"I'm broke, but I'm happy" wailed Alanis Morissette circa 1995 and we all swooned. How cool she made it sound to be young and underpaid, short but healthy. Well, now I'm old and less healthy and neither thing is quite so glamorous, lemme tell ya.
Calling all fellow broke peops: I promise you we can still have a life.
Life's expensive yo. And not in a Suite Life of Zack and Cody sense, more in a Can't Pay My Bills On Time sense. In this week's episode of Sh*t I DIdn't Want To Do (otherwise known as Adulting), I paid $70 for cleaning and hygiene products that I swear I don't remember buying ten years ago. Life is getting dirtier or I'm becoming more responsible. Either way I dislike it.
When my marriage ended two years ago I had an exhausted savings, no money and no assets. We had lived overseas for the best part of two years and I hadn't had a home in three years. I couldn't buy a home and didn't even get any avocado toast (unless you count the 2 for $5 avo special at Coles last week). If you are looking to do the same I would strongly advise a better financial plan than this (none) but desperate times, etc, etc. Regardless, this effectively set me at square one again PLUS additional dependant literally relying on me for life. Talk about pressure. Unrelated sidenote, what age can babies get jobs?
Last week my car needed coolant, oil and petrol as well as suddenly just not reversing anymore. I'm not sure how many monies "reversing" costs but I think it's more than I have. I assume it's kinda like being at the shop when you're 10 and I'll just hand out all the money I have and hope for the best.
Some things I spend money on that are totally unnecessary include:
- Real coffee
- Eggs on toast. NEVER in my life have a finished a complete serving of this meal. One egg is more than enough egg for a 55kg human yet I am forever ordering a $17 poached eggs on gluten free and leaving one egg and one toast uneaten. Then, I break the egg and kinda.. kinda.. smash it around as so to not insult the chef and/or waitress. Like, I am more concerned with this person's feelings than with the $8.50 I just wasted on uneaten food and ridiculous time spent pretending I kinda ate it.
- Tomatoes. I always think I'm going to eat them and just never do. This is so weird.
- Antivirus on a Mac (debatable)
- Downloading from iTunes "in case I'm not in internet" to use Apple music. Never.
- Wine by the glass (like, why ever)
Things that actually require my monetary attention:
- Archie's daycare
- Archie's soccer
- Archie's swimming
- Actual making television stuff
- Food for the week
- The gym
(Not necessarily in that order)
Let me tell you a couple of life hacks I've leant from life on the poor-side.
That is all. If you never read another inspirational word I write then read this: Afterpay is where it is at and if you don't know, now you know.
Kate and I (sorry to lump you in with me, Kate) have had in-depth conversations about the benefits of Afterpay (read: procrastinated when meant to be writing television series) for some months now.
Never before have I bought as much clothing when the same three shops as I have since discovering Afterpay. I am now some sort of bizarro walking combination-ad for Cotton On, Molly's Clothesline and The WOD life. I can't remember how I used to buy clothes, but I'm sure it was on Amazon for $3.
It's important I note this is not an ad for Afterpay, ALTHOUGH, if they are looking to sponsor my blog I'm definitely not adverse to that (just cancel my debts, guys). The main thing is, I have no credit cards and do not really want any so this is like a poor-person alternative to them. They only let you make a certain amount of purchases until you earn your stripes and the payments are made fortnightly so by the time you finish paying them off you forgot what it was you bought (I obviously needed 45 Archy jumpers alright).
LEARN TO COOK
Oh my goodness, what was life before I learnt to cook? I'm no Nigella, more like an MKR mid-season home cook, but man cooking most meals at home has cut costs. I figure most good things can come from chicken and veggies so just kinda put them all together in a bunch of different combinations and vola! Don't say I never teach you culture here.
Picnics are not just for talking bears and school camp, picnics are getting a revamp. Instead of going for coffee/juice/a $28 cheese board, make your OWN cheese board and find a park. Don't make the board, unless you're super nifty, but buy the assorted cheeses etc.
Sidenote: kids apparently enjoy parks more than cafes.
We have been forcing picnics down our friends' throats for months now and it has been totally worth it.
This is a place of no judgement, my friends. If you're drinking Moet on a Gossips budget and have no regrets, then more power to you. Unfortunately this is not the way for us all. Box wine is not horrible now. I know in 1998 it probably had a bad rep but 2017 box wine is surprisingly good. Vinepair.com says "When wine is sealed inside the pressurized bag that sits inside the box, an airtight seal is created that allows wine to come out, but no air to get in. By maintaining an airtight seal, each glass poured from the spout is like popping a new bottle of wine, so there’s no fear of opening a box and worrying that it might spoil later, as long as you keep the box in the fridge and finish the contents about a month after opening it." Like wine'll last a month in your house, haahahahahahahahahaahahahahahah.
WRITE A SHOPPING LIST
Seems obvious, alas not. I shopped shopping-list-free for TOO long before realising I was my own kryptonite. I am no good at shopping on tha fly, friends. I was buying stuff I was never gonna use, forgetting toilet paper but had plenty of gluten-free breadcrumbs, no milk but loads of frozen blueberries. Tomatoes 24/7 (I need to stop buying tomatoes for real). It's like I'd been let into the Masterchef kitchen and had a mystery box on heat. Using a list helps. 8 months later I'm freezing meat and owning frozen peas and not a single mid-week shop*.
*Still 1-2 mid week shops.
I think what I'm finding most as I get older is that being poorish/broke-ish/between pay checks is okay and we shouldn't be scared/embarrassed to tell each other. If you are currently living outside your $$ just speak up and change those plans. It's the people you want to see anyway, they'll work it out with you.
If this post does not relate to you: I'm both jealous and impressed but GO YOU. Keep doing whatever your doing and if you wanna buy me dinner or buy blog advertising that's also fine too.
Because what it all comes down to
Is that everything's gonna be fine, fine, fine 'Cause I've got one hand in my pocket And the other one is giving a high five…