The good news is that the bills for this pay period are covered. But, the bad news is that there is barely enough left over for food and gas to get to work. It looks like another flat broke weekend. We’re a little stretched for funds so we’ll have to find a few things to do on a really tight budget. If you don’t have any pocket money, here are a few basic activities that we do when we are broke:
1. Savor an Old Rerun. We still have cable. It’s good for a few things. In the morning, my wife enjoys an old episode of 90210 on a soap opera channel. In the afternoon, we’ll check out a couple of episodes of Miami Vice during a marathon on Centric. The critics will say what they will, but television remains one of the best deals going. Even if you are watching free TV, old re-runs are great.
2. Cuss. If you are broke and frustrated, go ahead and cuss. As comedian Lewis Black has noted, you aren’t going to say something like, “Oh fiddlesticks!” There are lots of things to cuss about in today’s economic climate. If you don’t have kids underfoot, a little creative cussing will go a long way towards relieving the tension. Let loose. You’ll feel better.
3. Make a Good Lunch. If you are going to be home, you might as well make eating a good experience. I bust open a can of chicken breast and slice up half an onion, a tomato, and a stalk of celery. A couple of spoons full of good mayonnaise, a few shakes of cayenne pepper, some hot sauce, and the last four pieces of bread are all I need to make a good chicken salad. I kick it up a notch with some Doritos Flamas from the local Dollar Tree Store. I went a little heavy on the cayenne so I’m glad we have an ice tea machine. If you don’t have any money to go out, it’s important to savor the food you have in the house and make the most of your dining experience. Even if you are having super cheap food for a recession, presentation is everything!
4. Blog. My wife settles in for some online gaming and I update my blogs. I’ve got nine blogs now. From The Watch Dude to the Flat Broke Blog, I have a lot of fun blogging. Plus, if people keep on clicking through on the advertisements, I’ll get a handy hundred dollars about seven months from now. In retrospect, I guess it’s a good thing I didn’t throw out the leftover heels on that lunchtime loaf of bread.
5. Write. It’s time to write a few articles for online media outlets. May be you’ll be able to write your way out of financial problems. I’m trying. I’ve even started a book. Of course, starting books is easy. Finishing them is kind of tough. But, I find that it’s pretty easy to write on the Nook Color from Barnes & Noble.
6. Walk the Dog. Even if you are broke, it’s good to get out of the house. You can’t beat the companionship of a faithful dog and dog walking is good exercise. If you even say, “park” our dog is ready to go. Having a dog is one of the great joys of life and, no matter what your station or circumstance may be, a dog will have a great attitude about it.
7. Take Digital Pictures. As much as I love my old film cameras, when money is tight, it’s great to have a nice digital camera. I throw my Kodak Z950 Digital Camera into my pocket for the walk. I can take a ton of pictures and it won’t cost a dime to put them on our computers.
8. Go Scrapping. There is lots of free stuff on Craigslist and around apartment complex trash compactors on move out weekends. If you look around, you can probably find lots of cool stuff for absolutely free. A few weeks ago, I found a free television that works great! It’s easy to find old tables, cabinets, dressers, and book cases that will look great with a coat of paint.
If you are broke, there are still plenty of ways to pass the time. While your day might not be as fun or fulfilling when you are broke, you can at least take a deep breath, relax, and have a decent day.
Other articles by this contributor:
How to Furnish Your Home for Free
Four Things a New College Graduate Should Never Buy
Building an Economic Survival Plan