Broke vs Poor — The Choice is Yours, But Being Broke Is A Choice.

How your money pyschology makes the possible seem impossible.

Growing up in the Northeast, I learned there’s a difference between being poor and being broke.

I took public transportation to school when I was kid; bus or train, I could sit next to a middle school teacher or a business executive.

The restaurant where I got a slice of Pizza was the same place people with more money and wealth ate from.

People that were better off than me or wore nicer clothes than me were not Unicorns, they were just people at different points in their life with different opportunities.

I would be in a different place in my life in the future, and I believed that.

I grew up understanding that I was broke, and that was a temporary situation.

However, In the summers when my brother and I would stay with relatives in the South, we understood what it meant to be poor.

My relatives lived in various small towns in South Carolina; whether they were old or young, the lack of resources affected the ability of an entire community to prosper.

There were no jobs. Most of my family and their friends did seasonal work in tobacco fields. Limited resources for basic needs are common, a grocery store and clothing store, that’s it. No one used a bank. They would cash checks at stores and use cash to pay bills.

They were in a cycle of poverty that was very different than I had known in NYC.

My family lived in a “Banking Desert”, a term used to describe an area that has no bank branches within 10 miles of its center.

Surprisingly, there are a lot of Banking Deserts

· The Federal Reserve of NY estimates there are 1,214 areas of the U.S.

· About 5% of the U.S. population doesn’t have a bank account.

·13% of people in the U.S. have a bank account but also use alternative financial services, such as payday loans and check-cashing services incurring high cost debt.

Similarly, my family also lived in a “Food Desert”, an area where there is limited access to affordable, healthy food options or nonexistent because grocery stores are too far away.

· About 23.5 million people live in food deserts. Nearly half of them are also low income.

· Approximately 2.3 million people live in low-income, rural areas that are over 10 miles from a supermarket.

Unfortunately, this isn’t a story of my family’s past, it’s a story that millions of people endure still in 2022.

Being Poor is the result of a lack of resources; opportunities, money, and wealth are scarce in your community and it will not change without serious intervention.

Poverty is systemic and takes a mighty intervention to change generational cycles of poverty.

Here’s the harsh reality for many people; you believe you are poor when, in fact, you are broke, and sometimes broken.

There are no banking or food deserts, you have transportation, job opportunities, and varying housing options.

You might live paycheck to paycheck and cannot save enough for the future. So, you use your money to avoid financial disasters and think about the future some other time.

This is a cycle that turns a temporary financial situation into a financially stress induced lifestyle with no end in sight.

Broke is a money block; you are blind to opportunities, money, and wealth because of a mindset influenced by a system designed to have you fail.

Money is not an object. It’s a control; It affects how we think and act, and it may seem both are working together or against us.

Either money is a tool to see your life, be positive, and dream big or a barrier that justifies skeptical and negative attitude towards goals.

Here are Five thoughts to jumpstart the mindset shift.

  1. When you view your financial success as a goal, there is a sense of fulfillment or achievement.
  2. When viewed as a problem, it is one more hardship or stress in life.
  3. Being broke is a temporary financial situation; discipline and time management with finances can help you achieve financial success, but it won’t happen right away.
  4. Money cannot make you happier, but being happier can make you money.
  5. It is human nature to avoid short-term and long-term pain, but do not let the fear of money be debilitating.

Work today to get to the place you want to be in the future.


George Blount coaches indivuduals on wealth building strategies, money tips, overcoming money blocks, and passive income strategies for the new generation of wealth builders. Sign up for my newsletter and take the Money Mask Quiz at .



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George M. Blount, DBA

George M. Blount, DBA

Financial Therapist & Money Mindset Coach