Usually, when someone says they’re “broke” they probably have a few dollars in their pocket. That “few dollars” may be $10, $20, $50, $100, or $1000; everyone has their own interpretation of what being “broke” really means. So what does it mean to have $0.05, $0.00, -$20 in your bank account? S.O.L. that’s what it means. Well, I’ve really been there; I’m kinda still there lol.
I’ve made a million mistakes when it comes to money and my credit. I got my first credit card at 19. I was really scared to use it, but after that first purchase, I felt like I was rich. My credit limit was only $200 lol. But a few years later I had 8 credit cards, one for every store I shopped at. I had A-1 credit, but at 20 and 21 I didn’t really know what that meant. My parents weren’t the most financially responsible people, so they couldn’t really teach how to be smart about my money and credit. I had to fall from grace to really understand the importance of it all. Thank God I’ve made these mistakes while I’m young and still have time to recover. That’s what I tell myself as I get closer to 30.
So that brings us to now. At the ripe old age of 27, I’m still “broke,” but I see the light at the end of the tunnel. I say this as I write on my cracked up Galaxy S3 that only works on Wi-Fi lol. It’s a little embarrassing to be a millennial with no real working cell phone. Talkatone and Wi-Fi are my best friends. There are kids running around with iPhones, my parents have phones, my grandma even has a working cell phone lol. Yeah – this just got even more embarrassing, but being in this “broke” situation has provided me with great strength. I have endured harassment from bill collectors, I have humbly taken trips to CSL Plasma to get gas and grocery money, and I know how to make do with what I have. I can make $5 stretch for a week lol. The most important thing that I’ve learned is how to find joy in not having any money. It makes me appreciate my parents and everything they’ve done for me, especially over the last two years. They would never let me be homeless or starve.
Have I figured out how to come up from being broke? Hell no! Not yet anyway lol, but I’m slowly figuring it out. I’ve been roughing it as an unemployed millennial for a few months and I’ve only been at my new, full-time $10/hr., job for a week. My plan is to try to catch up on bills, save everything I can (which won’t be much), and use this phone until it makes my fingers bleed; my S3 is the real MVP lol. All in all, I know that the struggle isn’t going to magically disappear, definitely not with this pay. I will be struggling for a while, but I’m finding the beauty in my struggle now that I know how to navigate it. I will continue to work as hard as I can, I don’t want to take any handouts or pity. I will continue to have faith and trust God, because I know the struggle won’t last forever.
The Sort-of-Employed Millennial