A Man Who Inspires People

Lloyd Dennis

Vocabulary of Broke / Broke People


There is a technique for staying broke. Its the pay for what you want and pray for what you need school of life and there are a few key words and phrases, the use of which destines broke people to stay broke.

  • Deserve” is a word people use to justify spending money on something frivolous when they know they will need the money for something else... like bills... or a rainy day.

  • Sometimes they'll say “Tomorrow's not promised to anyone.” then make the Deserve move above and have to hustle, beg or borrow when not only tomorrow happens but the first of the month suddenly springs out of nowhere.

  • Should” is often brought to bear to make overspending seem morally justified. Kind of like “Deserve”. I should be able to... or I should have...

I've poked fun, but its not funny. Too many people who are struggling keep themselves struggling and even deepen their struggles with a crazy sense of entitlement to things they just can't afford and by turning a blind eye on the needs of tomorrow... and the first of the month... and all the while waiting for something to change without ever adding up all the money that has slipped through their fingers and realizing that what needs to change is living within their means, and developing an exit plan that starts with today.

Struggle is real. Been there done that (a couple of times), don't plan on doing it again.

Once it was when we married young and had to count every penny as a couple living off of 280/month military pay away from home in a trailer a little bigger than the FEMA formaldehyde Katrina model. When the baby came cloth diapers saved us a ton of money over disposables, and we made baby food in a blender. We knew it was struggle, but we had an exit plan and lived well within our means.

The second time was starting our business. We couldn't afford to take the kids out for pizza, hamburgers or fried chicken, but we figured out that we could feed them and some friends if we bought a pound of ground beef, a pack of wieners and fried or barbecued our own chicken. A dollar bag of popcorn kernels lasted a month. Vacations were camping in a tent in state parks. The wife sewed and made almost all of her own and some of the kids clothes. Hand me downs were a system in our family. We knew it was struggle, but we had an exit plan and lived well within our means.

Our struggles paid off. We left the military with our good credit intact and bought a little house, which after a few years earned some equity which along with still good credit allowed us to start our business, freedom for me and an escape from the employment earning ceiling that would have limited me because the draft and marriage and children had changed college plans. Not wealthy but no longer struggling... but I still don't own a $500 suit or a $100 pair of shoes and our only debt is house and car notes because we believe that tomorrow and the first of the month will probably arrive on schedule.

Count your nickels and your dollars will take care of themselves.