on this list but sometimes I feel like the financial savvy community focuses on cutting expenses more so then growing income. Obviously you are very conscious of your spending but some of these things I think aren’t that big of a deal if you can build a cash flow to support them! Thanks for sharing, which one of the seven do you think is the biggest trap?

  9. Hey DM! Thank you for the very thought provoking comment! I agree with you that increasing income should be a top priority, right there with cutting expenses, in fact it’s one of the key focuses of this blog (entrepreneurship, side hustles etc). And you’re right, there is an income level at which a person would be buffered from the financial headwinds caused by my list above. That said, in my experience, I would say that most of the situations I expressed (very sarcastically) in the post, are very characteristic of a large segment of Western society today. In other words, I know a lot of people who make a tonne of money, way over six figures, who can barely scrape two nickels together solely because of their lifestyle choices. They may be able to cover their payments, but they’re on very shaky ground.

  10. The sad part is it wouldnt surprise me if the average joe read this post and was like “YEA, this advise is great! YOLO!” But man have you nailed it. Marketers constantly push the young middle class family with 2 children buying that brand new Lexus SUV. Also did I mention that Lexus SUV has a MASSIVE RED BOW on it??? The consumer in the majority of us bites at the bait time and time again, and the dealers always win.

    Great post though because you highligted the majority of reasons as to why the average joe never gets ahead in America. Buy, buy, buy and I will figure out the bill tomorrow!

    Happy Holidays!


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