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21 brilliant ways to be poor

Jasmine Birtles 13th Nov 2019 No Comments

Reading Time: 10 minutes

Do you want to be poor? Do you want to struggle day-to-day to find enough cash to live on? Do you want to have an impoverished retirement?

Of course you do!

Who doesn’t?

Well, it certainly seems like at least half of the UK is desperate to lose as much money as possible through their lifetimes. Many people are remarkably efficient at stopping money coming their way.

So here are the answers to your dreams of living in poverty and anxiety. It’s pretty easy to do really!


1. Be Poor: Think short-term, not long-term

Long term short term graphic

The number one thing you have to do in your quest to be properly poor is never to look at the big picture.

Keep focusing on the short-term

  • only think about what you want here and now, today,
  • don’t think ahead at all.
  • spend money on bits and pieces that you see in the shops
  • buy fast fashion and only wear it a couple of times
  • go out and spend your cash as soon as you get it each month

This way you can spend money on things that give you momentary satisfaction but don’t help in the long-term.

Great stuff! It stops you having to think about putting money into investments that will grow into more money later on. Boring!


2. be afraid to invest

Woman hiding her face behind her hand

Be afraid. Be very afraid.

Investing is hard and has lots of difficult words in it.

It’s way too much for you to understand and people sometimes lose money doing it.

You can’t do it. It’s too hard. Go and have a lie down. Best to be poor long-term


3. never switch your bills

Woman looking at an energy price comparison website

Definitely don’t do this because it could take you a good 15 minutes to switch your gas and electricity and you could save £250 or so.

The thousands you could save by switching that are far too much for you to do. No, just go down the pub.


4. get into smoking and drinking

Man smoking and drinking hard liquor

This is a lovely way to be poor and so easy because all it involves is disengaging your brain and following everyone else which is a really efficient way of becoming poor. Well done!

  • A pack of ciggies is about £10 a go right now which is just as much fun as setting light to a tenner (go on, do it now, it burns nice and brightly for 30 secs).
  • Then drinking is a marvellous one because not only does it cost a lot in itself, it means you have to shell out for taxis when you’re out, makes you spend money on things you don’t want because you’re not thinking straight and can even, if you play your cards right, get you pregnant. There’s a whole load of extra costs. Fantastic!


5. be a clock-watcher at work

professional man in a suit looking at hi wrist watch

We all know that the only point of work is to sit around for long enough to get paid.

  • Make sure you don’t do any more than you absolutely have to in the office,
  • don’t be annoyingly helpful,
  • don’t give of your best or go the extra mile. Why should you? You didn’t ask to be there anyway…well maybe you did but only because you had to. Stupid job. Who needs it anyway?

Keep on like that and pretty soon the boss will work it out and let you go. Phew! No need to get up stupidly early any more. Rinse and repeat until no one wants to employ you and you can sit around the house all day watching Loose Women.


6. don’t bother making any extra money

Woman looking at cash thoughtfully

Sure there are lots of ways to make cash on the side that they say are fun but don’t risk it.

After all, you’re tired after a day staring out of the window in the office so why go and meet people in the evening at a focus group or spend a free day meeting film stars as an extra on a movie set?

Who wants to babysit for the odd evening or take dogs for walk at the weekends? Not you.

Anyway, if you did these things regularly you might make lots of extra money that you could put into investments to grow into even more money later on so stay well clear of all that kind of activity. Stay poor…it’s much easier.

Don’t whatever you do take a look at the hundreds of ways you could make extra cash in our Make Money section


7. wait until the end of the month to put money into savings

Man looking at his calendar

You’ll love this one because of course by the time anyone gets to the end of the month, there’s no cash left to save. How cool is that?!

Oh sure, you could save if you did it at the beginning of the month, particularly if you set up a standing order from your current account to a savings account (and maybe even some investments and pensions) so the money went out automatically.

But by leaving it to yourself remember and doing it once you’ve spent it all is genius. Keep going with that one!


8. don’t bother about the difference between saving and investing

Woman saving money in piggy bank and using a calculator

That’s far too much to bother your pretty little head about.

  • Sure, short-term saving should be put into savings accounts
  • and long-term investing (your retirement, your kids’ education etc) should go into riskier investment products like stocks and shares or pensions

, but hey….life’s too short to learn about that stuff. Don’t, whatever you do, find out how knowing the difference between saving and investing could make you a millionaire.

Go and catch up with Emmerdale instead!


9. don’t do a budget – it’s boring

woman creating a budget

Ugh, ‘budget’. The very name makes you want to crawl back into bed and put the covers over your head.

Who needs to know what money is coming in and what money needs to go out each month huh?

Only losers bother writing down a few figures when they could be catching up with the Kardashians?

No, don’t do a budget, don’t fill your head with nonsense about what you can and can’t afford…get out there, be seen, flash your plastic and you’ll be poor very soon.


10. Never share

Cash in gift box

Sod everyone else. They can buy they’re own stuff.

You keep yours and don’t swap, share or give anything away for free.

Keep yourself to yourself, don’t get friendly with neighbours and share things as who knows what might happen. You might find yourself having a lot more things and experiences as well as a lot more friends. Ugh.

Always buy your own and just throw it away if you don’t like it.

Ignore the charity shop and certainly don’t put time and effort into selling stuff online.


11. always buy your lunch and a coffee at work

This is getting better and better.

Pick up a latte on the way to work (£2.50) then buy your lunch (£7) and maybe another latte in the afternoon (£2.50).

