6 Reasons "I Can’t Afford It" Makes Bimbos Poor (& What To Do Instead)
Hint: Many of life’s self-fulfilling prophecies go unnoticed.
You are extremely valuable.
Whether you realize it or not, whether you feel it or not, the fact of the matter is when you were born, you were a valuable child, full of limitless potential, and as the years have gone by… you’ve only grown in value.
You’ve become taller, wiser, more skilled, and more capable than you were as a child. Whether you’re showing off your assets on camera, flirting with fans in DM, or simply taking some time off for self-care and beauty-maintenance, you’ve already blossomed into something truly special, no matter what anyone says.
And in fact, you actually have infinite value inside you, just like every human that’s come before you does, from Anaïs Nin to Beyoncé to your parents.
So I repeat, you are extremely valuable.
On top of that, models, s*x workers, and bimbos are particularly valuable in a world obsessed with beauty, image, and s*x.
But what’s all this got to do with ‘affording’ things?
Well, I’ll tell you, but what I’m about to say shocks most people at first, so please take a deep breath and promise to hear me out before you get angry with me. I’ve poured a ton of energy into empowering you financially, dear reader, and I hope it’s not asking too much to ask you to approach the upcoming statement with an open mind. Fair? OK, here we go…
Since you’re infinitely valuable, you can actually afford infinite things.
Now it may not feel that way at the moment.
You may be looking at your bank account and see no sign that you can afford much at all. And I get it, because…
I spent two-and-a-half years running my business homeless on the cold streets of Toronto, barely living off a few stale croissants a day, and often unable to find shelter from the elements. I know what it’s like to be poor as f**k and be able to afford next to nothing.
You may be there too, in your own way. Maybe it’s as simple as being unable to afford lunch with friends.
Maybe it’s as complex as wanting to invest in a course to elevate your biz. Maybe it’s something as personal and sensitive as having to say ‘no’ to purchases important to your child. (And if you’re like me, you’re livid if anyone tries to suggest you *can* afford things.)
For anyone who’s felt at all like this, when money is tight, we often feel torn between “I want this so bad, now” and “I don’t have the money for this, and shouldn’t get it.”
For example maybe you see a beautiful pair of Louboutins, but immediately feel like they’re ‘too pricey.’ Or perhaps you spot lip-fillers in your feed and yearn to update your own but your inner-voice shouts you “can’t afford it.”
What could’ve been a simple buying decision can feel like a war inside us.
A war between the ‘splurge irresponsibly’ side and the ‘strict budgeting’ side, and an internal war is one of the worst feelings a human can experience. So we end this war as fast as possible with a handy phrase we learned from parents, teachers, friends, the media, and society in general.
“I can’t afford it.”
As soon as we think or say this, the war inside us about our purchase ends, and we feel blissful relief. It happens so fast that we often don’t even realize we’re doing it, and we’re even less likely to realize the dire consequences such a phrase holds for us.
Just like everything in life, we gravitate towards pleasure and away from pain. We lean towards things that help us feel in control, rather than things that feel chaotic. We love the familiar and hesitate with any new.
And so we gravitate towards the belief that ‘I can’t afford it.’ We love its sense of finality and certainty. It paints us into a safe little corner, ending all objections, conversations, or discussions before they come.
Saying, ‘I can’t afford it,’ makes us a noble martyr sacrificing for a higher cause. We think “saying no to this purchase is a tough call to make, but that’s what being responsible is all about, right? I’m doing the ‘right thing.’”
‘I can’t afford it’ is a phrase that stops your friends from convincing you and your kids from bargaining or tantrumming. Most people when saying ‘I can’t afford it’ think they’re doing a good thing for themselves. I know I did. It was my ‘get out of jail free card’ in any financial conversation, and I got to feel righteous because I was ‘responsibly’ admitting that I just couldn’t afford something.
