15 reasons why you’re broke – and how you can fix it step by step

By facing up to poor spending habits and setting yourself a budget you’ll find that not only does your money go further but you may even have some left over.

1. You don’t follow a budget

Most Irish adults don’t have a household budget. Adding up all your income (after tax) then subtracting how much you spend each month is a good starting point.

2. You don’t take out a set amount of cash each week

In an age of cash cards and contactless shopping it’s easy to overspend because no ‘real’ money is exchanging hands.

One way to curb this is to take out a set amount for the week and try not to use your cards – this way you’ll become aware of exactly how much you’re spending and where you can save.

3. You go food shopping on an empty stomach

It’s well known that we’re more likely to buy more food when we’re hungry but, hunger is more likely to make us buy other stuff too. So eat before you shop or you’ll be buying more than you need.


4. You buy fresh when frozen is just as good

Frozen food, especially vegetables and healthier items, lasts for longer and is often cheaper than fresh food.

Reduce food waste and your shopping bill by stocking up on products you can freeze.

5. You buy too many takeaways…

Just halving the amount of fast food you eat will save you hundreds.

6. …and that includes lunches…

It’s not just fast food dinners that are burning a hole in our wallets: buying lunch and snacks to eat at work costs so take your own packed lunches.

7.…and coffee

Invest in a thermal coffee mug and make coffee at home before heading out.

8. You pay to get to work when you could walk or cycle

If you drive or use public transport to get to work when you could cycle or even walk you’re not only losing money, you’re missing a perfect opportunity to get fit without shelling out for gym membership.

9. You shop online too much

The internet is a fantastic place for finding bargains but we can all have too much of a good thing.

Being able to buy something with a few clicks rather than cold hard cash makes it harder to keep an eye on your spending.

10. You don’t take advantage of loyalty schemes

Loyalty cards are everywhere and accumulated points mean money off and free goods. Yes, the companies are buying your loyalty but if you shop with them regularly anyway, loyalty cards can offer real rewards.

11. You buy branded products rather than the store’s own

This is no secret – stores’ own ranges are usually cheaper than branded goods and often taste just as good, as they are often produced in exactly the same way in exactly the same factories.

12. You’re haven’t reviewed your mortgage or insurance for a while

It pays to keep an eye on your mortgage and your car, house, health, life, pet, phone insurances. They can add up to thousands a year so it’s worth looking for better deals annually.

13. You spend too much on luxuries

Yes, you deserve to eat out, take trips, and buy clothes, electronics and music but be aware of how much life’s little luxuries add up. Have a monthly budget for treats and stick to it.

14. You spend too much on your kids

Do your children really need that designer outfit or trainers that they’ll outgrow in a few weeks? Or new books, shoes or electronic devices that can be sourced second-hand? Don’t give in to their demands – and don’t take your kids food shopping without feeding them first.

15. You spend to cheer yourself up

Shopping gives many of us a short-term high and provides an escape from depression or anxiety but it can have debilitating consequences on our finances.


This article aims to give information, not advice. Always do your own research and/or seek out advice from a Financial Broker before acting on anything contained in this article.

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