Being broke sucks, and it's even worse when the world thinks you're broke because you spend too much on luxuries. When you're struggling to get by and you've cut your budget to its bare minimum, avocado toast is the last thing on your mind. You are, however, often tempted to just give up and spend frivolously. Here's a tip on how to keep your spirits up.
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It was a Saturday, my plane landed, and I was all set to relax during a short weekend getaway, when an email came through on my phone. I'd lost my job. I showed it to my boyfriend in the seat next to me. 'These things happen,' I said, smiling and putting my phone away. 'It's probably for the best. Let's enjoy our trip.' I praised myself for being strong and accepting the situation. In reality, I was in complete denial that I just lost a job I loved.
Whether you're in between jobs, trying to find a better one, paying off debt, or just replenishing your emergency fund, it's so easy to be miserable and focus on what you don't have when you're on a shoestring budget. To keep your head up, consider this excellent advice from a Redditor (emphasis ours):
When tightening your budget, commit to simultaneously raising your quality of life by every means available to you. I'm talking about things like taking advantage of everything that's free (libraries, museums, galleries, national parks, whatever floats your boat), tidying up and shifting things around in your home so it looks better, making time to hang out with people who lift you up, preparing the food and playing the music and wearing the clothes you like best. It helps the whole experience to be positive and uplifting and empowering instead of just feeling like deprivation.
When I was overworked and trying to pay for school, for example, I took advantage of every free activity at my university and in my community, from poetry readings to movie nights in the park. One of the most rewarding things I did was join a writing group at my local bookstore. It was free, it gave me something to look forward to every Wednesday night, and I met new friends (one of whom I've stayed in touch with now more than a decade later).
This is more of a mindset shift than anything, though, and the key takeaway is to stay on top of self-care, which is easier said than done when you're broke, but this guide might help. For even more ideas and insight, check out the thread at the link below.
You're overwhelmed at work. You have a ton of projects piling up at home and your calendar is packed with overdue tasks. To make room for all of this stuff, you skip lunch, stop going to the gym and forget about your social life entirely. When we're stressed, self care is usually the first thing to go. And that only makes things worse.