What I didn’t realize was that, yes, ‘I can’t afford it’ stops you from even having to think about any irresponsible splurging or tempting purchases, but at the same time, what many of us don’t realize is that…
…it also stops us from focusing on uplifting purchases our soul calls us towards, too.
Because the desires in our hearts are guiding you towards our dreams. They’re not mean, hateful impulses, they’re our souls talking to us. And we’re meant to achieve our dreams. We’re meant to afford them. And every time we say a knee-jerk ‘no’ to our desires, we’re stepping away from our dreams.
Because along with the dopamine hit we get from using “I can’t afford it” to smoothly avoid talking (or thinking) about our finances, we’re also signing up for a bunch of negative consequences.
We’re signing up for dark, insidious, painful consequences that most people don’t even notice until they’re pointed out and explained clearly.
So let’s take a look at them.
1. Saying “I Can’t Afford It” Tilts You Towards Negativity
Mood, attitude, and emotions massively affect your performance in life. They affect who you connect with (including clients, bosses, or fans). They affect how much time a task takes you (influencing how much free time you have each day). They even affect your health and ability to achieve what you put your mind to.
So anything that tilts your feelings towards the negative has major repercussions.
When you tell yourself (or others) that you can’t afford something, you’re basically creating a self-fulfilling prophecy. Saying such things is affirming a negative narrative in your life. It’s warping your identity more and more into someone who not only “can’t” afford things, but into someone who’ll “never” afford things, because that’s who you are.
This is extra brutal if you’re already struggling with money, because when you’re struggling, you almost certainly have negative feelings and vibes about your finances already, so this is like a nail in the coffin.
- You didn’t come to earth to sacrifice.
- You didn’t come to earth to guilt yourself.
- You didn’t come to earth to throw a pity party.
You came to earth to blossom, thrive, and take bold steps towards your dreams.
So do yourself a favor and ditch the emotional self-abuse around finances, because you deserve better, and they’re only making things worse.
On top of that, you may be sending hurtful messages to others when you say “I can’t afford it.” Many people may hear “you aren’t important to me to even attempt to find the resources,” and it’d be hard to blame them, because how many times has a ‘financial emergency’ (hospital bill, short on rent, kid needs braces) come up and you managed to ‘find a way’ to pay for it?
This is especially common in marriages or partnerships, and can often be solved through communication, but ‘I can’t afford it’ isn’t what one might call top-tier communication.
2. Saying “I Can’t Afford It” Makes You Lazier
‘No way,’ you may be thinking. ‘A simple phrase can’t make me lazier, can it?’
Well, like many things in life, small choices can really add up, especially related to money. Think about it, the first time you do anything, you’re basically starting a pattern. Do it again, and you’ve got two reps in. Do it a third time, it’s a pattern. Continue the pattern, and it soon becomes a habit.
And habits eventually become instincts. They become things we do on autopilot, without thinking. Once ‘I can’t afford that’ becomes a habit, we use it in place of sitting down and evaluating our priorities. We use it to avoid doing some mental math or calculations. We use it to avoid brainstorming actual solutions and paths to make the purchase we really want to deep down.
And this keeps us poor.
You’re meant to love yourself and splurge on yourself. You didn’t come to earth to be a monk, avoiding all purchases. You’re meant to invest in yourself, and in fact, anything that can elevate your skills or character should be of the highest priority, because those things are permanent, for life, and no one can take them away from you.
They’ll pay off dividends for you year after year, for your entire lifetime. Investing in yourself is an incredibly wise investment.
Do you really want those opportunities to pass you by due to an autopilot-uttered ‘I can’t afford that.’
Hopefully you’re able to see how ‘I can’t afford that removes nearly all calm reflection, evaluation, and prioritization and replaces it with blind restrictions, tiny financial boundaries, and low-effort decision-making.
Your decisions matter. A lot. Especially your financial decisions. It’s fine to use habits to decide how to tie your shoes or something, but hopefully you’re not using them to make many financial decisions. Ideally you’d be putting *extra* effort into financial decisions, not farming those decisions out to habit.
