How To Play The $5 Until Next Paycheck Game

Whether you’re on the receiving end of a comfortable $60k a year paycheck, or still trudging through the financial wasteland that is university, most people can relate to going too-hard-too-early in the payday cycle. Many a times I’ve pumped in my NAB digits, seen a wad of cash, then spent it so quickly I may as well have been raining 20s on a stripper. And you have too, you irresponsible Gen Y piece of shit.

Though through the trials and tribulations of symbiotically giving our parents the finger for every time they’ve said “do you really need that?”, us millennials have learned a thing or two in the face of empty bank accounts. We’ve evolved to a point where $5 or $10 for seven days isn’t so much as a death sentence, but rather a friendly (albeit unfailing) reminder that living in share houses and drinking on weekdays comes well before that admirable trait people with their own offices talk about: budgeting.

In the spirit of filling time while not having any money, I’ve compiled the handiest tips in my arsenal to get your broke ass by until the next time you’re paid a lump sum of money you will inevitably waste.

Dominos Pizza
When you order Dominos pizza, you can use Paypal, and when you use Paypal, you can select a ‘pay later’ option that gives you somewhere between 14 and 30 days before you’ll need to cough up cash. This brilliant little hack is the perfect way to eat like a king while not possessing the funds to do so.

Go home.
For those who have the privilege of living close to their parents (of whom they have an amicable relationship), there’s nothing quite like a home cooked meal in the depths of hell that is poverty. For the seasoned veterans amongst us, the decision to return to the motherland will be premeditated and the motivations for it will remain undisclosed.

Transport cards.
It’s easy to forget about the money you hold on your Go Card (QLD) or comparable. I’ve often struggled getting from A to B before remembering there’s a sweet little dollop of moolah on my little blue card. This needs not be forgotten in dire circumstances.

For one reason or another, every idiot who’s been to the national institution of Mi Goreng appreciation (aka university) thinks it’s the eternal solution to poverty-driven nourishment. It’s not. A walk to Chinatown will do you wonders in terms of calories-for-your-buck, and with no shortage of flavour, mystery meat and things in packages you can’t understand, the remaining time of financial distress will be like one long lucky dip!

While it’s easy for me to assume you – like me – have no discernible talents, maybe you’re a budding jazz flute player, or can breakdance while solving a rubix cube. If either of these are true, why the fuck are you reading this. Go juggle swords and earn your next meal.

Strategic Catch Ups
Have a friend you haven’t seen for a month or so? Have they said “let’s catch up soon!” to you in the last fortnight? Now’s your time to take them up on their offer. Plan a rendezvous at their place half an hour before regular dinner time. The logistics of the situation mean they NEED to provide you with food – it’s common courtesy. If they don’t, you need to find a new friend, you broke son of a bitch.

Hanging out for a weekend carb and protein combo? Bunning’s sausage sizzles are a great way to get fed on the cheap and an even better way to stand in crowds of people who not only have money to spend, but have money to spend on things that aren’t even enjoyable (like fence palings and lawnmowers).

Many stalls at markets these days have freebies out the front, meaning if your shame went down the drain when your dollars did, you can just stand there and feast on all the beef jerky and homemade raita you want. For best results, alternate between stands, piling all your food into a napkin, then construct a meal on your own underneath a far away tree (like the social reject you are).

Drink goon.
You’re broke, but that doesn’t make you a lunatic. You still need to drink. Unfortunately, that means a trusty sack of Mother’s juice. There’s nothing else to it. You were the one who decided to waste the bulk of your money on $9 Corona’s at that shitty thing you weren’t even going to go to, then bought a fucking $21 lamb slider because drunk you had ‘hunger pangs. Pay the price – get on the sack.

If you’re feeling biscuits, get involved in a local church. Going to church just to talk to grannies and smash Scotch Fingers won’t repent you of your sins – in fact, it’ll probably put you in God’s crosshairs when the apocalypse finally rolls through town – but you’re broke and hungry and don’t have time for silly Jesus bullshit.

Go to Aldi.
Speaking of Jesus and holy things: Aldi. You can literally get a packet of pasta and a jar of Passata for less than $3, which will make 10 (admittedly bland) meals and keep you chugging well after that next pay comes knocking. For optimal results, throw in a few 75 cent cants of tuna- you will not find a better sustenance-to-nutrition price ration in all of this sweet land.

Sign up for a credit card.
You’re already worthless, so why not be even more worthless. Launch head first into a vicious cycle of debt and spend the rest of your adult life getting condescending looks at the Christmas dinner table from your more successful siblings.
Words by Amy Allison. Photo by Hollylouise.

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