Stop Saying You’re Broke When You Obviously Aren’t, Dude

You: “Hey, I really want to see you soon. Want to go grab a drink Saturday night or something?”

Your friend: “Ugh, dude, you know I’d love to, but I’m sooOOoo broke right now.”

You, wasting time on Facebook on Sunday afternoon: Click on “Photos” link. See a new album of photos posted by a mutual friend of you and aforementioned friend. See friend tagged in countless photos hitting the bars on Saturday night. (Face palm.)

_____

“Broke,” huh? Pick a dictionary, any dictionary, and when you look up the word broke (in the given context), you’ll find something along these lines:

adjective [predic.] informal: having completely run out of money.

But for anyone between the ages of 13 and 22, the definition of broke is looser than a muumuu.

13 to 17 years old

You are still living under your parents’ roof, hating life, unleashing your hormone-fueled angst. You want to get out of the house and fast. All the stuff you can do for free in your city is wholly unappealing, especially if you’re living in suburbia. You may or may not have a job, which means you may or may not rely on an allowance. (Be honest, even if you have a job, you still beg for handouts from Mom and Pops.)

You log onto the MacBook/iPhone/iPad that you didn’t buy for yourself and check movie show times for the evening. Sweet—The Smurfs movie is playing at 9:00, and it’s in 3D. You have no idea what it’ll be all about, because you have never even heard of the original Smurfs cartoon. But whatever, you just saw a photo online last week of Katy Perry in a Smurfette dress looking foinnnneee—good enough reason as any to go see a movie. IDK, maybe she’ll make a cameo during the credits wearing something equally as tiny = worth the $10+ you’ll pay to see it.

But wait… CRAP. That is $10+ you do not possess. You scour your bedside table, bookshelves, closet, even the dark, forgotten depths underneath your bed, for money. Your findings? Approximately $3.47 in change. Time to belly up to the ‘rents for some cash. But Mom is at the grocery store, and Dad is working late, which means Mr. and Mrs. Moneybags are inaccessible, almost as awful as every bank ever closing at like 5 PM. (Which is bogus, BTW.)

This means you’ll have to tell your cronies you’re too BROKE to go to the movies, and they’ll laugh (behind your back, of course), offer fake condolences, not offer to spot you the money and will rub it in your face on Monday at school that Katy Perry did, indeed, make a cameo at the end wearing nothing but blue paint, like the chick from Avatar.

You are what I’ll call the “dependent broke.” You live a privileged life, but do not have money of your own all the time (or ever), so you are at the mercy of your parents’ wallets. You’re actually kind of broke, but you’re not going to get any pity from anyone. Get a job. Baby-sit a neighbor’s kid or walk somebody’s dog. Seriously.

18 to 22 years old

You are a college student (which almost sums this up in and of itself). You are soooo much cooler than your former middle/high school self. You are mature now. You are an adult. (Or so you think. Adult is another term whose definition isn’t actually a reflection of real life.) You probably even have a part-time job now. (You better.) You aren’t living by the rules of your captorsparents any more, which means you can drink and not have to worry about getting caught. (Well, at least by them. Now you have RAs, campus security and cops to deal with. Which is probablydefinitely worse.)

You are now accountable for your own broke-ness. You can no longer pull the line, “My freakin’ parents, man. They won’t give me anythingggg!” The tricky business about you, though? You are now smart enough to know you can use “broke” in a new way—to get out of things you don’t want to do.

Got an offer for better plans than you previously had for this weekend? Tell the person involved with the original plans: “I’m “too broke” to go to ___________________ (fill in the blank).” You’ll apologize profusely. Make sure to be convincing. Pick up phone. Call person with better plans. Tell them you’re in. Pat yourself on the back. (Okay, don’t pat yourself on the back.) But you succeeded, so kudos you or something. Unless Facebook photos later surface of the plans switcheroo, and you’ve just made somebody feel really worthless. Do you have a heart?

You are what I’ll call the “I’m-not-really-broke broke.” You probably have at least 20 bucks in your checking account. You’d have more than enough to drink for a while at a hole-in-the-wall bar, have a cheap meal somewhere or grab dessert and a cup of coffee ANYWHERE. You just prefer bro bars or want to hang out where there will be a potential for your fiddle to get diddled or something. That’s your prerogative, I suppose. Just own it. TC mark

image – Images of Money

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  • Hank Single

    Still no editors.

  • Hank Single

    Still no editors.

  • Chels

    i don’t know if you caught this, but your friend is not broke- just has no interest in hanging with you

  • okaybro

    this was kinda hard to read, actually

  • http://www.facebook.com/meliza.anne Meliza Mitra

    We all actually didn’t grow up sucking money from our parents wallet. Our parents may have been working hard to make sure that our first-generation American selves were able to go through school and eat regularly and pay bills so that we have an apartment . sometimes when people say they are broke, they actually are struggling financially. Not all of us could just hold down a part-time job or NO job at all during college. Some of us had to work A LOT just to pay for the opportunity to go to college.

    You can’t just go around spending money to the last dime with people you rather not hang out with. That’s fiscally irresponsible.

