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The Aftermath

I have been consistently dreading writing this for public consumption as I am certain if the Kpop stans get ahold of this I'll get videos of Twice dancing along with death threats. I will preface this by saying that if you feel the urge to fight or debate, fight or debate your mother. This is not an open forum. I am not free of the consequences of my words, but I am eternally free to ignore you. That being said, Korea is the worst place I have ever traveled. As I have likely told many of you who have asked me in person, I would suggest going if you're white, if you're obsessed with the culture and its exports, or if you're going for 2 weeks or less.  Everyone else has been warned. I landed back in the United States on Sunday, June 30th, 2019, and approximately 206 days later, I am ready to talk about my 1 year in Korea. The Flight Back So, I almost died. I'm starting here because this isn't really  Korea's fault so much as my exhaustion because of Ko

The M*ney One [Part Six]: Things Being Broke Forced Me To Learn

Did this article make ya blush? You can check out my last one here. You can also peep "The Ultimate List of Resources" here.
I got my first job when I was 15 at Bruster's Real Ice Cream at 2550 Lawrenceville Highway, Decatur, Georgia. It was a wild time and, as most over-indulgent Taurus sun teens, my money came in highs and lows. The first week after payday was spent eating and eating and paying for unemployed people and eating some more. I would buy doughnuts or Chick-Fil-A every morning for me and my best friend at the time and then I would usually spend my afternoons, you guessed it, spending more money at Chick-Fil-A, or Panera Bread, or Chipotle. Gifts, gas, and general living beyond my means was definitely the name of the game. My money savvy is a lot better now, especially in relationships, but here are just a few things that being broke has taught me.


If you know me personally, like super personally, then you know that I am actually pretty handy with cars. I've changed side mirrors, swapped out cabin and engine filters, and I've even fixed a $1000+ "complex" electrical issue by watching a couple of  YouTube videos and finding the problem myself (It was a fuse, which I diagnosed, found the proper fuse rating, and changed out and cost me nothing at all). I am absolutely not good enough to never take my car into the shop again, but I have saved myself more money than I thought imaginable by simply figuring it out myself. I respect mechanics, but I want to see one for oil changes only.
If you have ever felt like you're paying too much for basic car services, or you just want to know a little more about the place you spend so much time, then I would suggest going on YouTube, entering your car's make and model and educating yourself. Another great way to save money is to buy your car parts yourself. Those "premium" parts that most mechanics order come at a very very premium price, plus if you order online and pick up in store, you can usually find a promo code and read reviews of the items you need to order.

Budgeting Style

I lack discipline something serious. Especially when it comes to self-indulgence. I am definitely a hedonist, so as far as I'm concerned, life is about achieving maximum pleasure and then dying, however much my checking account chooses to disagree with me. Finding the balance between a tight budget and finding some fun in life is a hard one. On one hand, we never know if have tomorrow, and living with a strict budget sometimes limits our time actually spent living, but on the other hand, when tomorrow does come are you ready for it? During the periods where I was intensely broke, I spent my money the same way a lot of folks do- I spent whatever was in my bank account. If I had the money in my account, that meant I could "afford it." Fun fact though kids, I couldn't always afford it. I wasn't behaving like I had a gas tank to fill up or Spotify bills. Oh, but boy did that change.
Similar to the envelope method, I take out a set amount of cash now and use the budgets
I've set using the mint app. I leave enough for automatic bill payments and savings and only spend the cash. Using cash really quantifies how much things costs, and when comparing to using cards to pay for things, I find myself saying no more often. Those bills just feel so good in the hand. Further, if I run out of money in one section of the budget, I can't dip into the other. If you want to start this method, I would suggest starting with using the envelopes and yes, carrying them around then you can graduate to just having the cash and then maybe you can leave your money in your checking account. Either way you choose to use this method, remember if you're using a budget tracking app that you manually have to track cash methods. More about that in the Resources section below.

How To: Get Free Stuff 

When I worked at the ice cream shop, I surely exchanged my employee ice cream for food at other businesses. I got free car washes, Panera Bread sandwiches, beauty supply store items, and more (Sorry, Kathy). Thinking back on it, it was a really good deal, but I was definitely being unfair and so I wouldn't suggest it. Plus, I couldn't even use my employee discount for myself because I'd given them away. One easy way to get free things is to always sign up for accounts with fast food places that you already visit often. One thing I am famous for amongst my friends is my love of Dominos pizza. At the height of my love for Dominos, I was ordering it like... four times a week, especially for the 2 for $5.99 each deal and the chocolate lava cakes which are Delicious. The plus came when they started their rewards program where after 6 orders of $10 or more, you get a free pizza! Considering I order so much Dominos this was a great deal for me and most national chains have a similar rewards program. Look into minimizing your overall yearly costs by signing up for your favorite chains rewards systems. 

 The Power of the Internet

Bartering goods isn't the only way you can get free things, however. You can download apps for fast food restaurants to get free things, like Dairy Queen and Chick-Fil-A who give you free rewards just for downloading their new or newly updated apps. The Drop app also gives points toward gift cards at places like Starbucks, Target, and Nordstrom. These points are on things you already buy, without having to do anything other than linking your card. If you use my referral link below, you'll start off with $1,000 points, and of course, it helps me out too. I am not affiliated with the Drop company at all. The Honey extension for the Google Chrome web browser automatically finds you the coupon code that works out for your purchase and gives you the highest percentage off, and automatically add the code to your checkout screen. Even if they can't find you a coupon code, you are always eligible for cash back. Coupon Mom is a great website that sends you coupons. Despite the title, this isn't your mom's coupon site, it combines shopping sales with using manufacturing coupons, and explicitly outlines how you can get as many groceries and everyday items as possible for free. 

Whether you're broke now, never ever want to broke again, or want to make sure you never have to experience broke-ness, there's a hustle and savvy that comes with not having money. You'll be surprised at the ways you can make ends meet. I hope you were able to learn something from my experiences and as always-

Good Luck

*Disclaimer: I am not affiliated with any of the companies mentioned in the article unless explicitly stated. All of the opinions stated here are my own


Mentioned In This Article

The Envelope Method
Drop App (iPhone/Android/Referral link)
Honey Extension
Mint App Manual Cash Purchases
Apps to Get Free Food.... and Another
Coupon Mom

Thumbnail Photo by Fabian Blank on Unsplash


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