On curbing the mindest of “being broke”

This post was sponsored by SunTrust Bank.

Mark and I committed to something a few years ago. We were really grasping the level of poverty that most of the world lives in, and wanting to feel grateful for all that we have. We also started noticing how often we were saying the phrase, "we're so broke". It's just one of those sayings that rolls off the tongue a little too easily. Kind of like "I'm so busy". We wanted to acknowledge that we were NOT broke, if we have a home, a car, and food to eat. Even if we can't afford some things we want, we are not broke.

Once we stopped saying this, I really do think there was a shift. We certainly didn't have more money coming in. But it just slightly changed our perception of the whole thing by taking that phrase out of the vernacular. We have what we need.


But right now, we find ourselves in, how shall we say, a bit of a pinch, along with the rest of our country. A part of it were some unforeseen events, like a cracked foundation and a surprisingly insane tax bill and the premiums we pay every month just to have insurance. Then there are music lessons, and the declining economy that keeps people from wanting to pay for therapy appointments, and a crashed computer that I had to replace, yada yada yada. And then there were some of our own decisions. Like taking a trip Madrid and not sticking to the budget. And not factoring Mark's lack of vacation pay (or a recession) into our yearly budget. And buying six tickets to Florida for my nephew’s wedding, yada yada yada.

Photo Jan 15, 3 00 35 PM

All that to say, the Howerton clan is tightening the belt in a big way. We are not broke. But we might be a wee bit in the red. And we might find ourselves scratching our heads as to how we will pay the rest of our home remodel that is not even near finished.

According to some statistics from SunTrust Bank, we’re not alone:

Over 70% of Americans are financially stressed
12% of Americans skip going to the doctor because of financial concerns
80% of people admitted that their personal finances keep them awake at night
21% of couples who rate their financial stress as at least “somewhat high” are arguing more
32% of adults say their finances keep them from living a healthy lifestyle

But I am trying to be mindful of the fact that no matter how dire things look in the bank account, we are still so fortunate. I remember reading this a few years ago, which is by an anonymous author, and it was a part of the inspiration that led us to being more grateful for what we have:

If you have food in the refrigerator clothes on your back, a roof over head and a place to sleep . . . you are richer than 70% of this world.

If you have money in the bank, in your wallet, and spare change in a dish someplace . . .
you are among the top 8% of the world’s wealthy.

If you woke up this morning with more health than illness . . .
you are more blessed than the million who will not survive this week.

If you have never experienced the danger of battle, the loneliness of imprisonment, the agony of torture, or the pangs of starvation . . .
you are ahead of 500 million people in the world.

SunTrust Bank is launching a national movement to inspire millions of Americans to take control of their finances and gain financial confidence so they can pursue a life well spent. SunTrust wants to motivate people to move past their worry and take a single step . . . and then another – each step increasing their confidence and moving them toward financial well-being. At SunTrust Bank their purpose is lighting the way to financial well-being. When you feel confident about your money, you can save for your goals and spend knowingly on what matters most to you.  

The onUp movement was created to guide millions of people one step at a time towards a more financially confident life without ever losing sight of the moments that matter along the way.

Join the growing number of people transforming their stress into positive motivation to move onUp.

Join the movement


This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of SunTrust. The opinions and text are all mine.

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