Because ultimately, without taking the time to evaluate your purchases and tap into your inner-resourcefulness to get what you really want, you’re skipping the opportunity to make significant choices to improve your life. Plus, you’re gonna miss out on some great experiences along the way.
“If you spend your whole life waiting for the storm, you’ll never enjoy the sunshine.“ – Morris West
Let’s look at another bad consequence of saying ‘I can’t afford it.’
3. Saying “I Can’t Afford It” Puts You In Comparison
Sometimes in life, when we’re at peace in a bath or on a walk in nature or dancing up a storm, we’re free of comparison. We’re in a blissful state of non-comparison. This is a wonderful state to be in, and can help us truly prosper in life, if we tap into it often.
Unfortunately, much of society’s training has conditioned us to replace these states with one of comparison. In this state we compare ourselves (our things, our experiences, etc.) to others, and decide which is ‘better’ and which is ‘worse.’
“I can’t afford it,” is one of the biggest culprits that takes us away from our truly empowered selves and puts us in comparison-mode.
Our heart tells us to buy a certain product that will enhance our lives and move us closer to our dreams... but our lizard-brain instantly kicks up fear and says it would be ‘better’ not to have this product. Then our mouth habitually says ‘I can’t afford it.’
Or our heart tells us to buy a certain product, but our lizard-brain instantly kicks up fear and says it would make our lives ‘worse.’ Then our mouth habitually says ‘I can’t afford it.’
These labels are usually snap-judgments, rarely thought-out, rarely soul-searched. They’re often slapped on situations as automatically as the phrase ‘I can’t afford it.’
And just like the terms ‘better’ and ‘worse’…
…language like ‘I can’t afford it’ carries a lot of connotations.
In my first year of homelessness, I took a lot of pride in the fact that I hid my situation and didn’t ‘burden others’ with it. Because of this, friends would often invite me to events and often I would decline by saying, “I couldn’t afford it,” and I was “working on my business.” I’d even do this with events that I 100% knew would actually help my business and make me a better business person.
Occasionally I’d actually accept invitations just because I didn’t want anyone to discover just how poor I really was. But whenever I did this, I got incredibly low-value from attending, because rather than making connections and gaining wisdom, I spent the entire time fretting over finances and regretting that I even showed up. I compared myself to everyone having fun so freely, seemingly unconcerned with money, and that comparison graduated into resentment, bitterness, and depression.
4. It makes you a passive victim.
Saying that you can’t afford something instantly puts you in a passive position.
It disempowers you.
Saying “I can’t afford it” means you’re not in charge. Instead, money is in charge. You’re not in charge, time is in charge. You’re not in charge, resources are in charge. “I can’t afford it,” means someone or something else is in control, and you’re playing the role of the victim until you drop such beliefs.
You could say “I choose not to buy this at this time.” Or “Please give me a few days to sell some knick-knacks and shuffle some funds around.” Or “This sounds like a good opportunity to fund-raise.” Or any number of better, more empowering phrases, and I hope you commit to doing so.
5. It Opens You Up To Financial Advice
When I hear others talk about financial problems, my mind instantly tries to solve them.
I’m not one for giving unsolicited financial advice, but I’m often thinking it in my head. I can’t help it. I’m a problem solver, and I love teaching abundance whenever I can. I don’t judge people, it’s all just solving problems and finding solutions.
If a friend complains “I just can’t afford ____,” my mind quickly analyzes their spending, talents, skills, opportunities and more just to try to find a way for them to make room in their budget. Maybe I’d even buy it for them, if they were willing to discuss
I really want people to have what they want and not feel limited by money. I know they can afford their dreams if we just put our heads together.
But I keep it to myself.
Not everyone is as disciplined as me though.
Many people are just waiting for you to bring up ‘price’, so when you’re dealing with most people…
As soon as you say “I can’t afford it,” you’re going to get a flood of financial advice.
