Being Citybroke is about perspective. It’s about seeing glitter in the gutter and a sense of humor when life is giving you everything you don’t exactly want and you’re hanging on for a dream that you sometimes can’t remember.
It’s not sales or survival - it’s an electronic letter from the trenches. It’s what suits who make $60K in at age 24 can’t even imagine. It’s Freedom. It’s Poverty. It’s Broken. It’s Beautiful.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Penny for your Thoughts, a Twenty for your Mental Health

Life in the city can be rough. If you are like me, you like to spend a little coin to make the daily grind feel more like La Dolce Vita and less like Hard Times. The trick to buying a little shred of joy (on a budget) is making damn sure your purchase will really make your life sweeter. More importantly, will it make your life better or worse in 12 months? Sliding into credit card debt will definitely make you miserable in the long run, but a $40 scented candle on your bedside table might make another year of poverty significantly more pleasant.
When you are on the brink of insanity - when you are broke, your boss is awful, and your parents are telling you maybe you ought to come home - it's time to buy a little joy. Before you break out your check card (note: not credit card) You need to be thoughtful about your comfort purchase.
Ask Yourself:
1) Considering my hourly wage, how many hours of work will this cost me?
ex: if you make less than $30K a year in NYC, $80 is about what you earn in a single day. This will help you curb your your spending.
2) Will this make me at all depressed later?
Considering hitting the bars or buying jeans that don't exactly fit? Be good to yourself. This is about feeling better now and then. No benders and no muffin-top pants that will make you feel gross when you get them home. However, drinks with friends might be a great pick-me-up. Odds are they hate their jobs, too.
3) Is there something you sort of need?
New jeans, new perfume, new little black dress? Using your shopping savvy and license to spend to add something to your wardrobe that you already need is the ideal form of joy spending!
4) Buy a gift!
That's fun and you won't have any trouble spending mor ethan $25 on your sister. You (in your current state of duress) are another story.
5) Finally, consider not spending at all.
Money saved is money earned. If you can't figure out a good joy spend than give yourself a mental gift card for a later date. You eaarned it!

Happy spending and don't let the bastards grind you down.


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