I'm not utterly hopeless. Here's what to do when you're poor.
Iron Your Own Clothes...
What started as a deep-seeded hate for ironing my collared work shirts, has become a relaxing (still frustrating) break.
It comes with the territory of a white-collar-worker: ironing those stiff, stubborn white collars. There are many woes of the corporate world, and one of them is puling out the turquoise, collegiate-sized ironing board and shuffling the stupid shirt around like a monkey stretching pizza dough over a rock.
Yes, it was an awful skill to learn, but I'm finally pretty close to domestic-bachelor status. Which, if I say so my self, is no small feat.
I promise myself that one day, ONE DAY, I will be able to send my shirts and pants to a dry cleaner. That "one day," when I make enough money for the "good things," will be a happy day indeed.
Until then, I'm doing the best I can with semi-pressed, undoubtedly-wrinkled dress shirts.
This is my way to save money...and it shows.
Pack Your Own Lunch
No, this isn't rabbit food, it's my very healthy, very cheap lunch.
Don't worry, after the photo I cut up an avocado and an apple, adding it to the salad. It was much more fulfilling.
One of the first things to go when you're poor is lunch out, dinner out and that bagel you usually get before work. So, yes, you will probably be a little hungry when you're poor (apparently that's one primary complaint), but cross your fingers this won't last.
What I have found as a key way to 1) eat healthy, and 2) eat cheap, is to snack on a lot of vegetables throughout the day. I swear they're pretty cheap, and you can eat them until you're about to throw up without putting a dent in your wallet.
Use the Sidewalks
When gas is over $4.00/gallon, it is impossible to fill up my tank more than once a month (or two months).
This is my local sidewalk. It is a dear, dear friend. I find myself only 15 blocks to grocery store. Only 20 blocks to my favorite coffee shop. And about 400 blocks to work.
I swear it is possible to walk from here to there, people have been doing it for quite a few thousand years. I have lived in a few different countries where very few people owned cars; it became the norm for me to walk everywhere.
What is clear is that convenience is not always available to poorer people. Jumping in the car to quickly go to the store is not really an option. This situation is exacerbated in inclement weather or when time is an issue. Trust me, I know.
Unless people are hyper-sensitive about their carbon footprint, or jogging, they are probably not walking to-and-fro by choice.
But, this is just one fun thing to do when you're poor.