I buy the generic sometimes because they’re almost equivalent but cheaper, but only on the stuff that is just the same. When it comes to paper towels, toilet paper, things of that nature I splurge on. There’s a big difference between the generic and brand name. No need in cheaping it up when you know you’re fixin’ to use double the amount by doing so. Meats, my Almond milk, eggs, I splurge on those too. Everything else? Generic unless of course there is a killer buy one get one deal on the fancy stuff.
I pick and choose which bills I pay on time if at all. Usually the ones with the lowest late fee gets paid last. Rent is always number one so if I’m behind on that, well everyone else is just going to have to wait. No, I’m not scared of the “I.O.Them” callers. Thanks to caller I.D I just simply ignore their calls until I am able to to make a payment. I laugh because sometimes it doesn’t even go past the first ring before I ignore the call. That must equally annoy them as much as their calls have the potential to annoy other people, so I think of it as retribution.
I pick and choose which invite from friends I accept. If I order take-out, I make sure to order a combo that has enough food for me to divvy up for two meals, and if I go out to dinner I load up on bread and salad then take the entree home for lunch the next day.
Being broke isn’t easy. There is a lot of strategizing one must do on a day to day basis. Everything from the amount you eat per meal so that groceries last you until next pay day, to the amount of soap you use to wash dishes, to pinching quarters for laundry. Every move is carefully made as to not go without. Or at least not go without often. Sure, maybe I don’t get to buy the things I want anytime I want them. Maybe I can’t get up one random day, plan a cool trip someplace, and just go. Yet one major plus about being broke? You still have the chance to be rich if you just get past the materialistic.
There are some that argue that only the poor say, “life isn’t all about money” because they know no better. Well I say back to them, if you believe that they’re wrong because they have never been rich then the same can be said about you if you have never been poor. Being raised in a middle class family and going from that to making an easy $1500 a week, there was a point that I was just throwing money away. I would literally spend just to spend and looking back on it now it makes me queasy. Now I’m back to bringing home a small fraction of what I used to make a week, and to be honest, I am ok with that. I can even go as far as saying that I like it.
I appreciate every purchase I make down to the nitty gritty. Toothpaste, groceries, even cleaning supplies, when I walk out of the store I show gratitude to the Universe that I was able to buy what I needed. If I have the opportunity to buy something I actually want I am elated. I’ve recently made mini trips within my state, researching and finding local hidden adventures to cure my travel craze until a big trip can be planned. The smaller things in life become the most fun and memorable and nothing is taken for-granted, even the most minute of things. Moments of boredom are even beneficial. When you’re broke it’s difficult to keep yourself entertained and that there leads to creativity. So yes, I may be broke but my life is still rich. I’m broke rich.
Being broke can be shit but there is always a silver lining to everything. That’s my law to live by. You can still dance with happiness when you’re broke. Love is just as easily available for the broke than it is for the rich. I’ll even say more so. Life when you’re broke is more of a mystery and unpredictable. And us broke folk can easily go with the flow and roll with the punches.
Do I wish that I could have more money? Of course but only just enough and not more, because it’s like my man used to say, this line I’ll never forget,
“Mo’ money mo’ problems…” -Biggie Smalls
Photo Credit: Natal Galvan, Muse: My Change and I