Without resorting to Passion Pop.

Words by

Rebecca Russo

Parks and Recreation was an excellent show.

It taught us about the importance of hard work, friendships and waffles. It also brought the phrase “treat yo self” into our everyday vernacular. 

While the thought of splashing some cash on some nice new clothes, massages, mimosas and fine leather goods sounds pretty damn awesome, it’s a liiiiiittle harder when you’re broke. 

We’ve already taught you some fine life lessons on living like a broke girl (working out, having brunch, six-week Eurotrips and Friday night drinks can be done, gurl!) but what about everyday life? How can you treat yo self properly when you’re broke AF? Well, listen closely. Here are some tricks of the trade. 

Treat yo body to a spa day… at home

Spa days are a delight, but ain’t nobody got the money for that. So it’s time for a little DIY. Turn off your phone, make yourself a DIY facial mask, take a super long shower (or bath if you’re so lucky), crank some Drake and moisturise allllll over. Then hop into a freshly made bed with clean sheets and just soak it all up. Seriously, it’s the best feeling in the world.  

Go to the dog park

If you’re a puppy tragic like myself, seeing dogs (of any shape or form) can make you eternally happy. There’s something about seeing a chocolate Lab chasing after a munched-on tennis ball that just gets your enforphins going. So here’s your plan: hit up your nearest dog-spotting hangout, grab some munchies, grab a mate and enjoy watching dogs at their happiest. It’s bound to help you forget about your crappy day job/annoying boyfriend/lack of funds in no time.

Call up an old friend and have a good old fashioned D&M

If you’re looking to shake off a bad mood, pick up the phone and call someone you haven’t spoken to in a while. We’ve become a generation of texters, it seems; the days of three-way convos after school have all but disappeared. But we shouldn’t be giving up on this communication method so soon. Getting deep and meaningful over the phone is so much more rewarding than trying to emote via text.

You just know that that old work buddy, or a friend from high school, or even your grandparents would love to hear from you, and shooting off a quick text just isn’t going to cut it this time. Call them up, have a laugh, have a cry, and make plans for an IRL convo or even just another chat down the line. You’ll be better for it. 

Take a doona day

Okay so skipping out on work for the day might not help with the whole ‘broke’ angle, but bear with me here. Sometimes you just need to treat yo self in the literal sense of the word, as in, treat your mind, your body and your sense of self. If that means spending the day in your pyjamas, eating ice cream, having a bit of a teary and re-watching Gilmore Girls for the fourteenth time, then so be it. 

This might sound depressing but there’s nothing like having a good old cry to help you get through some things. And you shouldn’t have to feel bad or embarrased about that either. Take the day off from your regular life to collect your thoughts, settle your stresses and unwind. You work bloody hard, you deserve it. 

Get out there!

On a completely different note, get the hell out of your house and get to know the coolest side of your city. And by that I mean, the elusive FREE part of your city. Keep an eye out for farmers’ markets (fresh fruit and flowers are always good for a pick-me-up), new museum and art exhibitions for a little culture, free fitness classes to get the endorphins up, and trivia nights or karaoke for a bit of a laugh. Even in the depths of winter, it’s always good to get a little face time with the sun and soak up some much needed Vitamin D. You’ll have treated yo self to a great big smile at the end of the day, I’ll guarantee you that. 

If all else fails, buy a new pair of socks

You don’t have the cash to splash on a new outfit, so here’s the next best thing: new socks! Slipping your feet into a brand new pair of funky socks is like drinking from life’s elixir... or... like... it might make you feel good for a little while even. Hey, it’s better than nothing, right? 

Illustration by Twylamae who blessed us with this surrealist Seinfeld tee.

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30% work, 50% running a business, 20% wine.
Get in loser, we’re going shopping.
You know it, I know it. So let’s do it.
Get ready to sweat in places you didn’t know you could sweat.
Friends rule and drinks are fun. So let’s do this.
Because avocado smash is expensive AF.
Just how cheaply can you do a Eurotrip?
OMG I love your green juice, where did you get it?
For those with champagne taste on a passion pop budget.
For all you students who love to get turnt but #unistudentbudget.
NB: some of these lessons were learned the hard way.