Random disclaimer - this has been written by an IRL student who has seen out almost a whole week with absolutely zilch in their account with no overdraft to help, and too much pride to borrow money from the folks.
1. Firstly, Charbonnel & Walker truffles aren't essential, nor necessary
Even if it is Valentines day and you fancy treating yourself. Even if you pick out all the best flavours and the check-out girl gift wraps them for you, you don't need to be so pathetically tragically single that you spend a tenner on what is essentially fancified calories for yourself. This also goes for any kind of wine, candles and flowers - the latter two are not needed when you're broke. The point is, if you can't afford basic food products or petrol for your car, things like chocolate or wine are best kept to Asda prices. Even though Asda don't sell pink champagne truffles or violet encrusted cremes.
2. There's always hope! Coins can be found in a variety of places
Car floors, ignored cupboard drawers and clutch bags you haven't used in a while; everything from 5ps to the holy grail of pocket change - the £2 coin (!!) - can be collected if you look hard enough. And don't underestimate their power. North of a pound can buy you a coffee or some cheese to liven up the pasta you've been eating for days. South of a pound can buy you all sorts - a slab of cake, a packet of biscuits, a couple of apples ......some chewing gum? No matter what happens, you're now set to appreciate these little gems forever more!
3. You'd better get over your FOMO pronto'
So as the law of life goes; when you're drowning in the dollar (or simply cheerfully afloat) you'll be at a loss as to what to spend it on. Yet when you're painfully poor, your fave shop will throw a 25% sale, your favourite band will chuck up a surprise gig in a town not far from you, all your friends will plan a big night out without you and the queen will invite you to tea. Worse still your #MCM will invite you to tea. Best to turn off your wi-fi, lock your phone away and board up your windows.
4. Now's the time for you to GSD (get shit done)
Due to the above reasons, you can't really leave the house unless it's for a solitary walk (one without cigarettes?) or to go to the gym (if that's your style?) so get set up with some coffee you stole off your housemate, your laptop, a long list of to-do's and get going. Never underestimate the true glee you'll feel from sending out e-mails from the comfort of your bed - you appear all professional and sassy, when really you're quite possibly wearing care bear pyjamas and crying inside.
5. Never will you ever be so shady with your mum
No one wants their mummies to know just how bad they are at life aye? When you have 10 pence to your name you'll find yourself constantly skirting around conversations which involve pretty much anything to do with socialising, eating and alas coming home for the weekend. You'll feel bad about lying, and dying to spurt out how you damn hungry you are. But you won't.
6. You'll find alternatives to what you once thought of as sworn essentials
So returning to the law of life; you will inevitably run out of toilet roll during your stint of poverty. Worst still all of your housemates will be out (presumably having a life and/ or spending money) so make-up wipes will come in handy for sure. Once you've run out of those, the ghastly kitchen roll. However if you actually happen to run out of tampons, you're on your own until your housemates get home. Better strap yourself to the toilet and hold tight.
7. Most important of all... 'Everything will be alright'
As long as your rent is paid and you've got access to drinking water, it's never ever going to be as bad as you're expecting. It might even be quite refreshing/relaxing/enlightening. There's so much time to watch all those movies you meant to watch, pack in some serious web surfing hours, tidy your room, organize the fridge. Plus, pay day will come soon enough and you'll have plenty of excuses to go splash all the cash in your favourite yet slightly pretentious bar in Shoreditch/ buy some boots on the spur/ treat yourself to some Charbonnel or Laduree.
this picture is from here