magnifier menu chevron-left chevron-right chevron-up comment chevron-up chat_bubble_outline2 share thumbs-up thumbs-down chevron-down

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.

Emerald is an editor at CollegeCandy, lover of coffee, and pretend francophile. After studying writing and popular culture at NYU she decided to be a grownup and get a job. Tweet at ya' girl @EmeraldGritty.