Everyone knows what it’s like to be broke at some point in their lives. Except people with really rich parents, but fuck people with really rich parents. For the rest of us, we know what it’s like to take free trials at a bunch of gyms we have no intention of joining, or to cut our own hair despite having no haircutting experience whatsoever.
But those aren’t the only things we do. There are many, many more. Here are some of the other drastic measures us po’ folk take when we’re flat broke.
Crumple your ATM receipt really tight before throwing it out
This was actually my inspiration for this article. Last Friday night I go to take out $100 and when I get the receipt, a wave of depression engulfs me like a whiff of bad B.O., so I crumple it up really tight and throw it deep down into the garbage so that the next anonymous stranger can’t look at it and laugh at me behind my back. Back in college when I had a bunch of online poker money, I would leave my receipts perfectly flat, face-up, on the uppermost rim of the trash can and walk back to my car with my dick held high. Nowadays I contemplate literally eating them on the off chance that a really judgmental bum finds it when rummaging through the garbage.
Fill up your gas tank for $10 or less
You know exactly how much gas you need to get you from Point A to Point B, and you also know your mom needs to use the car later that night. So let’s let her take care of it.
Make up excuses to stay in Thursday night because you don’t get paid until Friday
“What’s up bro, you comin’ out tonight or what?”
“Fuck, I wish man. I gotta stay in and uh, babysit my nephew.”
“When did you get a nephew?”
“It’s my sister’s kid. I never mentioned him before?”
“No, dude. And since when do you have a sister?”
“She’s uhh, she’s from Wisconsin, you never met her. I’ll be out tomorrow night, though.”
Steal razor cartridges
They’re small, they’re necessary, and they’re expensive as fuck. Gillette is practically begging you to steal them.
Use things that aren’t toilet paper for toilet paper
Baby Wipes, magazine pages, even newspaper (not recommended), whatever works. There’s a Chipotle five blocks from my apartment that never runs out of napkins, so I never run out of toilet paper.
Walk everywhere that’s within an hour
This one’s for people who live in cities where public transportation is popular. Basically if you can see your destination on your phone’s map without scrolling over, it’s totally walkable.
Borrow DVD’s from the public library
“My friend” does this all the time. Who needs Netflix when you can fight the other vagrants around the library movie drawer for free?
I’ve eaten bologna like four times in my entire life, and three of them were on days after I did something financially crippling the night before. The fourth was when I got in-school suspension in middle school for pulling a kid’s chair out from under him when he went to sit down after the Pledge of Allegiance.
I’m not talking about going around and collecting other people’s bottles. We’re broke but we’re not bums. I’m talking about the four huge bags of beer cans that have been sitting in your backyard since the first weekend of the school year. Tonight’s 30-rack ain’t gonna buy itself.
Pay some of the bill on your card, the rest in cash
Everyone’s seen/been that guy at one point. You go to dinner with a few friends, only you forgot to get cash before you left, so when the bill comes everyone suggests the sensible solution of giving you their share in cash and you putting the whole bill on your card. Only problem is the bill is $150 and you’ve only got $118 in your checking, so you include their cash with your card when paying “just to make it easier on everyone,” even though in reality it’s ten times more inconvenient.
Give homemade presents
Ladies, if your boyfriend gives you something for your birthday that he made himself, he’s not romantic, he’s broke. Buying stuff takes a lot less effort than making stuff, and if there’s one thing we hate more than buying things, it’s doing things.
Go to the bathroom immediately upon entering the bar to avoid buying the first round
“Dude you just pissed before we left your place.”
“So, I gotta go again. Could you get me a Heineken? I’ll get you later.”
And of course by “later” you mean when everyone’s already drunk and lost track of who’s buying what two hours ago.
Go to Sephora for free cologne
The girl you just started seeing loves the way you smell in the new Armani cologne, which sucks because you hate the way it costs. The only logical thing to do of course is to stop at the mall and go to town on the sampler bottle before you pick her up for your date.
Check your bank account before making any large purchase
And by large purchase I mean anything over $100. You could be in line at Foot Locker buying $125 sneakers and you’re 100% opening up the Chase app on your phone to make sure you’ve got enough in there so the high school kid behind the counter doesn’t embarrass you in front of all the other high school kids in the store.
Talk about what you’d do if you had money
Jimmy T is a weekly columnist for BroBible. He runs the blog Jimmy’s Very Unusual.