How to Cheat Death When You’re Dead Broke

No one in Durban is getting paid enough, especially not contributors to DIY. If your wallet is light, the resourceful Sheshela Maduna has a few tips for having a good time in Durban on a budget.


Photo by Alice Pasqual on Unsplash


What goes around almost certainly comes back around to bite you in the arse, these are the laws of nature that have been influencing our shit lives ever since the history of oxygen and breathing. What goes up triumphantly into the air on a golden springboard must fall flat on its stomach and squeal in agony. So If you decide to blow your most of your hard-earned paycheck in an alcohol-induced spending spree in the two days after the 25th, there’s a strong chance that you’re probably gonna be slurping on two-minute noodles for the rest of the agonising weeks until the end of the month next. Financial sensibility doesn’t have to be nuclear physics, with three parts common sense and a shot of self-discipline we can all go on effortlessly through the rat race and even find prosperity in there somewhere. But I’m gonna be real with you, you probably have more chances of winning a dinner date with Steve Hofmeyer than gaining  true financial freedom so let’s just keep our feet on the ground and let me give you 4 simple hacks that will get you to tidy up your decision making and even through your social life when your bank account has seen better days.


1. Up your kitchen game.


Photo by Nick Nice on Unsplash


We may not all share the same genes and culinary skills of a Nigella but I tell you what, as with anything in life, with a bit of time and a couple of epic fails you can get yourself eating really well every other day at the fraction of your restaurant bills and takeaway receipts. Thrift yourself a couple of celebrity chef cookbooks at your local charity shop and pick out the easiest recipes to make that you can rotate around each week making sure to keep your grocery list down to the ingredients of your repertoire. Who knows, you could even get confident enough to invite your special somebody over for a home-made dinner date. Not only will you save yourself some much-needed money, you might even get yourself laid.


2. Get out of your comfort zone and explore alternative events happening around you.


All too often we find ourselves settling for going out for a miserable drink with the same people we see all too often and we know what ends up happening; one drink miraculously multiplies itself into twelve and you are left with a painful morning, blurred memories and a gruesome bank balance. Regularly hitting up interesting and alternate events like music, art and poetry sessions that are happening around you will get your social life into a different sphere, get you to talk about things you usually don’t talk about around people you normally wouldn’t hang out with- and get you out of the self-defeating habit of drinking just because you have nothing better to do [Ed note: Now you’re drinking to give you the courage to talk to new people]. It’s a great way to get you cultured (whatever that means), to make a new friend and sometimes even score the occasional free glass of wine.


3. Share a ride



Okay, let’s say you and all of your ratchet friends in your WhatsApp group definitely know where it’s going down tonight and the feeling of missing out is just too strong for a Netflix + chill (assuming that you can afford it) to suffice. Organize your frisky selves to throw a pre-party at someone’s house, where you all can play catch-up on each other’s lives and more importantly get you sipping on drinks at the third of the sum you’d pay for the first round at the club. The really cool part though is that after all is said and done, all of y’all can share a taxi ride there and back and save your poor asses an unnecessarily bloated fare.


4. Shop Downtown



There’s something really special about the absurd energy of the hustle and bustle of CBD downtown if you learn to let loose and go with the flow. From the street magicians woo-ing superstitious on-lookers with the charisma of your Sunday school teacher to the master salesmanship of the wandering street vendors skilfully persuading unsuspecting passers-by into buying things they really don’t need. There nothing you can’t find downtown especially if you’re looking to stretch that last hundie. It’s a great place to get yourselves rare pieces of clothing that will be the envy of your friends at a fraction of your Edgar’s account, to pick up the freshest fruit and vegetables from hard working local farmers and vendors, and you don’t even need to travel a stone’s throw away to discover some of the most delicious cuisines from cultures all over world.


Hopefully, you’ll that get that dream job you’ve been fantasizing about on your lunch break that will settle your student loan, or maybe you ’ll be lucky enough win the Powerball and move to Franschhoek for the summer. Until then, to avoid complete financial death we suggest you leave the unnecessary late-night bar shenanigans to the action heroes and spend your money sensibly.


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