how to survive being broke as a joke;

two very true facts: i am absurdly frugal, to the point that it will take me three weeks of deliberation, calls to my mother, and list-making to buy a new nalgene water bottle (i finally bought it friday). and i am also broke as a joke. good concerts + being a college student who doesn’t sit still enough to have a steady summer job can do that to you.

1. thrift stores. they have anything you could ever dream up. llama pins? j. crew shorts in all the sherbet-y shades of your dreams? coffee mugs with dancing bears on them? i’m sold. but only if that shizz is under eight dollars. and would you look at that, IT IS.

2. new music! nothing brightens my cheap day more than finding new tunes to dance around my apartment to. i personally love going on the RAC website (because i am a remix junkie), clicking a song randomly, and leaving it on all day as i parade around my room in my simpsons boxer shorts.  i also can’t get enough of miss moss playlists.

3. if you do find the itch to spend money, spend it on experiences and not things. these days the only thing i really spend a chunk of change on= concerts. i’m going to see cake, two door cinema club, group love, and laura marling next week and i am nearly writhing with glee, despite spending more than three dollars.  i told my mom when i was in high school that i’d rather receive experiences than things as gifts (sooo deep, my name should be “ocean”). i didn’t get a wad of graduation money when i graduated high school, but i did get to go on a road trip to the appalachian mountains in north carolina. schwing. 

4. since we’re on the subject, text your mother. exploit her hilarity for the world. if i wasn’t so afraid of the internet’s capacity for absurd levels of creep, i’d give you her phone number. woman has puns on puns. too much for one daughter, for sure. most of these texts will not make sense unless you’ve seen the movie “billy madison” or at least this scene. i rest my case.

5. free is fun. when i think back over this past semester, most of my favorite things were free i.e. my favorite price. i starred in two good guy friend’s student films (one involving being a badass sniper and one as a vengeful zombie wife, see above photo for night terrors. lol @ me being on imdb.). so. many. potlucks! swing dancing! teaching yourself german! bike rides! doing favors for people (free burritos + smoothies!)

6. leave your debit cards/credit cards/check books (if you’re time traveling from the year 1997) at home. i recently had to pay three months’ worth of rent in the matter of three days, leaving me with about eight dollars to my name, post-grocery shopping. i find that when i try/need to restrict my spending, i will want to buy ALL OF THE LLAMA PINS! and take up an expensive FLYING TRAPEZE practice! and suddenly want to buy ALL OF THE FOUR DOLLAR SOY CHEESES! so i keep it simple and leave my money-wasting devices at home when things are really tight.

{my nephew is the most adorbz}
7. babies. no, don’t have one.  that will cost you more than seven dollars. find one to love on. i volunteer (free!) at my church with sunday school and i spend most of my time chronicling the adorable things two year olds say to me and drinking imaginary tea (and getting reprimanded by another two year old for not blowing on my tea). gem of this week goes as follows:

judah (two year old boy at church): what’s that? *points to knee*
me: two boo-boos! i fell off my bike real badly.
judah: you fell off your bike?! two boo-boos?!
me: it’s okay! i feel better.
judah: IT’S. NOT. OKAY!

8. exploit your college’s resources, if possible. emerson is expensive enough to give me the shakes. instead of putzing around and thinking about how much money is going into my education, i exploit it. i get weird-looking moles checked out at the health center, i use the stair master and sauna at the gym (and take a complimentary mini clif bar…or five), and talk to my homegirl jenn about my feelings at the counseling center every few weeks.  FO’ FREE.

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5 thoughts on “how to survive being broke as a joke;

  1. Yes to Miss Moss! I found out about her awesomeness last spring and her mixes kept me ahead of the curve. I heard awesome songs BEFORE XM radio did!

  2. I love all of this but seriously I cannot get enough of your mother’s text messages. I thought Puff Patty was good but your woman is freakin hilarrriouss!!

  3. Ok, first, your writing is always wonderful, but this one got me chuckling this morning. Thanks. =)

    Second, I love these tips! I swear by the thrift store, but need to adopt the ideas of leaving cards at home and spending on experiences rather than things…I’m usually in nesting mode, so I’m often thinking about something that needs to be improved in our apartment. But the truth is, we’re doin’ just fiiine.

    And that’s my number one rule…I try to remember that we are doing just fine…better than fine! We live in a country of excess, and I’ve learned that I don’t really NEED a haircut every 8 weeks, cable tv, or curtains that match our bedspread.

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