That "low balance email" from the bank arrives in your inbox, and you just got paid. So what do you do?
u/anonymousturtle2 asked Reddit:
Here are some of those 'I feel you' moments.
I'd almost ran out of money in my bank account with no overdraft and it got so bad then I wanted something to eat from the supermarket so I picked a banana. But then had to put it back and pick up a smaller banana cause I couldn't afford the bigger banana.
I'm pretty sure that for about 4-6 months around the time I was 8, our meals were coming from my step-dad dumpster diving at the local Safeway. At one point I can remember him breaking down emotionally when we came home one day and someone had left three bags of groceries in our driveway right before Thanksgiving.
When I was in college I found a pair of thrown out shoes in front of an apartment. They were soaking wet but otherwise new and were my size. I took them home, washed them in the sink, dried them out, and wore them for two years.
I was that broke my shoes had holes in them, so I wasn't going to let free shoes go away....
Nutrition Is Expensive
I remember one time when I was little my mom went into a Wendy's or something like that and grabbed some crackers and ketchup for me and my brother to eat from the condiment section. That was pretty bad times. I'm just glad I can barely remember it. Lol.
Paycheck To Paycheck
Told the kids we were going to pretend to be camping for a few days. Lit candles, cooked food on the grill, opened the windows at night and took cold showers for 3 miserable days to get to the next payday because my now ex was terrible at handling money and we didn't have enough to pay the damn electric bill.
Kids thought it was great.
I was homless in Las Vegas for a summer after a series of ridiculous events, capped off by the guy I had paid 3 months advanced rent to getting arrested for fraud and the landlord kicking us out.
I managed to get room key cards for several of the hotels in Las Vegas that people had thrown away. Then I'd stay up all night, and sleep in one of the chairs at the pool during the day. You had to show a key card to get into the pool area, but once you were in they didn't pay much attention that what you did. The pool at the Paris had a handicapped bathroom you could lock, so I'd "shower" in there.
I managed to survive through the summer on about $20 without stealing or begging. It probably helped that I was an early 20s white guy in decent clothes, I got away with a lot.
I Can Still Recall My Broke Summer
Sold plasma twice weekly to pay for food. Got my student id renewed a month after I was kicked out of school because it doubled as a free bus pass I still cant believe that worked. Popcorn was an intergrel part of my diet at the time because it was dirt cheap.
Summer 2011 was rough but now im much better off.
Put a paper plate in the sink to be washed.
Was at a friend's house for D&D and we had some BBQ before hand. Getting cleaned up and I, on reflex, put my paper plate in the sink. Later that night, my friend noticed and says, "Which of you broke mother f*ckers put this in the sink?!"
It was me. I was the broke mother f*cker.
Lapse In Payday
I had just started a new job after barely scraping by with my old one. There was a lapse in paychecks so I was super-extra-broke. At the orientation for the new gig they had snacks - granola bars, chips, fruit, etc. - so I stocked up. Grabbed a few when people weren't looking or tried to be the first in/out of the room so I could sneak more into my purse.
Fresh Food Tips
Restaurants typically have huge trash bags that take a long time to fill up. This means that dumpster diving is almost guaranteed to be disgusting. But did you know that if you wait till the end of a shift (10am, 2pm, 6pm, 10pm, and 2am) most places will have emptying the trash as an end-of-shift duty? And if you keep an eye out, you can grab food off the top of the bag that's still pretty much fresh?
Because I know that.
I Wish To Go To The Festival
I got out of an abusive relationship and was trying to make it on my own with my two girls without a dime left to my name. We were within a waiting period for food stamps and I had heard about a local event catering to kids while at work, so I decided to go. (It was January of 2013.) The venue had lots of different games and activities for kids and right near the door, there was a booth promoting healthy food choices for kids. My kids were so excited to see apples and oranges (we hadn't seen fresh fruits/veggies for a long while) that they both ended up asking the attendant if they could have two. The booths were only supposed to hand out to kids, but I was not turned down when I asked if I could take a granola bar. We took them home and ate them over the next day and a half. It was the best granola bar I've ever had in my life. So glad we braved subzero temps to walk to the "festival" that day. It saved us.
There was a point in my life where I had zero money and zero prospects and just said f*ck it and started just blatantly stealing sh*t figuring I'd just kill myself if i ever ended up in any legal trouble.
The highlights of this period was that every time I would run out gas I would just go to a random gas station in a town about 45 minutes away from my house, fill my tank and then just drive away. I must have stolen like $400+ dollars worth of gas in my life.
2 years later and im kind of scared that my past will catch up with me somehow, as I'm in a much better spot in my life right now. I havent gone to that town since the last time I did a gas run in case they have my picture or something.
It's hard to decide. From eating condiments at Del taco (In which they felt bad and surprised me with a free meal), to making "bread cookies" which is a slice of white bread rolled into a ball that you take super tiny bites out of with your eyes closed to make it last and appreciate it (actually a favorite memory of mine from childhood)
Apparently I looked so poor before, that when I asked a man for a lighter he looked at me for a second then said "oh, no, sorry I have no change" and quickly ran off.
One night after an evening of bar hopping I got home and scratched my nether regions after eating a bunch of sliced raw jalapeños that I picked off some leftover nachos. Drunk and in a panic, I remembered that milk supposedly nullifies spicy. I don't drink milk aside from a little bit in my coffee, so I usually kept a quart in the fridge. I poured the rest of the quart into a whiskey glass and dipped my balls into it for a while until the burning was gone. Not thinking, I put the glass of balls-infused milk back into the fridge and went to bed.
Woke up the next morning and made a pot of coffee as usual. I went to grab the milk from the fridge and saw it in there already poured into a whiskey glass, a reminder that 1) I dipped my balls in that milk last night, 2) that's the last of my milk, and 3) I don't get paid until tomorrow.
Well heat kills germs and coffee is hot, right?
The coffee tasted fine.
Double the dose on a serving of Metamucil (aka fiber) and loaded up in a ton of water so my (then) husband could have food for work. When we did share a meal I often ate like a third of what he did. I always said I had been munching while I cooked or that I couldn't help myself when I brought out the food. Not that he ever really noticed...
For The Puppies
My mother threw me out of the house when I was a teenager, just graduated from high school. Moved to another city and was working a minimum wage job and broke broke broke. I lived on so little but adopted a dog I named Jordon. He had a girlfriend in the apt complex that was in heat and animal control picked him up. i had adopted him from the animal shelter the year before on the day he was to be euthanized so hurried to get him out of there. I used my last $5 to bail him out (1984) and had no money for food for 4 days until my next payday. I had to give blood for orange juice and cookies which was the only meal I had in those four days.
Obviously, doing much better financially. Went to pick up medication for one of our dogs and there was a man outside of our vet's office with papers spread out on the hood of his car and he was crying. I knew. Been there. I went inside and found out he couldn't afford treatment for his pet so I paid it and went on my way.
My husband and I contribute to an 'Angel Fund' through our vet that helps others pay for their bills that are too overwhelming and keeps people from having to choose euthanasia instead of treatment.