I am poor. Quite poor. Not “I’m not buying any lattes this week to make up for that pair of shoes I just bought” poor. Rather, “I have an appointment with WINZ” poor. But I’m cool with that. I’m actually pretty happy.
If you’re also pinching pennies here are some of my tips to help you turn negative poverty into positive poverty.
1.Free stuff. I bet there’s a lot of it going on in your city. The numerous museums & galleries of Wellington have been my saving grace when it comes to cheap entertainment. The Kahu Ora/Living Cloaks exhibition on at Te Papa at the moment is pretty amazing, and I could have easily spent an hour or two at the Athfield retrospective City Gallery is currently hosting. It’s all free, baby! Pro tip ~ if you follow museums & galleries on facebook you’ll know when there are new exhibits starting, & also when there are free curator talks or lectures. Like the weekly lunchtime lectures at The National Portrait Gallery as part of the All Women exhibition. Capital Times also has a new feature where they highlight a free activity happening around Wellington each week. Or you could pretend to be a tourist in your own town & head to your local information centre for some tips.
Here’s another tip ~ while these places are often free, it’s nice to leave a little something in the koha container if you can manage it. And here’s my te reo lesson for the day: Koha does not necessarily translate as gold coin. Sure, if that’s all you can manage then a gold coin will definitely suffice, but if you can spare a little more you’ll up your karma stakes by donating it.
2.Inspirational hipster quotes. Such as:
Warning – the positive effects of these only lasts around 30 seconds.
3.Don’t be afraid to accept charity. Hand me downs rule! As do op shops. When I had my baby I was lucky that she followed 6 older cousins, so I didn’t have to buy a thing for her. And the less I spend on her, the longer I can spend being her Mama rather than going back to work.
When my cell phone died recently I put out a call on facebook that read: “Dead phone. Anyone got a hand-me-down for me?” Not the classiest status update, but within half an hour I had a new (to me) phone lined up. And it even takes photos. Upgrade!
4.When you are practising positive poverty there are whole mess of things you can feel smug about. Such as: “When I use cloth nappies I save the planet by not creating as much waste as disposables do.” & “By walking to the vege market rather than driving I save money on petrol & there are less exhaust fumes in the environment.” However you must NEVER say these things out loud to others as that turns you into an asshole, and there’s nothing positive about that.
5. Improvise. For example, when you can’t afford to go to the Babes in Arms session of Rock of Ages, tease your hair, apply thick eyeliner, & don the leopard print for an at home dance party. I’m sure it’s just as much fun as the movie, possibly more as you get to avoid seeing Tom Cruise half naked, & you can sing along to the classics as loud as you like.
6.When worst comes to worst & you’re feeling really down about the state of your finances it helps to have had an adolescence in musical theatre. That way you’ll be likely to still remember the words to the entire Oliver! songbook. It’s damn near impossible to be depressed when you’re belting out this little ditty.
Because as they say: “If you don’t mind having to go without things, it’s a fine life”