Being poor is not fun and it can leave life long impressions. More often than not being low on the financial totem pole can make you creative. When it's either dying of starvation or swiping stale bread that's about to be trash... you will find a way to unleash your inner Aladdin. Whether you're using your smart words, your cunning wit or inventive passion you have to do what you have to do, sometimes, in the brokest ways possible.
Staying at Mom's.
Rice (that was gifted to me) with some herbs (that were gifted to me) 6 days a week, as my only meal. 7th day I would eat both lunch and dinner with (and happily paid for by) a wealthy but lonely guy I volunteered my company to, whom I never told how little I had out of fear to be pitied. Literally ALL my money went to rent, but at least I had my own place, which was still preferable to living at my mom's. 0dd_bitty
It's tight now, but not nearly as bad...Giphy
😭I stole toilet paper from work a few times so we didn't have to spend money on it and could buy food instead. Also ate a ton of ramen for lunch or just made sure no one was around when I took my lunches so they didn't see me not eating lunch.
It's tight now, but not nearly as bad as it was a few years ago. Plus, we're working hard for the future (part time work and full time students)and my parents are helping by proving a rent free place to live. I'm even building up my savings account! ($1 a day plus a few extra when I get bonuses at work). RecentlyThick
Heating cut off one winter in my apartment so I cranked my oven on, left it open and slept on the floor of the kitchen in a sleeping bag. itl-lmfao
Had to do that at my favorite aunt's house. I still loved being there though. MidwestWind
Lose the Anchor.
When I was done school (with almost 100k in student loans debt), I lived intentionally homeless. First summer was camping in a tent. I owned a tent, bike, toothbrush, and enough clothes to not make it obvious I only had like 5 different things for work.
It was either get the hell out of debt as fast as possible, or let that anchor drag me down for the rest of my life. And when I was single and young it was the time I could really go hardcore with that. Suuperdad
Call in sick on Thursday because I only had enough gas/gas money to make a one way trip to work on Friday, which was payday. Wrong_Answer_Willie
We've all been there.
Hid in the train bathroom till the conductor passed. Reddit
We've all been there. ABaugh85
Times were desperate, though.
Back in 2011 I had to take a job that was about an hour+ commute that only paid like $12/hour. I was spending somewhere around $200-$300 a month on gas alone. The day before payday things would get so dire that I wouldn't even have enough money to pay for gas to get home so I would have to write myself bad checks from my own bank account and deposit them in the ATM. When you deposit checks at the ATM they give you up to $200 before the check is even processed.
So, by the time the check would be processed I would have the money in the account even though you can't actually deposit a check from yourself into the same account. There would be an error but because the money I used was technically there by the time the error ran I never got a surcharge or anything. Times were desperate, though. staaamos
Going to a Mexican restaurant, getting water to drink, and just eating chips and salsa. Then pretending to not have my wallet and leaving before ordering actual food. Red-Quill
As a kid: no milk, no powdered milk to make, so it was boiling water on a bowl of supermarket-brand cornflakes for breakfast. Hey, better than nothing. And for school pack-up, a brown sauce (steak sauce) sandwich.
That stuff about being happy though we were poor? Bull! That "not-poor" is stuff people tell you to stop you going postal. Jackpot777
I'm guessing my neighbor dropped a single packet of instant ramen outside of her apartment when she was bringing groceries in. I noticed it when I was walking back from class. I inspected it for any tears or holes in the packaging and found none. I ate that single packet of ramen for dinner, I'll also add that I ate it dry to save on gas and water as well. Turnbob73
Water is Essential...Giphy
I used to hang out in an arcade in a mall and check all the machines for quarters. Once I had a dollar in quarters I would go to the food court and buy a soda.
Free refills all day, and I would give the cup to my friend when I decided to leave so she could get drinks, too. She would give it to her friend and that would keep going.
I would also fill up a 15 gallon water jug at a local church so I could flush the toilet, wash hands, and do dishes. (Stove still worked, so I could heat water). PostItFrustrations
I fell behind on my gas bill and it got shut off in the middle of winter. I did a gym membership special (it was connected to my paycheck so the money came out before I even got it) and would take a shower at the gym before going to work. This was shortly after I had been unemployed so the gas bill was HUGE - over $1k. Took a few months to earn up enough to pay it off, but bonus: I lost some weight because I was too embarrassed to just go to the gym for a shower. cmc
I actively stole peanuts from Five Guys.
I would go in only when they had a long line, help myself to a large portion of peanuts while in line, make it look like I was highly frustrated with the line and look exasperated with how long it was taking and just give up and leave with the free peanuts. Reddit
I once worked at a convenience store that had a deli. I used to be able to pay 20 cents for two slices of bread and 15 cents for a slice of cheese - for 35 cents, I had a grilled cheese sandwich for lunch every day at work.
During this time, I remember splurging at an outlet store for no name brand spaghetti and meatballs - one of those stores where everything is either expired or damaged. Got 6 cans for $2 total. Remember feasting on those and thinking I stumbled upon the best spaghetti and meatballs in the world! micmac1007
Stole cat food from my neighbor, because I was flat broke and couldn't buy more. Felt like the lowest I have stooped ever. Just typing this out brought back that feeling of guilt and wretchedness. thecamical
A friend of my mom's had told a local church how all our money had gone to rent and to get our furnace fixed. One after noon our door bell rings, I answer it, no one is there but there is 2 rubber maid tubs in front of our door. One full of food, and the other with Christmas presents.
This was the day before christmas eve and my mom had spent the whole month crying because she couldn't afford to get us gifts. I'm so thankful for that stranger. The true gift was seeing my mom smile for the first time in a long time. I was 13-14 when this happened. hasib3
I used to be able to fit my hands in the old tampon/pad dispensers and steal tampons/pads (which only cost 25 cents). I called myself the tampon raccoon. tortiekelpie
Tampoon raccoon opportoonity. wirwarennamenlos
My entire high school existence I was a poor kid, and I made friends with fellow poor kids. If I was lucky I'd have a pack of orange depression crackers to last me from breakfast to dinner. We'd wander the local Kroger checking under machines for coins so we could buy a .35 generic soda to share amongst three or four of us.
I will go into debt with loans or credit before I ever subject myself to that level of hunger and helplessness again. suzosaki
Pennies & Pennies....
Taken a bag of pennies to a coinstar to exchange for $4 which was my food budget for the next 3 days. I didn't need gas as I was too poor to afford a car. I'm very glad that era of my life is behind me (gave me some very valuable lessons, though). ChooseAnAdventure
To Berlin with Love....Giphy
Drinking in public is legal in Berlin, where I used to live. We had literally no money, so my friend and I would hang out in the subway station and wait for people to set their empty beer bottles down as they get off/on the train. Once we had 5 or so, that was enough in return money to buy a beer, which would last about the amount of time it would take to get 5 more bottles. It was actually a very pleasant way to spend the evening, and completely free! eddieeddiebakerbaker