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Poor or Just Simply Broke: When & How To Identify

Poor or Just Simply Broke: When & How To Identify

Words we use to describe our financial status play a very important role as society judges our financial condition through these words. Incorrect usage of these words can also portray completely the opposite image of what you’re financial condition actually is.

We often use the words broke or poor when we lack money to buy things we want or things we need. These two terms are used interchangeably but very few of you may know that these two terms are different and do not convey the same message.

Many people use these two terms incorrectly, as a result, they end up describing their financial condition in a completely opposite way which is far from reality. People facing certain financial risks can be said ‘broke’ or ‘poor’.

A poor person is one who cannot even afford his basic needs and faces regular financial hardships like difficulty in paying bills or bringing food to the table. On the other hand, the state of being broke can be defined as when a person can afford the basic needs of his life but at the moment he lacks the money to buy things of his desire like toys, clothes, or any other thing.

There are many other distinctions between being broke and being poor which I will be discussing below. So, stick with me till the end to know all the major facts and differences.

What does being broke mean?

The definition of being broke varies from person to personㅡfor example, the state of being broke for a rich person is to lose millions in the stock market in a day.

A person getting a dollar out of their pocket

However, let us define first the word broke from a wider perspective.

Broke is merely a self-defined temporary condition of the wallet in which a person lacks the money to purchase items such as a car or a gaming computer. The term broken refers to a person’s current circumstance, which has a predetermined termination.

A broke is a self-defined temporary situation in which you are one step away from financial stability. For example, a person is in the state of broke at the end of the month due to his expenditures in the entire month but as soon as the person receives his salary, he overcomes this state. In the state of being broke a person cannot afford things, he desires to do or buy. People who are facing broke can overcome it by working hard and having a positive attitude.

Many people use the word broke incorrectly, here is the correct usage of the word broke.

I end up being broke in the middle of this month. So now I can not go out for dinner till I get my salary next month.

Let’s take a look at the major reasons which can lead to being broke.

  • Having no specific budget
  • Having no track of spending
  • No certain financial goals
  • Unprepared for unexpected situations

Synonyms of being broke are:

What defines being poor?

Being poor is a semi-permanent condition in which a person is so destitute that he cannot even afford basic needs and necessities of life like groceries, bills, child’s education or he has to make a choice between them. A poor person is one who faces financial hardships on daily basis and even struggles to bring food to the table.

Even after doing multiple jobs, a poor person does not have enough money to cover his expenses. Poor people live in fear as questions like will I be able to pay hospital bills? , How will I feed my children? circulates in their mind which eventually makes them worried. Most of the people across the globe are poor and are living in poverty.

A poor person also does not have a social circle who could owe him some money or introduce him to valuable resources.

By making numerous efforts and by overcoming the poverty mentality, a poor person can climb out of poverty. However, we see it very rare that a poor person climbs to enormous wealth, still, it is not impossible for a poor person to achieve it.

The word being poor can be used in the example below.

“He lost all his property due to the tsunami and ended up being poor.

A homeless person next to a cardboard sign

The term being poor is also indicated as:

  • Indigent
  • Poverty-stricken
  • Impoverished

Mostly a poor person has not had a clear path that leads to greater earnings. Although poor people work multiple jobs, they are unable to have enough money to cover their regular expenses.

Poor people also don’t have a social circle that could guide them, loan them or introduce them to valuable resources.

We see examples of people who climbed out of poverty but it is very rare that a poor person to achieve tremendous wealth but yet it is not impossible.

Is being poor and broke the same?

Being poor and broke seem similar. So you might be thinking if they are the same. Well, the answer to this isㅡno.

Although both terms are used to indicate the condition of lacking money, they cannot be regarded as the same. There are a few major differences that distinguish both of these terms.

Defined time periodTemporarySemi-permanent
Major ReasonsHaving no specific budget, Having no track of spending,
no certain financial goals, and no preparation for unexpected situations
Poverty Mentality, Conflicts, Natural hazards, inequality, and lack of education
Cannot AffordDesirous thingsBasic necessities
Major differences between ‘being poor’ and ‘being broke’

Most people use the word poor to describe how much they are lacking money but in reality, they are broke, not poor.

Being broke is far different than being poor. A person going through broke lacks money for a predefined time period. However, a poor person lacks money for a semi-permanent time period.

The major reasons for being poor are having a poverty mentality, conflicts, natural hazards, and inequality. However major reasons for being broke are having no specific budget, having no track of spending, and no certain financial goals.

Being broke is a state of wallet. However, being poor is also defined as a state of mind. Here is a video for your better understanding

A video on the difference between being poor and being broke

Being Broke Vs Being Poor: Which is more harmful?

A person applying for a job

Both being broke and poor can be harmful to every person. But, which among these two can really cause real damage and harm to you?

Being broke and being poor are pretty similar conditions one goes through.

However, being broke is more harmful than being poor, as in the state of being broke one simply forbids himself to spend money. If this act of interdiction becomes prominent a person may even forbid himself from investing in profitable resources or spending money on needs.

When being broke, your every decision is very crucial and can decide where you will stand in the future. In the state of being broke your one wrong decision can even make you more destitute.

Poor vs. Broke: How to identify?

Being poor and broke are conditions all of us want to avoid. But first, it’s important to know where you stand where whether you are broke or poor.

Following are some signs which identify that you might be broke:

  • You have credit card debt.
  • You are not saving for the future.
  • You have student loan debt.
  • You have to choose between what you love and your needs.

The most common sign of being broke is when your income just fulfills your needs but you cannot have fun.

Here are some signs which may help you identify you are poor:

  • You can’t survive without government aid
  • You hope for a miracle to change your life instead of making any effort.
  • You don’t have real estate.
  • You rarely eat out.

What you must do it avoid both?

By making the right decisions, having multiple sources of income, and quashing the poverty mentality a person can avoid being poor.

A pink piggy bank

Both being broke and being poor are conditions a person would never wish to go through. So, you might be thinking that how both conditions can be avoided?

You can avoid being broke by specifying your budget and by not buying things just to impress others. You can also avoid being broke by investing smartly and by diversifying your assets.

Final Thoughts

Although a person is broke or poor, he must have full confidence in himself that he can come out from the miserable condition he’s facing.

One must also not have poverty mentality in order to be financially successful as poverty mentality leads to decisions based on fear.

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Click here to learn more about these differences through this web story.

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