How To Be Poor: A Guide To Being Broke And Fab

Why are you still buying clothes? You know you are broke. That is not me berating you at Forever 21, it is my inner monologue. I grew up poor and am still poor. In America they tell you college is what will make you socially mobile not that it will keep you in debt and perpetuate the cycle of poverty, yay! Although, I am still super grateful to have a job that I love when many Americans can’t even find work that they hate. Since, you know, 45 million Americans are working poor. That is a freaking lot. I didn’t become a writer for the money so I knew I was in for the broke ass long haul. I am cool with that. I still have a pretty good life. I didn’t even know I was poor until I realized other people had more things than me.

One story that makes people cringe is that when I was a wee toddler, my dad was brutally mugged. He had just cashed his paycheck and was beaten up and robbed by some assholes. We had no money. None at all. It wasn’t just for those two weeks. My dad was hospitalized because they kicked him in the kidneys, as a wage worker, we had no money for as long as he was out of work. We ate, it’s OK to laugh at this part because it is funny, Kool-Aid cookies. Basically, all we had was flour, sugar, water and Kool-Aid packets. So my mom would just bake Kool-Aid flavored cookies everyday for breakfast, lunch and dinner. It was a tough time but as always, kindness can go along way. My dad would always chat up a baker near his job, when the baker heard what happened to my pops he gave us this gigantic, trash-bag-sized bag of bread, pastries and desserts from the bakery. It’s not a balanced diet but it was our saving grace.

So how do you do it? How do you be a broke bitch and be fabulous? You gotta hustle, hustle, flow, flow, here we, here we, go go. This guide provides simple lifehacks on how to find clothing on the cheap, how to get the government to pay for your food, cellphone and rent and much much more. Be a broke bitch. Own it. Now, sashay away.



  1. Rizza says:

    The author's tone made it sound like all poor people are trashy. There are lots of non-trashy people who are broke and I don't think they'd speak trash like the author does. I could only get to the fourth slide and then it seemed pointless to read on further because of the quality of writing. I think the article could've been written with a little more class and consideration for those offended by foul language easily. I do not buy "shit", I buy clothes, and I prefer they be referred to as clothes as well!

    1. emeraldgritty says:

      Did you read the intro? I, the author, am poor myself so I am certainly not stigmatizing people who are of low income. What you have a problem with is my style of writing, which is fine. But to say I am categorizing people as trashy, when I am offering ways to navigate life without money, are strong words coming from someone who is categorizing things as "trashy" and "classy," which is juvenile and shallow.

    2. Rizza says:

      But could you not have done that in better language? Some people, regardless of whether they are rich or poor, will walk away from anyone who talks like that, as is the case with this article. Your advice is good, but how am I supposed to take it in if I constantly come across "bitch you gotta do this, bitch you gotta do that"? So you can call another poor person a "bitch" just because you're both poor? That LANGUAGE is trashy, and not at all professional. Ofcourse I can categorize it as being trashy because neither you nor I would speak that way to, say, a boss or a senior citizen. You never know who your readers are, so maybe show a little more respect?

    3. emeraldgritty says:

      I am not calling people "bitches" because of their social status. It's how I write. It's intention is to be humorous. If it's not your sense of humor you have a right to not be amused. There is no such thing as "trashy" or "classy" those are just defiling words used to judge people on their choices, which is precisely what you are doing now. This isn't a professional website, for professional people, doing professional things. It is a blog written for who ever likes the kind of writing on here.

      You have no idea how I would talk to my boss or the senior citizens in my life, so don't make assumptions about that. My use of the term bitch, isn't any different than the use of the word "girl." Feminists took that word back ages ago, most of our readers are privy to that. Be offended at whatever you want, that is truly your right, but don't read into my intentions when you are unaware of them. My use of the term "bitch" was completely neutral. Whereas your use of the word "trashy" is clearly intended to demean.

    4. Rizza says:

      I do see sense if you have used it humorously. I see now you have used "bitch" to be friendly, like a girlfriend would to a girl. Your language is supposed to be "fun", not something I am used to because the things I read are usually written and edited by an Editor, tailored to death to be grammatically and politically correct. This is like, girl to girl, heart to heart, which is something most would enjoy! :)

      Apologies if my use of the word "trashy" offended you. It seemed like you were trying to demean, but I see now my original assumption was wrong because that's just your way of being friendly and getting personal with your readers.

      I have re-read the slides. Great tips by the way! :)

    5. emeraldgritty says:

      Thanks for understanding. I know my tone can be difficult to catch onto if you're not familiar with it. Glad we could clear it up. Again, I know it's not everybody's flavor!

  2. Amy says:

    Food stamps don't always work. My husband only makes $1000 dollars a month. I have not found work yet, but I am in college. The state of Georgia does not count me because I am in school, but not working. My husband makes too much money for one person. Apparently I am not supposed to eat.

    1. --- says:

      I had a similar problem – I live on my own and I was working, minimum wage, as many hours as I could get but still only part-time. I wasn't even clearing $1000/mo, and I was told I was making too much.

    2. emeraldgritty says:

      I'm so sorry you were denied food stamps. Often times, I've heard, that you just have to keep reapplying, especially when he clearly meets the guidelines, at least the ones I have read. The government has increasingly been making it more difficult for people to get them. Sigh. That's a bummer to hear.

  3. Corine says:

    I personally enjoyed the way you wrote this – hilarious, lighthearted, and helpful!

  4. V says:

    Agreed with the rudeness of this writer. I dont like her at all. An she has been writing every other article lately. Lame

  5. james228 says:

    great article on tips and advices… on how to be fab without a drag of being bankrupt. hahaha…

  6. Catie says:

    Loved this, super helpfull , thank you! and most ofall love your writing, useing words we all use made this fun to read tooo!

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