David Sedaris once said “To be broke in New York was to feel a constant, needling sense of failure, as you were regularly confronted by people who had not only more but much, much more.” This is very true. Due to the nature of the city you can pass by a bum urinating on a stoop as easily as you can pass by Donald Trump on his way to get a $900 haircut.
Though I’ve never lived in San Francisco, I’ve visited the place and know it to be a pretty pricey town in itself, filled with restaurants, bars, houses and people that make you feel very, very poor indeed. There’s a reason you’re here and why you’ve chosen to live in a fridge-sized apartment for a monthly sum that makes your out-of-town friends eyes widen with horror. However every once in a while the grind, the bills and the constant “dinner or subway ride?” dilemma can really ruin your day. Here are a few things you can do to feel rich when your bank balance gets you down.
Read a magazine or have a drink in the lobby of a quietly opulent hotel. Maybe it’s the heavy wood, the pleasant smell, or the opportunity to be mistaken for a high class prostitute, but for some reason I feel a sense of utter calm in really nice hotel lobby’s. Sit there alone with a cocktail for a while before getting on with your life. The people watching is great, the furniture’s usually comfy, and the niceness of taking a time out from the endless pushing, shoving, stressing of the streets away from the poverty of your home can be very renewing.
Drink a glass of wine out of a really nice, heavy-weight glass. It doesn’t have to be good wine, but for some reason it works. the heavier and nicer the glass, the wealthier you feel. If you can spring for something good (good does NOT = expensive), all the better.
Splurge on nice bedding. This can be tough to justify especially if you are truly struggling to make ends meet. However, your quality of life is really, really important and you spend a lot of time in your bed. When you’re broke you stay in more and that means a lot of laptop movie watching. Investing in good sheets, comfy pillows and even a padded mattress topper if you can swing it will make getting into bed after a hard day feel slightly more luxurious and can make all the difference to your mood.
Start a savings. I recently decided to put a dollar every single day into my savings account and am going to try not to touch it for a year.. When I start making more money I’ll up it to $5 a day, and so on. Saving for your future gives you a sense of worth that can often disappear when you’re broke. It’s also a way of planning and staying motivated: things will get better, you won’t always be broke and if the worst happens, well, you’ve got a little something tucked away.