We’ve all been there. Credit cards are maxed; rent day is in a week and you’re scrambling to pick up any odd job you can to make up the remaining $200 or so bucks missing from your bank account needed to actually pay it; you’re on a $35 a week grocery budget and you’re using dish soap to do your laundry and wash your hair; you’re that friend at the bar who asks what the cheapest beer is and pays for a PBR in quarters, then asks one of your friends to tip for you. It sounds bad, but
1. You don’t have to feel bad about staying in on Saturday night
Even though it’s totally OK to not go out on a Saturday night, you always feel at least a pang of FOMO or guilt while you’re lying on the couch with your pants off, picking at ingrown hairs and shovelling chips into your face while watching Thor for the eleventy billionth time. When there’s no money in your bank account, you don’t even have a choice–you have to stay home and preserve precious pennies! And you have to do it in the most piggishly luxurious way possible.
2. You can finally go on that diet you’ve been talking about since 2009
One great thing about being broke is that you have to think about every penny spent–which means you probably can’t buy those $8 chocolate chip cookies any more. It’s straight to the vegetable aisle for you. Without the extra cash in your pocket you’ll stop going for a slice after having a drink (or having the drink at all), and you won’t be coaxed into buying a basket of fries and a grilled cheese while you’re out and about (and by coaxed I mean followed the smell). It’s a great time to get yourself eating as healthily as possible.
3. You’re not drunk half the time and hung over the other half of the time
It’s a pretty good deal that even on the odd occasion when you do go out, you can only afford one drink. You are never drunk! You will never drunk text your ex! You will never wake up in the morning with regret! You will never been hungover! You can go for a run! A RUN!
4. You’ll work harder
I mean–right? This is the time to rally. Time to either find a way to rack up the benjamins or to just go YOLO on it all and do that passion project you always dreamed of. Either way, fear of starving or the liberation of hitting rock bottom will motivate you to work hard.
5. You actually realize things aren’t so bad
Being broke really puts things in perspective, mostly because you’ll realize you’re not really broke. You might be eating beans on toast every night for dinner, and even if you’re only just managing to make rent, you’ll start seeing all the wonderful things you do have. Beans on toast, for instance. And the ability to make rent. If you’re really lucky, you’ll also have some awesome friends who are willing to downgrade brunch from some trendy place in Williamsburg to the local diner for $5 sausage eggs and homefries. Or who will sit around with you while you watch Thor in your knickers. Or who will offer to pay your tip on that horrible PBR you’re drinking.
You’ll start walking more slowly down the street, and you’ll see it in full light, the strangers walking by you, all reflected against one another. You’ll relish tiny little things, like doing your washing by hand, baking your own bread, or spending an evening reading a book or organizing old photos. In the wake of all the things you don’t have, the things you do have will seem immense. I guess you just sort of realize that you’ve actually still got it pretty good afterall.