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12 Signs You Are Really Broke

Updated on September 1, 2014
Jeannieinabottle profile image

Jeannie has been writing online for over 8 years. She covers a wide variety of topics—anything from hamsters to office work.


Money - Who Has Money?

At some point in life, you might be really broke. It is OK because it can be an incredible learning experience, that is, if you don't starve during the experience. If you view it that way and work really hard, eventually you can usually dig yourself out a bit... even if only a little. Sometimes being poor happens for so long it becomes a lifestyle. During this period of time, you may find yourself doing some things only people who are really broke do.

In case you are wondering if you are only a little down on your luck or you are just totally broke, I have a guide to help you. In some cases, yes, you could just be the cheapest person on the planet. However, if you have to live this way due to a lack of money, then you are just simply living the broke lifestyle. Check out these signs to help you determine if you are super broke right now.


Signs you are really broke:

1. You could not visit your friend for dinner because she asked you to bring a dish. Initially, you were really excited about the idea of free food until you realized what you were supposed to do with the dish. Bringing a dish does not mean you should fill that dish with leftovers at the end of the night to eat the rest of the week. You are actually supposed to cook something yourself to put on the dish to bring to the party. Cook something yourself? Find food in your cabinets? Guess you are not going to dinner.

2. Go to a festival for the day? No one has money for that. Wait, the festival is in walking distance and some vendors are giving away stuff? That new Italian restaurant down the street is giving away slices of pizza? Grab more than one pair of sunglasses to wear so maybe they won't recognize you when you get in line more than once! That festival sounds like a good idea after all.

3. While looking for loose change in the couch, you were delighted to find two old M&Ms. The lack of lint or ants let you know they should still be edible. Snack time!

4. Your friend asked if he could crash on your couch for a couple of days. It seemed like a good idea to charge him rent for the time he was there. You also charged him for use of the bathroom, eating one banana, and using a few tissues. He won't be crashing on your couch anymore.

5. When someone invites you to a party, your first question is, "Do I have to bring a gift?" Your next question is always, "Will there be food?" The last question is typically, "Can I bum a ride?"

6. Suddenly walking to work and grocery stores seem like a good, healthy idea. Even if the store is 5 miles away, who has the money for a bus? Nope, it is best to save two dollars and walk a couple hours.

7. You've found yourself lingering around dumpsters way too much. People throw out good stuff all the time. Maybe you could find a much needed item for your home. Perhaps you could sell something good on eBay. Hey, did someone throw out a couple of perfectly good slices of pizza? No one would notice if you grabbed them right now, would they?

8. You are really happy your neighbor's wireless internet password is simply "password" when you log in each day. You are also pretty pleased with his big screen TV. Peering into his window at night to watch whatever he is watching is easier that way. It would just be nice if he watched a little less "America's Funniest Home Videos," but hey, thrifty Peeping Toms can't be picky.

9. The dog's food is starting to look more delicious with each passing day. It is a good thing you love your dog so much, or he might start looking pretty delicious, too.

10. Babysitting other people's kids and mowing lawns for extra money never looked as appealing as they look now. Working a second or third job at McDonald's seems better and better each day, too.

11. If you even hear the word "free" you come running like there is no tomorrow.

12. All those research experiments listed in the newspaper seem pretty legit now. You are just hoping you don't catch some horrifying new disease if you participate. Well, on second thought, you'd better just make more money if you do catch something. It could be worth it.

Copyright ©2014 Jeannieinabottle

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Submit a Comment
  • Jeannieinabottle profile imageAUTHOR

    Jeannie Marie 

    4 years ago from Baltimore, MD

    Thanks so much for checking out my hub and for the vote up. I am glad you enjoyed it.

  • FatBoyThin profile image

    Colin Garrow 

    4 years ago from Inverbervie, Scotland

    Sounds a bit familiar - especially the 'visit a friend for dinner' bit. Great Hub. Voted up.

  • Jeannieinabottle profile imageAUTHOR

    Jeannie Marie 

    5 years ago from Baltimore, MD

    Thank you, Frank Atanacio and Arachnea. I am glad you both liked my hub.

  • Arachnea profile image

    Tanya Jones 

    5 years ago from Texas USA

    Amusing. Times are hard everywhere. I just know that silver spoon will turn up somewhere. Interesting side links as well.

