Broke people don’t have much in the way of money and resources, so we try to do the most with our least. This means little things like doing calories per dollar calculations at the grocery store, or alcohol per dollar at the liquor store if it’s been a long week. However, to take a page out of Donna Meagle and Tom Haverford’s book, you gotta treat yourself. But how, you may wonder, do broke people do that? It’s the little things.
1. Get the guac. On the two or so occasions per week that I allow myself to eat out, sometimes I just.. have to love myself and get guacamole. Do I love it? No. I’m not a huge fan of guacamole as far as taste is concerned. But goddamnit, I’ll do it for the status. I need people in line to look at me with awe, thinking, “Guacamole? He’s the Bill Gates of this taqueria right now.”
2. Get a black car Uber. It’s such an unnecessary expense, but it’s so worth it. Not even with friends, just a solo black car Uber. For about 4 minutes — all I can afford — I can feel like Jay Z. And then walk the rest of the way to the bar.
3. Spend an extra two dollars for the nice beer. Deciding to get the nice beer at either a bar or a store is a lot like heroin. I think. I wouldn’t know. Anyway. The nice beer. The one that’s a few dollars extra that you usually deny yourself because, well, you have to budget. You shouldn’t even be buying beer in the first place, let alone the nice beer. But today? Today I’m going to splurge and get the $10 beer like a frothy James Bond motherfucker.
4. Buy a new shirt. That’s right. Fuck Goodwill. Fuck thrift stores. Brand new. Like with a tag. In my size. This is the stuff of royalty, I’m sure. Or slave labor.
5. Make it a combo. Usually I don’t need the fries, or whatever the side item is. It’s just stomach filler and a sugary beverage for an extra $2.50 or so. But when payday rolls around and I hit up the local Fatburger (or In-N-Out, whatever), you better believe I’m getting every bell and whistle that symphony of flavor has to offer. Bacon. Fries. Milkshakes. Pretty much anything on the menu that’s designed to give me a heart attack by the time I’m 25.
6. Pay bills ahead of time. Which is the exact opposite of the way I pay bills. Usually, I wait until the last possible moment before it’s deemed “late” and often it’s not even a money thing. I’m just being lazy. But when I do have money, when the rivers of liquid capital are flowing relatively strong, I’ll pay days early. That’s right. Days. Lavish.
7. Taco Tuesday. It’s my sincere hope that this isn’t SoCal specific, but you need to find the best taco Tuesday in your city. You can make out like such a bandit that you might go ahead and drop $20 on yourself like you deserve it. My haunt is Cabo Cantina during their 2-for-1 happy hour. That’s right. They have a 2-for-1 happy hour every weekday, including Tuesday. They also have the most intrepid Taco Tuesday deal I’ve come across: unlimited tacos for $6. Two beers and bottomless tacos for $11. Yeah, you read that right. But again. We’re balling out. At those prices, I usually get about 8 beers and stuff my face and don’t eat for a week.
8. Eat breakfast at Starbucks. Generally, I don’t fuck with Starbucks, not so much morally as financially because damn. Anyway, when the finances are lined up real nice and you sort of rushed outta the house, you look at that pastry display like you’re about to buy a 16 room, 23 bathroom estate. “This is reduced fat turkey bacon, you say? Interesting.” “Is that a lemon square? Quaint, quaint.” For the sake of being a motherfucking baller, you buy your overpriced latte thingamajig, and get a pastry and one of those wack breakfast sandwiches like you’re some kinda trust fund baby.
9. Buy everybody shots. This is the most reckless thing I do when I have money. I like spending on people when I can, it’s a hard habit to break. “Oh, I’ll buy, don’t trip.” But shots are a show, a display. It’s the most fratty thing I do. “UHH, WHO WANTS SHOTS?” In my tepid defense, I’m usually really hammered by this point.
10. Do laundry properly. Technically, you’re supposed to divvy up your clothes by likeness but who on a budget really does that? Everything gets crammed into the same load and I hope for the best. But when I have a little money? Mary Poppins is in the building.
11. Buy actual groceries. Not just ramen noodles for once. Fruits, vegetables. Food groups are actually on the table (pun intended). Eggs? Only “organic,” whatever that means.
12. Give other people financial advice. Listen, if I have more than $100 in my account, I’m basically Warren Buffett. How did I get this $100? Well, let me tell you my five easy steps..
13. Skip through the street smiling like Leonardo Dicaprio. Because damn it feels good to be a gangsta.