If you don’t want others analyzing your spending to help you ‘solve’ this affordability problem then avoid phrases like “I can’t afford.” Doing so keeps the financial advice at bay.
Instead, make a real, honest choice to buy what you want, because you want it, and to not buy something because you truly don’t want it. No excuses. No “I can’t afford it.” Just choose. Then own that choice and tell people so. I choose not to buy this. I do choose to buy that. “Affording” has nothing to do with it at all.
This way no one can argue with what you choose and it doesn’t present a problem to solve.
6. Saying “I Can’t Afford It” Hides Your Truth
Because the truth is, you *can* afford it. You can afford that pair of shoes. You can afford that high-end make-up. You can afford that salon visit. In most cases, we all put barely any effort into finding the resources. We’d rather stay comfortable, not think, and not adjust our lifestyle in any way, shape, or form.
In the vast majority of cases you can afford it.
And we all have afforded it in a pinch, time and again.
What do I mean?
I mean you can often can afford most things that life serves up to you, if you’re willing to take an honest look at things, be creative, and be resourceful. As I mentioned earlier, you do this every time what you consider a ‘financial emergency’ comes up. You simply find the money & resources somehow to deal with the emergency and keep your life moving along.
Why is it that your brain has the power to do that for ‘emergencies’ and for ‘other people who are in trouble’, but not for your day-to-day purchases?
The answer is your brain has the power to do that constantly for you, but –if you’re like I was– you only direct it to do so with passion on rare occasions, and spend the rest of the time on autopilot saying “I can’t afford it.”
This is a waste of your value, your creativity, your wonderful mind, your potential.
Would you like 3 examples of what to do instead of saying “I can’t afford it?”
A. Explain priorities.
If someone invites you to eat out, try this: Take time to make a truly thought-out decision. Tell them you need a minute to think, or even sleep on it if you have to. Then own your decision and communicate why you chose it.
Let’s say you’d love to eat out with friends, but you also want to pay down your credit cards: simply reply to your friend with ‘Dude, I’d love to go eat with you but I’m putting all restaurant-splurges on hold til we pay down these cards. We’re hustling on this, so I’m sure I’ll be treating you to a meal soon.’
Your friend will respect your honesty and financial priorities. They may even offer to treat, but even if they don’t, at least you made a wise, well-prioritized financial decision, owned your current situation, resources, and priorities, and avoided the trap of “I can’t afford it.”
B. Find the resources.
Let’s say you have the opportunity to take an incredible mentorship program online, but it’s a few hundred dollars out of your budget. You could stare at your bank-balance, feel sh*tty, and say “I can’t afford it,” OR…
…you could find the resources. You could borrow from a relative with the confidence you can pay them back from the wealth-generation skills you receive from the mentorship. You could quickly sell some old used items hanging around your house on Craigslist or Ebay. You could quickly do some extra work on the side to make some cash. You could get an interest-free credit card, some banks hand them out like candy.
You. Are. Valuable. You are talented. You are creative. You are resourceful. Act like it. Put that brain to use. Figure out ways to get what you want, instead of just closing off to it. Your soul is calling you to expand and to reach your dreams, and that doesn’t happen with “I can’t afford it” as your default answer.
C. Temporarily back-burner something.
Just like when you have a pot on the front-burner and you’re stirring it actively, and then you move it to the ‘back-burner’ to simmer gently while you focus on more immediate tasks, ‘back-burning’ something is when we de-prioritize it in our lives.
When parents need to take care of kids, they make a conscious choice to put ‘sleep on the back-burner. As teens when exams were coming up, we’d often put socializing on the back-burner so we could focus on studying. When we have a big purchase coming up, we may put daily Starbucks’ drinks on the back-burner in order to save up for it.
Imagine you really want $500 lip-fillers and you haven’t been able to afford all year. Imagine also, that you have a twice-a-day Starbuck’s $5 Mochachino habit. You’d only have to back-burner your Starbuck’s habit for about a month and half to cover the cost of lip-fillers. Once done, you could go right back to your Mochachinos.
