What You Should Say Instead Of ‘I Can’t Afford It’

What You Should Say Instead Of ‘I Can’t Afford It’

When money is tight, it’s easy to look at all the things you want and simply state, “I can’t afford it.” By turning that statement into a question, however, you can change the way you think about your personal finances for the better.

Man with money picture from Shutterstock

Saying “I can’t afford it” can get you stuck in a loop of never being able to afford anything you want. That’s why Robert Kiyosaki, the author of Rich Dad Poor Dad, suggests you turn that “I can’t afford it” into “How can I afford it?” Kiyosaki explains:

One lets you off the hook, and the other forces you to think. By automatically saying the words ‘I can’t afford it,’ your brain stops working. By asking the question ‘How can I afford it?’ your brain is put to work.

Kiyosaki also notes that saying “I can’t afford it” creates negative feelings like sadness and helplessness. When you change that into a question, however, it creates possibility and that allows positive feelings like excitement. Everything that you want is now a call to action, not an unattainable goal. Essentially, it’s the basis for a total shift in thought. Stop thinking of your current financial state as permanent, and start thinking of ways you can alter your current methods and afford the things you’re after. You have to start somewhere, right?

Rich Dad Poor Dad [Amazon via Business Insider]


  • “I can’t afford it” -> “How can I afford it?” -> “Cash Converters personal finance”

    • Or to put it another way:
      “I have no money for drugs” -> “How can I get money for drugs?” -> Drug-related crime on the rise

  • This has got to be the WORST advice article I’ve seen on life hacker. “How can I afford it?” Will only lead towards making further poor financial decisions to satisfy your inability to put a sensible cap on your spending, thus spiralling further into debt and not being able to meet essential payments.

    • “yes” a thousand times “yes” This very question has put people in financial strife since day dot!

  • Putting “How can I afford it” after “I can’t afford it” without going through “Well, do I really need it” is an incredibly irresponsible piece of advice.
    If it’s not essential and you can’t afford it, get a little perspective and let it go!

  • I can’t afford this – Why? I have no money.
    How can I afford this? By getting more money!

Show more comments

Comments are closed.

Log in to comment on this story!