Avoiding a Broke Birthday

Updated: Jan 24, 2012 10:01
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Everyone seems to have at least one month where it’s birthdays galore! For me, that is this month- October. Aside from my own birthday (on the 8th! whoop whoop!), I currently know of at least twenty people with birthdays this month! Damn…(Maybe it was all that excitement between New Year’s and Valentine’s Day??! Geesh…) But, seriously, that’s a lot of freakin people! And after receiving a dozen Facebook event invites for everyone’s birthday extravaganza’s.  I’m looking at my wallet, and then at my bank account, and then at my wallet again, and thinking…oh man… …. …. yup… just- Oh man….

So, what’s a broke-ass to do? Birthday’s add up, yenno. There’s gifts to give, and special birthday outfits to flaunt, and shots to buy and then quickly choke-down, dinners to pay for and, of course, how could you forget to “pitch in for the birthday girl.” Ughh, I love my friends, but holy crap does this month have me sitting here with a cup full of Ramen (because that’s all I could buy with my grocery money) and all the lights turned off (because surely I won’t be able to afford it this month). So, again, I ask myself, what’s a broke-ass to do??

1. Gifts: DIY is the only way to go on this one. Think back on all those special moments with your friend. Does anything in your household (that you’d be willing to give up) represent these special moments with this person? Stick it in a frame or a pretty box and there ya have it! Nothing you’re willing to give up? Don’t fret. The Target dollar bins, or even the 99cent store, is a great place to collect random items that may relate to your oh-so-many inside jokes with this special birthday friend.

2. EVEN BETTER gift ideas: This is actually my favorite gift idea- far beyond anything anyone could ever buy me with money (well…on second thought…hehehe…). Draw/paint something, write a story or poem–write it out or type it up– or find an old photo of the two of us that I haven’t seen in years. Whatever it is, stick it in a frame and put a pretty bow on it. I’m a sucker for the sentimental..what can I say.

3. Dinner time: Ugh, the waitress just came over to drop the bill and the damage has come out to $100+. WTF. Uhhh…bathroom time? Cigarette break? Uh, uhh… Oh hey! I just saw someone I know- let me go say hey real quick! Ok, so maybe it’s unfair to dip out on the bill, especially when you’re with a bunch of friends. But if you’re out to dinner, then know you’re budget. Maybe it’s just water for you all night. And if you have to stick to the free bread basket, then so be it. Just know your budget and stick to it.

4. Shots, shots, shots! So it’s generally pretty standard that you gotta buy a shot for the birthday celebrant when you’re out celebrating. No cash? Hmmm…. maybe I can go flirt with that guy for a bit until he decides to buy me a shot? “Oh hey, let me introduce you to my friend, it’s her birthday!!!!!” Hmmmm, not such a bad idea, ehhh? *nudge, nudge.

5. Wardrobe: Here’s where having a sister/brother, roommate, and/or best friend comes in handy. It’s shopping time!…in their closets. Let’s just hope we’re about the same size….and they have a good sense of style.

Broke-asses, good luck! And a HUGE happy birthday from one October baby to the next!!



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Paulette Greenhouse - The Penny Pincher

Paulette Greenhouse - The Penny Pincher

Paulette Greenhouse is a journalist and graphic designer, obsessed with her beloved pet hedgehog, Lisa Pickles. Seriously, she can talk about that prickly little princess for days! Paulette enjoys fashion, music, and art (cool points are gained if DIY). Although she tells outsiders that she lives in San Francisco, Paulette actually lives in nearby Pacifica because she can't afford to be that cool. The truth is she hates money and believes that it is source of many major problems in the world. But since society has made money so damn important for adequate survival, she slaves away at a lame local corporate restaurant, receiving crappy tips from people even cheaper than she is. (damn!) But above all, Paulette believes in giving exact change– it's a way of life!