I've gotta be honest, it's not often I find myself broke.
I'm very lucky to have a great steady job that pays me enough to live the lifestyle I've grown accustomed to.
Every now and then I slip up and live a little outside my means *cough*cough* those-3-bottles-of-expensive-wine-our-last-night-of-vacation*cough*cough* and find myself, well, less than flush.
And it's in these times that I pull up my (Frye) bootstraps, carpé the diem, make (spiked) lemonade, and find resourcefulness in myself.
Here's my brief (And questionable) guide to being broke:
Step 1: Buy Some Two-Buck Chuck
- If you're gonna be broke, you might as well be drunk, right? Enter Charles Shaw Cabernet Sauvignon from my beloved Trader Joes.
At $2.99 a bottle, it's still enjoyable in taste, and can be appreciated by those deepest in hoodrat status.
And it goes great with Ramen.
Step 2: Get Crafty
- Why is it that seemingly when you're in your deepest financial crevice, all of a sudden it becomes EVERYONE AND THEIR MOTHER'S BIRTHDAY?!?!
Now, I'm a firm believer that A) Birthdays are ridiculously important and B) Homemade presents are the bomb anyway, so being broke gives me the opportunity to stretch my creative wings. It's really a win-win.
Four Christmases ago I was flat broke and I made my mom a box of 75 note cards each saying something different I love about her. It cost me 3 dollars, and she hasn't stopped crying since.
Step 3: Turn Your Apartment into a Resort
- The thing that really sucks about being broke is you can't go out. And for someone who could eat every single meal of her life at a restaurant, this becomes a problem.
SO, the thing to do is, to turn your home into a place filled with opportunities of rad stuff to do.
"Sorry guys, can't go out tonight, I've got an in-home mani/pedi waiting for me."
"Oooh man, I'd love to go to that concert, but I'm expected at an intimate private screening of the illegally downloaded final episodes of Breaking Bad. Have fun though!"
See? You got this.
Step 4: Expand Your Mind
- You know what's free? Reading.
Don't view being broke to mean that you're unable to go out and do anything, view it as your chance to finally finish Anna Karenina! (Or the finally read the Harry Potter series... You know, whatever.)
Step 5: Go Shopping in Your Closet
- I am a completely and totally confirmed Shopaholic. It's difficult for me to let a full week go by without purchasing something new. So being broke kind of blows.
BUT - I actually find that when I'm hard up I come up with some of my most innovative sartorial creations! Give yourself an extra 15 minutes when you're getting dressed and just go nuts. Spend some time on the internet finding looks you love and then try and create them from things you already own!
(Disclaimer: This can sometimes backfire. Your brilliantly imagined Annie Hall look can take a turn for the worse into Rosie O'Donnell territory.... You've been warned.)
Step 6: Change Your Attitude, Change Your Life
- The thing about being broke is, just like everything else in life, it's completely and totally about your outlook.
So you can't go to dinner and the movies on your normal date night, so what? You CAN make a fun night of it in the kitchen, rent a $1 Redbox, and do something else together I can think of that's totally free... if you catch my drift...
See??? Looking at this list, being broke actually doesn't look so bad!
The other things that are really important are to listen to a lot of music, catch up on projects that have been nagging at you, and to have a sense of humor.
If you do all of this, especially number 6 (never forget - mindset is everything!), I can almost guarantee you you'll be fine.
And when in doubt, just drink more Charles Shaw. PBR is also acceptable.