So that’s £12 at least per day, times that by 25 and that’s easily £300  a month on coffees and lunches.

Over the year that’s £3,600 on coffees and lunches. Way to go!


12. copy what celebrities do

21 brilliant ways to be poorYeh, duh, who wouldn’t copy what Katy Price, Kim Kardashian and Kerry Katona do on a daily basis? In fact, they’re so great we should all put ‘k’s into our names just to show solidarity.

And those people on TOWIE and Love Island are so amazing you definitely have to go and buy anything they wear or use as soon as you see it. Who wouldn’t want to be like them??

  • So get that botox,
  • spend any money possible on anything that will get you noticed,
  • spend every waking hour messing with make-up
  • and remember, beauty may be only skin-deep, but hey, who wants an adorable pancreas??


13. buy any food you like then throw half of it away

Supermarkets are treasure-troves of lovely-looking food. Get it while it’s fresh, take it home, stuff it in the fridge and then get a takeaway.

Don’t bother with a silly shopping list like your mum had – you’re not your mum! You want to be poor!

You can keep looking at that lovely food in the fridge every other day if you feel like looking at a bit of art. Leave it a few days then throw the wilting bits in the bin.

Follow them with a few pots of yoghurt, cheese, cakes and bread in another couple of days then you can go and do some fun food shopping again. Sorted.


14. don’t do your own cooking

21 brilliant ways to be poorYou’re too tired to chop some veg and slam a piece of fish under the grill when you get home.

It’s so much easier to order take-out, or get something  pre-prepared on the way home.

Even better, make friends with your local restaurant and get them to make your dinner every night. Just stick it on your plastic. It’s worth spending £25 for something you might make for £5.

Anyway, the veg in the fridge has started to go off already so it’s time to throw them in the bin.


15. watch a lot of TV

…particularly game shows, reality TV and soaps.

Not only are those beautifully free of any intelligent content but they also have the advantage of making you feel lethargic and unconsciously depressed as you watch them so you don’t feel like doing anything useful even when the programme’s over. Instead you just watch another one and the cycle continues.

The complete killjoy, Thomas Corley, who wrote  “Rich Habits: the daily Success Habits of Wealthy Individuals” says that 67 per cent of rich people only watch TV for one hour or less per day. Also only six per cent of the wealthy watch reality shows while 78 per cent of the poor do. So make sure you watch TV during every waking moment to take full benefit!


16. don’t bother reading

Well, of course you can read 50 Shades of Grey and anything by Robert Langdon, but don’t ever go near anything that was written with thought. Ugh – nasty stuff. You could end up starting to think yourself and then where would you be?

That annoying Thomas Corley also says that the rich and successful read a lot of self-improvement books.

In fact, 88 per cent of them read for self-improvement for 30 minutes each day, compared to 2 per cent of poor people. So don’t touch books like ‘Influence’ by Robert Cialdini or ‘How to Win Friends and Influence People’ by Dale Carnegie or ‘Seven Habits of Highly Effective People’ by Stephen Covey.

Keep well away from anything like that.


17. don’t learn anything about money

You had better stop reading MoneyMagpie as we tell you all about how to make and save money and you’re in serious danger of becoming rich if you keep listening to us!

Definitely don’t sign-up to weekly newsletter full of useful articles on money related issues.

Stop following what we say, don’t read the money pages in your regular newspaper and certainly don’t bother reading any books on personal finance or anything dull like that. Shocking!

Who on earth would read books like say, my books The Money Magpie or Beat the Banks? Crazy.


18. spend a lot on going out because your friends are

21 brilliant ways to be poorIf you’re going out with friends and they’re spending loads on dinner, a club, taxis, drinks and so on, you should just get your plastic out, close your eyes and pay.

If not, no one will love you and you won’t get on nicely with being poor. The last thing you should do is tell them that you’re struggling at the moment or trying to save so could you all do something a bit cheaper.

Even though most of them are probably in the same boat as you, don’t give them the satisfaction of admitting it. You just carry on enjoying your current and future poverty.


19. have more children than you can afford

Do have children whenever you feel like it and certainly don’t save beforehand or plan them or anything. Ideally, try and have them on your own because then not only do you have the costs of having a child but you won’t have the income either. Wonderful.

Children cost about £200,000 each to raise to adulthood so that’s a lovely lot of money you won’t have to burden yourself with later on.

And it doesn’t stop there either. Think of all those extra costs you will need to help them with when they’re grown like housing, a wedding, help with debts and more.


20. Buy as much as you can on credit

21 brilliant ways to be poorYou want it now? You should have it now. And you should have it new. Don’t even consider second hand. You deserve it new and now even if you haven’t got the cash and won’t ever have.

Buy it on HP, buy it on your credit card and keep paying for it for months…even years. Sure it will cost you double the price tag but you’ve got it now…that’s all that matters.


21. have an affair

Studies show that having a long and successful marriage not only makes people happier but wealthier too. Ugh. Who wants that?

No, have an affair, in fact have several and then you will have to split up!

Divorce is a fabulous way to lose money, especially if you have children. Think about it – lots of lovely lawyers fees, splitting your living arrangement so that there are two lots of bills for everything, general unhappiness which stops you earning well for a while.

All-in-all, a great way to go on your route to splendid poverty.


If you follow these tips you’ll definitely be poor. Woo hoo! Good luck…

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Jasmine Birtles

Your money-making expert. Financial journalist, TV and radio personality.

Jasmine Birtles

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