Girls. Not since our Cosmo-swilling days at the height of Sex and the City’s popularity have we drunk the Kool-Aid as thirstily as we did for Lena Dunham‘s HBO creation this past season. And while SATC filled our heads with glimpses of lives and lifestyles we’ve yet to obtain but are constantly striving towards, we actually felt like we could relate to the women of Girls. We championed Hannah, Jessa, Marnie, and Shoshanna through their collective rejections, meltdowns, and awkward sexual encounters (warning, NSFW!), and we’re glad to know that there are others out there whose trials and shenanigans are reflective of our own (even though, in reality, the girls who play the girls from Girls are not exactly broke).
In fact, we here at Broke Girl’s Guide picked up some thrifty tips for modern urban living from the fictional foursome, as well as a couple of deeper life lessons along the way. As we wait with baited breath for the next season (hey, it’s already been too long since we were last made uncomfortable by the gratuitous nudity), we’d like to impart this newly-acquired, Girls-inspired knowledge to you, our fellow members of generation “broke.”
Lesson #1: “Clean” Energy Conservation
Few shows extoll the virtues of female bonding quite like Girls, but leave it to Hannah and Jessa to be budget-minded even while they’re consoling each other’s broken hearts. Why waste ?! And while lower heating bills may not be able to mend your broken relationship, they will certainly reduce the financial strain on the friend whose place you’ve turned into a crashpad.
Lesson #2: Save Money; Stay In
Our busy social lives are putting a huge drain on our financial reserves–the gas money alone is keeping us in permanent debt! So this year, we’re taking a more DIY approach to nightlife, and we’re betting that our fellow broke girls out there also wouldn’t mind a little , some dinner parties featuring homemade pad thai, and, of course, a bundt cake. Sounds better than being bled dry by cover charges, $20 entrees and absurdly overpriced cocktails 5 nights a week, no?
Lesson #3: Stay True To Your Own Creative Voice…
…or else you end up reading aloud a horrible first-person narrative about a dead Internet boyfriend who doesn’t exist that you wrote on the subway (and not in a good way). Always trust your instincts and believe in your abilities, despite the fact that this could happen.
Lesson #4: Maximize Your Minimal Apartment Space
Not all of our favorite broke-girl survival tips from Girls come from the show’s female leads. Despite his neediness, ever-changing hairstyles, and questionable songwriting skills, we’ve got a soft spot in our hearts for Charlie…but we’re even more into his home-decorating abilities. Just look what this dude did with a shoebox-sized space; it literally impressed the pants off of Marnie. Living in a similarly overpriced city where square footage comes at a premium, we’re following Charlie’s lead by making every square foot count. We weren’t the only ones to take note of his interior design prowess, either. If only we’d listened to our parents–and George Costanza–and majored in architecture!
Even without power tools and plywood, there’s still plenty we can do to get the most out of our humble abodes. To start, we’re hoping to combat the ever-growing clutter that makes our already small home feel even smaller by bringing in some some shelves and storage bins from IKEA. Next, we’re going to scope out sites like Fab.com, which offer all sorts of fun and funky home accessories that are perfect for sprucing the place up. We know all about finding cute touches on the cheap–see how much we can do for less than $10?!?
We may not be able to pull off a tiny miracle of home construction like Charlie did, but we should have an adorably decorated home-sweet-studio-apartment of our own in no time at all. And maybe now we’ll follow in his footsteps even further by striking paydirt and moving on to bigger and better things. Here’s hoping!
Lesson #5: Get a Sugar Daddy…By Proxy
We know, we know–money isn’t everything. That said, it can be a lot of things: food and shelter, to name a few. However, we all know that money can bring its own set of problems. For instance, it’s clear that Thomas John’s luxurious New York lifestyle couldn’t keep Jessa happy, not to mention the fact that his parents’ wealth hasn’t done him any favors either. And as Hannah herself learned the hard way, trying to date a rich, older man–even for a day–can be a challenge. Really, isn’t it hard enough to find people in your life that are emotionally supportive, let alone financially supportive? So Hannah found the perfect solution: get your roommate-slash-ex-boyfriend’s-rich-older-current-boyfriend to start covering the bills. It’s a win-win! You get your rent taken care of, and you don’t have to deal with the emotional burden that comes with owing money to the same person you wake up next to in the morning. Just make sure that your current-roommate-slash-ex-boyfriend doesn’t sleep with your former-roommate-slash-best-girlfriend, because, well, that could get awkward. (On second thought…we’ll just keep our crappy 9-5 jobs and pay our own rent, thank you.)
Lesson #6: Above All Else, Never Be Afraid To Try New Things…
…even if it leads you someplace like this.
Written by A. Joos
For more life lessons (er, cute clothes & budget beauty tips & stuff), subscribe to Broke Girl’s Guide here.