Saturday, September 10, 2011

A Survival Guide for Broke People

Here in New York City, we have experienced our fair share of rain in the past few weeks. The weather has put a damper (pun intended) on people's summer plans *cough cough Afropunk festival cough cough* and it doesn't show signs of stopping any time soon. I hate the rain, particularly being outside in the rain, so I have decided to take advantage of the gloomy weather and use it as a time to be productive and catch up on some much needed work. However, after viewing my checking account balance, I have realized that many weekend nights will have to be spent at home, whether rain or sunshine. So fellow members of Broke Phi Broke, know that cutting back is not the end of the world and will be advantageous in the long run. Here are some of the ways I will remedy this not-so-fun phase of my life.

1. Create a game plan to end my brokeness

I have never really followed a budget, which is pretty pathetic considering my age and history of poor spending habits. So I am going to create one! First, I have to find a calculator considering I haven't used one since high school. Then I'm going to have to be real with myself. How can I revamp my wardrobe while still fulfilling my love of gastronomics? What do cut out of my spending to allow me to put $$$ in my currently-non-existent savings account?

I then am going to pull out my calendar, something I haven't used since...ever, and better organize my job search game. It is so easy to get overwhelmed but having a blue print makes the process easier. For me, it is easy to just say apply to 3 jobs a day for me to actually do it. Make sure your resume and cover letter are at their best and remember to stay positive and confident.

2. Reading and writing

I refuse to allow my brokeness to force me into a life of boredom and what better way to bring excitement into my poor life than with reading and writing! *sigh*

Here is the time when you can catch up with current affairs by perusing newspapers and blogs and all that jazz. Taking after my father, I have a bad habit of reading two or three books at a time and never having the discipline to finish many. My bookmark is smack in the middle of Amiri Baraka's Blues People and I have readings for class about systematic racial segregation in America.

As for my writing, I have a half-written short story in my journal, one unedited short story, three unedited/ unfinished poems and countless ideas not yet put on paper. Plenty of free time should be a viable solution to my struggles with self-motivation.

3. Cleaning my Nasty Ass Basement

For real, for real.

4. Cooking Something Unique and/ or Healthy

Sadly, Papa Chele has been sick for the past few months leaving me to have to help out Mama Chele little more. Preparing food for the family has been one of my main responsibilities. My parents are picky, Southern and therefore want food they are familiar with. Well, now that I have more time to myself, I can take time out to cook for myself. I think I am going to cook one of my favorite dishes from my vegetarian days, Chickpea and Dumpling soup. Nutritious and delicious!

5. Invite Loved Ones Over

After you clean your nasty ass house, you can now have company. You can be nice and prepare food for them out of the goodness of your heart. But you can also be real and place a hat the foot of the door, reminiscent of Rent Parties, and have your friend reimburse you (assuming they aren't as broke as you). Either way, it is easy to feel lonely during times like this so it is important to not allow your financial struggles to keep you distant from your friends. So having your friends over for a card party or just play Bid Whist with your parents like me and endure the mindless trash talking. Upgrade your iTunes or dust off some classic vinyls because chances are it is better than that Bottom 40 shit their playing in the clubs.

So yeah, take time out to create a blueprint for a better future for yourself. However, understand this is an opportunity to work at improving your mind and body while appreciating the non materialistic things in your life. So cook some good food, pull out your Marvin Gaye anthology and be merry!

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