In this example, it’s not that you “couldn’t afford it”, it’s that you absolutely refused to cut-back on *any* financial costs or expenses in your life in order to get them. Refusing to take a couple-month break from Starbucks means the sugar-drinks were more important to you than the lip-fillers.
This is fine, and there’s no judgment from me, but please be aware of what you’re doing. In our imaginary scenario, you do *have* the resources to get your lip-fillers in short order, but you’ve put lip-fillers on the back-burner and Mochachinos on the front-burner.
It’s a choice. One where you decide which is more important to you.
Celebrities didn’t say “I can’t afford it” to the things that mattered.
J-Lo walked around with holes in her shoes, and homelessly couch-surfing in dance-studios while pursuing her career.
Mariah Carey slept alone as a teen on a mattress on the floor while writing her songs.
They and many others knew how to back-burner certain priorities in order to get what they really wanted, and you can too.
This is not ‘sacrificing’ the way people like to think of it, it’s simply lowering the priority of one thing in our lives to get something far more important to us on a faster timeline. We can always go back and pick-up whatever was back-burnered once that’s done.
I said “I can’t afford it” for years, and it made me poorer.
During my homeless years, my habit of saying ‘I can’t afford it’ made me poorer and poorer until I became depressed and suicidal.
And you know what turned it around for me?
Giving up my attachment to this phrase, and admitting that many people before me have acquired far more, with far less than myself, and many more will do so after I’m gone.
- Because the truth is, life isn’t about ‘resources’ it’s about ‘resourcefulness.’
- The truth is our economy has gotten bigger and bigger since cave-man times.
- The truth is there’s always more money flowing around, waiting to be scooped up by wise souls.
- The truth is money is a reflection of our values, resourcefulness, and beliefs.
- The truth is that the people we look up to –when they were down and out– thought and talked in different ways about their finances than us.
Our heroes were once just like us, and then something changed for them. Their biographies will say that they ‘got discovered’ or ‘made a hit’ and so on, but the real reason they were able to get out of their poverty was deeper and more subtle.
They started on their wealth-journey because they made a decision.
They made a decision to believe they CAN afford what they want. They made a decision to be RESOURCEFUL. They made a decision to feel good about money and take steps towards getting what they want.
It’s not just about the wording, language, or phrase either… it’s about the thought-processes, beliefs, feelings, and attitudes behind the phrase. It’s about deciding to be abundant. It’s about deciding to exist to thrive, rather than survive or get by.
“Every second of every minute of every hour of every day you are making decisions. These choices are about what will change, and how. You are doing nothing but changing. How you are changing is up to you. What you are evolving into is up to you.” – Neale Donald Walsch
Instead of saying ‘I can’t afford it,’ decide on a new habit. Decide to ask ‘how can I afford it?’
Decisions and choices are the great equalizer. They’re the super-power we’re all born with. Some of us use our choices well moment-by-moment, day-by-day, and others of us throw away our choices on autopilot. Some of us are in-between.
The point though, is that anyone you look up to had a moment in their life where they made a pure, heartfelt, committed decision to never say ‘I can’t afford it’ again.
And right here, right now, you have the same opportunity.
You can join them if you make a bold decision to change your view on money and affording things.
Or you can stay small, plain, struggling, and burnt-out saying “I can’t afford it” for years to come, because a decision-delayed just becomes harder and harder to ever make.
It only gets harder each passing second.
So now is literally the best and easiest time it’ll ever be for you.
Will you choose to resourcefully prioritize what you want, and find creative ways to afford it or progress towards it from now on?
Whew. If this passionate piece can’t get you to start believing in your ability to afford your dreams, I don’t know what will. I wrote this because I care about you. You deserve more.
You don’t have to buy a single thing off me, or even read another thing I write, but whatever you do, please realize that you’re infinitely valuable and resourceful, and choose to believe in your ability to find paths, financial or otherwise, to the products, services, and experiences you dream of having. Sending you so much love, J.