Making the most of your life despite the lack of money
“Have you ever been broke, but nobody believes you that you are broke because you do not look like a broke person? It's like you are broke, but boujee broke, like you are broké..”
This is the line that I heard in a TikTok in one of my late-night scrolling sessions. With the cost of living crisis lurking outside our windows, many of us need to learn how to adapt and budget - this can quickly become stressful and overwhelming.
I paused for a second. And by paused I mean letting the video run on a loop as the few sentences said by the voice cut deeper and deeper into my brain. It became clear that I am one of the broké people that the guy was talking about, but the question remained - how? How do you ensure that you are making the most out of your life despite the lack of money?
Okay, let's set some things straight. Firstly, I am not here to lecture you about how money can not buy happiness. Everybody loves money and if they say that they don't, well, then I would like to meet them for an inspirational tea. And secondly, as a post-Brexit European student in the UK with no safety-net background or any savings to my name I feel like I have earned at least the right to talk about lack of money. Now then, back to our question.
Thinking about the future
In my experience, the way somebody is able to deal with their lack of money is highly dependent on the ambition a person holds for their financial status in the future.
If you can realise that your financial situation is only temporary and at the same time you are following your set goals and working towards something that will allow you to achieve the desired financial state in the future, like undergoing an internship or studying, it becomes easier to understand your condition and make the most of your life despite it.
Filling up your timetable
Furthermore, it is also very important how you build your routine and day-to-day lifestyle. There is one key thing I want you to remember - do not leave yourself with too much free time. Unfortunately, too much free time results in feeling unproductive, beginning to feel sorry for yourself and losing motivation, which only feeds your stress and anxiety that is caused by your financial status. Now don't get me wrong, I am not saying that you should not rest - of course, you should! There is nothing better than a good night's sleep or a day filled with self-care, but with that being said, you should get to know yourself and understand where resting and gaining energy ends and procrastinating your life away begins.
So what should you fill your life up with, if you do not have money to go on inspirational travels? The answer is simple - feed your brain and it will reward you!!! You can start by picking up a new, free or almost free hobby - like meditation, yoga, learning a new language or starting to draw, you name it! I have recently tried Headspace for meditation and it has been
a life changer! At the moment, the first two weeks on Headspace are free and after that, it goes up to around 10 pounds a month, which is still very much worth it. There are many beginner and expert-level meditation courses to choose from, yoga classes, music for focus, and podcasts for your mindfulness journey.
Another great life cheat I have stumbled across recently for feeding my brain is charity shops. And now I am not talking about the cute vintage dresses that you can find there (which, of course, is another great plus), but about the books. Hear me out - four books at the Salvation Army cost 1 pound. Four. Books. One. Pound. Thank you. Last week I managed to find Becoming by Michelle Obama there and I am definitely returning next week with a suitcase.
Lastly, I have a little bit of an odd tip from a broke person to another one (This is why you are reading it, right?) My advice is - never forget to treat yourself. A fake it till you make it the approach of sorts. And this for me is probably one of the most important aspects of how you can feel broké instead of feeling broke and probably one of the most controversial ones.
Of course, doing this requires you to skillfully budget out the whole month, so you would not run off track. Find things that make you happy and do not say no to them, treat them like rent, like something you must have money for each month. It could be a coffee in a nice coffee shop once a week, a meal deal in a restaurant once or twice a month, a train ticket to another city within the UK to visit some free museums for a day or even a manicure. You name it. Something that is not very expensive, but allows you to feel like a human, and not just like a creature that is only working to survive.
You can actually treat yourself a lot more than you think if you leave room for some flexibility
and learn how to research. There are many first-time offers for classes and entertainment options, trial periods for apps and services, meal deals for restaurant visits and even a lot of free events hosted by communities as the world recognizes the cost of living crisis. You can use websites like TimeOut for inspiration.
Help if you need it
Even though this article focuses mostly on enriching your life as you are going through financial hardship, it is important to know, that there is financial help available depending on various circumstances if you are in need. You can find out more about at gov.uk