  • Frank Atanacio profile image

    Frank Atanacio 

    5 years ago from Shelton

    this was great.. but i loved number three LOL..:)

  • Jeannieinabottle profile imageAUTHOR

    Jeannie Marie 

    5 years ago from Baltimore, MD

    AudreyHowitt, thanks so much! I am happy you dropped by.

    Thelma Alberts, I sometimes wonder that myself. I think I am a combination of both. Thanks for checking out my hub!

    lisavanvorst, I have honestly not found myself checking out too many dumpsters yet, although I have not ruled it out yet. ;-) Thanks for the vote up!

    janshares, I have done the same thing! You never know what you mind find in old purses! Thanks for the votes and the comment.

  • janshares profile image

    Janis Leslie Evans 

    5 years ago from Washington, DC

    Aaaaaahhhhhh, haha hahaha! So funny, really enjoyed this list, Jeannie. The closest I came to being "poor" was in 2012 when I left my job after 22 years to go out on my own. I found myself going through all of my purses and wallets looking for money. I love #8 about peering through neighbor's window to watch TV, ha ha ha. Voted up and funny. Thanks for the chuckles.

  • lisavanvorst profile image

    Lisa VanVorst 

    5 years ago from New Jersey

    This was a great funny hub to read. I have been broke in the past when I was unemployed so I can relate. Although I wasn't hanging around those dumpsters lol. Great Hub. Voted up

  • Thelma Alberts profile image

    Thelma Alberts 

    5 years ago from Germany and Philippines

    Very funny! Sometimes I thought while reading this, "am I broke or I am just frugal". Lol! Thanks for making me laugh.

  • AudreyHowitt profile image

    Audrey Howitt 

    5 years ago from California

    OH my--I had forgotten how funny your stuff is! I guffawed!

  • Jeannieinabottle profile imageAUTHOR

    Jeannie Marie 

    5 years ago from Baltimore, MD

    FlourishAnyway, I have been that person! I used to volunteer to put the food away so I could bag up leftovers for myself. I can't help it. If jobs paid employees a little better, leftovers would not look so appealing. At least, that is what I would tell myself as I went home with bags of food. ;-)

  • FlourishAnyway profile image


    5 years ago from USA

    I like #5. I once did an HR investigation on a woman at work who at office catered events would rush up to the table after everyone had taken a first helping. She'd take all the deli meat off the sub sandwiches and stuff it into take-home bags, leaving just a bread and lettuce sandwich for some poor sucker. She'd also steal free bags of hot cocoa and tea from the company break room. Sometimes it's hard to pass on free, I guess.

  • Jeannieinabottle profile imageAUTHOR

    Jeannie Marie 

    5 years ago from Baltimore, MD

    sheilamyers, oh yes, I know some really cheap people that do some of these things. I refuse to live that way, even though I can be frugal at times.

    jonmcclusk, thanks so much. I am glad you enjoyed it.

  • jonmcclusk profile image

    Jonathan McCloskey 

    5 years ago from Cinnaminson, New Jersey

    A good laughter building article, number four was my favorite.

  • profile image


    5 years ago

    I like the way you approached a serious topic with a bit of humor. While it's sad there are some people who are poor enough to resort to some of the things you listed, I laugh at the people who do those things only because they refuse to spend any of the money they've earned.

  • Jeannieinabottle profile imageAUTHOR

    Jeannie Marie 

    5 years ago from Baltimore, MD

    billybuc, hopefully anyone experiencing this can still laugh at the situation. I have experienced financial ups and downs, but I always tried to see the humor in it.

    Jodah, I have done some of these things myself, so hopefully, other people experiencing it will see the humor in it. That is cool that you make your own dog food. It probably tastes much better than the store bought stuff. Thanks for the vote up!

    bravewarrior, nah, not too far fetched. I've done some of these things at times. It can be OK as long as you keep telling yourself it is not permanent. Thanks for the comment.

  • bravewarrior profile image

    Shauna L Bowling 

    5 years ago from Central Florida

    I can always count on you for a laugh, Jeannie. What's sad is nothing you say here is too far-fetched. Well, for some anyway.

  • Jodah profile image

    John Hansen 

    5 years ago from Queensland Australia

    Very funny Jeannie, but wait..there are people in those situations it isn't for them, and I have been damn close. We make our own dog food and it rarely contains anything unfit for humans so worse coming to worse I could always tucker down with them :) Voted up.

  • billybuc profile image

    Bill Holland 

    5 years ago from Olympia, WA

    If it weren't true it would be funny. Oh, wait, it was funny. Well then, I'm a glutton for punishment. :)


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