1. Pawn – Seeing as we all live in the United States (at least all four of us who read this blog), we are definitely privy to overabundance and the joys of financial frivolity. Look around your house and I promise you will find something you can live without. Even if it only garners 10 bucks, that still enough for a box of top ramen and gallon of milk. So bag that random shit that you forgot you had, take to the greasy dude at the Guns/Liquor/Baby Cribs pawn shop and make that money.
2. Carpool – At one point in my life, I was so broke that I ran my truck out of gas and didn’t turn it back on for 6 weeks. But I survived. So take those car keys off the ring, throw them in the freezer and call a friend for a ride. There’s no shame in begging for rides, as long as you remember who did you a solid when you’re back on your feet and they need a ride. You’d be surprised at how many great conversations you can have and how many friends you can make bumming rides with people. Just don’t fart. No matter what.
3. Get Frosty – We all enjoy living in 69 degree, climate-controlled, warm and fuzzy houses. This is one of those luxuries that is burned at the stake when the money dries up. Go to the hallway, grab that fuckin knob and twist. Humans don’t die in barely sub 60 degree environments. It’s only for a week and you’ve been meaning to use that Snuggie you got as a white elephant gift 2 years ago anyway. While you’re at it, get that shake weight out too, it’ll warm you up.
4. Drink Water – A human being can live for something like 2 weeks without food, but apparently we turn into big giant pussies when it comes to not drinking water. Skip a meal here and there and substitute it with 3 or 4 glasses of water; it will fill you up, keep you alive, and by making you have to pee, subsequently give you something to do during commercials.
5. Be a Friend – At my poorest moment I was still never in any real danger of being homeless or dying of starvation or anything. Even with zero money, I was always able to hit up a friend or two and find some kind of fun thing going on that happened to have grub at the venue. I’d grab my bicycle, summon some malnourished strength, and head towards a sandwich. Rule number one for this method of survival however: You are only allowed to call upon and/or utilize a specific friend once every three weeks, so use your lifelines sparingly and with deliberation.
6. Call Mom – No matter how old you may be, if your mother is still alive, she wants to feed you. Mothers never lose their instinctive need to care for their children and there has never been a better time than right now to call mom and beg for a care package. She’ll even pay the postage. I survived on a mother-supplied surplus of red vines, granola bars, hot chocolate, and raviolis for 5 days once. She put FEMA to shame. Swallow your pride and call your mom, raviolis are fucking delicious.
7. Hibernate – Nothing passes the time like sleeping. Now, I know some people will disagree with this method of frugality, but there’s no shame in going to bed right after work in an effort to pass the time until that paycheck shows up. Even if you get of work at 4:30 in the afternoon. This is more of a short term solution as depression might start to sink in after more than 4 days of 16hrs a day of sleep. Then again, once you get paid, take 25 bucks down to the clinic and get some Prozac. Boom. Problem solved.
8. Rice – As bland as it may sound rice is filling, cheap, and only takes water and heat to make edible. The Japanese/Chinese/Asian Community as a whole have been using this shit for like 900 years and they’re making cars and computers and stuff; you can go a week on a rice diet. Trailer park it up with some hot sauce or frozen corn and you’ve got yourself something you don’t have to cry over while eating.
9. Work Thief – Now, this may not be applicable to your employment environment but it was for mine. Go to the break room or food storage area (fridge, cabinets) at your job and steal that sandwich in the back of the fridge that has been there since yesterday. Chances are that they’ve forgotten about it and/or aren’t going to get too pissed that it’s missing. Worst case scenario, they confront you about it and you blame it on Kathy in accounting. No one like Kathy in accounting.
10. Embrace – So you’re poor and can’t afford food, or water, or lights. You’ve been wanting to lose that stubborn 10 lbs and you’ve got 10 candles you’ve been meaning to burn, embrace this opportunity to do both. I must have lost 20 lbs in 6 weeks when I was super broke; granted my methodology would probably be frowned upon by a nutritionist, but I got results goddamn it. When the money starts coming again you’ll look back and remember that time you ate nothing but rice for 2 weeks, had uncontrollable diarrhea, slept for 16 hours a day, stole that guy from work with Leukemia’s sandwich and blamed it on Kathy, all while hitching your way around town from people who would just assume rob and murder you than get you where you need to go.
11. Get a second Job.