      This is the worst TC article I’ve read so far. How are people supposed to try to relate to articles when you sound like a spoiled whiny brat who has little to no appreciate for other people’s financial situations?

    • http://www.facebook.com/meliza.anne Meliza Mitra

      appreciation*

    • Becky

      Yes, it’s true if you’re actually broke you can’t ‘go around spending money to the last dime with people you rather not hang out with’, but in this instance they obviously have money if you see them in facebook pictures at a different bar. I think you take it a little far there with the ‘spoiled whiny brat who has little to no appreciation for other people’s financial situations’ comment. Chill out and have a sense of humor.

      • http://www.facebook.com/meliza.anne Meliza Mitra

        We all take away from articles differently. Agree to disagree. :)

  • anonymous

    hard to read and your friend just doesn’t wanna chill with you, but i can relate.

    #whitegirlproblems

    • Chels

      #whitegirlproblems is tired and old

    • Chels

      #whitegirlproblems is tired and old

  • Anonymous

    “BEST DAY EVER. I’M GETTING PUBLISHED ON @thoughtcatalog. #LifeGoalAchieved”

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=504951716 Tau Zaman

    Ha. Good points. But, as an RA, I have to say that college is one of the few times where you’ll always have a safety net and can talk to SOMEONE about ANY kind of crazy shit going on in your life. And if an RA can’t help you they can pass you along to someone who can. No other time in your life are you going to get basically a free therapist. They’re a seriously under-utilized resource so reach out to ’em while you can, folks.

  • Colin

    Being broke 18-∞

    Pull out that credit card that you own yourself, charge it up, and pay that shit back later. Have a job with a regular paycheck that allows you to do that.

    • a.

      Woooohoooo going into debt!

  • Customconcern

    Then there’s middle-class-parents broke, when you literally have no money, but are only a phone call and/or a bus ride away from security, food, shelter etc. 

  • http://twitter.com/KelseyEllefson Kelsey Ellefson

    I’m sooOOoo over your story. 

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Jacob-Marek/696640989 Jacob Marek

    please re-write this in a few years after you know what being broke, as a real grownup, is like. y’know, with actual bills and responsibilities.  

  • http://twitter.com/bethanie_m Bethanie Marshall

    I think this article was funny. And I assume that was what you intended it to be. I don’t understand all the people that read these satirical articles and take them “sooOOoo” seriously. Most of them are just intended to be an amusing break from the mundane; to laugh to yourself about something that holds no real purpose, but many of us (at least the ones that aren’t so damn serious all the time) can relate to. I appreciate it, and I thank you. Also, I know the feeling. Ex: “I’m too broke to drive 10 miles to your place tonight to hangout and drink free drinks…” *checks Facebook, friend has checked in at no-name-neighborhood-bar that you know is 2 miles from their place* The bottom line is that the deceiving part is annoying. Don’t want to hang tonight? Cool, just say so.

  • Thegirlwhofellasleep

    This should have been the entire article:

    You: “Hey, I really want to see you soon. Want to go grab a drink Saturday night or something?”
    Your friend: “Ugh, dude, you know I’d love to, but I’m sooOOoo broke right now.”
    You, wasting time on Facebook on Sunday afternoon: Click on “Photos” link. See a new album of photos posted by a mutual friend of you and aforementioned friend. See friend tagged in countless photos hitting the bars on Saturday night. (Face palm.)

    Soooooooooooo funny.

  • Amber

    It’s called Rent and Bills and Groceries, dude. Most “adults” have them. 

    Also, where are you getting wasted for less than $20? I want in on that john.  

    • http://twitter.com/galette_rois Julian Galette

      I dunno about elsewhere but the citywide special in Philly is generally 4 bucks for a PBR and shot of whiskey. You can get plenty wasted for 20 bucks. 

      • Amber

        yeah not in NYC ;( womp womp 

      • Brooklyn Drunk

        Go to the Charleston in Williamsburg. I hate it there but a can of beer + whiskey shot is $5

  • kelso

    I’m 22, work about 80 hours a week and get paid about $800/month.
    I don’t relate……

    • http://twitter.com/SophieZhao sophie zhao

      You get paid $2.5 per hour…? Somehow I find that unbelievable.

      • Kelso

        I work for Americorps, so my “salary” is technically a “living stipend,” meaning that minimum wage doesn’t apply.
        Fortunately, that means I qualify for food stamps, whooo!

      • Kelso

        I work for Americorps, so my “salary” is technically a “living stipend,” meaning that minimum wage doesn’t apply.
        Fortunately, that means I qualify for food stamps, whooo!

  • http://twitter.com/layzrr Matthew

    The comments on this site always manage to hit that perfect mix of “disagreement with the author”, and “I’m entitled to a piece that describes ME”. Every article manages to be an affront to a hip 20-something’s way of life. I think it’s just great.

  • Anon

    Upper middle class white kid making fun of upper middle class white kids.  Very original.

  • Anonymous

    ta.gg/53c

  • Rachel Butters Scotch

    I have this friend who has a trust fund that is not even close to run out…. complains about how “broke” he is and then proceeds to buy over a thousand dollars worth of photography gear.
    Feels like you could have made this deeper, but I get the frustration. 

  • Arthur

    This made me realize how rich I am. 

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