Lizzy talking to herself: bramblepatch: sumomomochi: strangeharpy: hardcorewingsdotcom:…












my parents aren’t teaching me life lessons.

Some shit about life, from a bonafide adult:

  • even if you get along great with your family you will get along even better with them after moving out 
  • generic is almost always just as good as name brand. But there are some things you never buy generic, including: peanut butter, ketchup, liquid NyQuil, Chips-Ahoy chewy chocolate chip cookies
  • just imagine the person on the other end of the phone hates talking on the phone as much as you do. Even a receptionist. I worked as one and I hate talking on the phone
  • at least once in your life you will go to Wal-mart to buy something under $20 like an ironing board or something and your debit card will get rejected. No one will judge. Everyone at some point in their lives has had $2.98 in their bank account. 
  • thrift stores
  • everyone else is too busy panicking about everyone else noticing every tiny thing that could possibly be wrong about them to notice any tiny thing that could possibly be wrong about you
  • you will screw up. a lot. you live and you learn. and when you start to think too hard about that embarrassing thing that happened and how you wish you could change it, just tell yourself that what’s done is done. There’s no changing it, so just forget it and move on. It’s the only way to stay sane.
  • do the dishes before the sink grows its own ecosystem
  • you can’t put Dawn dishsoap in the dishwasher. 
  • if you are the only one in the aisle at the grocery store, and you need to get from one end to the other without even looking at anything in that aisle, then you should totally cart-surf down the aisle. Growing old is mandatory. Growing up is optional. Hold on to the little things. They make all the difference.
  • never try to make cake from scratch at 3am. You end up with a topographical map of Middle Earth.
  • 15% tip. 
  • the best way to get money for food is to tell your grandparents about how you basically live on microwaved mac and cheese. Their horror may result in twenty bucks and orders to go out and get yourself “a real dinner”.
  • sometimes life sucks, and knowing that it might get better doesn’t always make it suck any less, but you’ll never get to the non-sucky days without enduring the suckiness. 
  • no seriously, NEVER put Dawn in your dishwasher
  • image

I would add:

  • Don’t buy generic parmesan cheese, either. It’s worth the pennies for Kraft.
  • 20% tip. The people that serve you in a restaurant count on the generosity of others. Consider it a form of pay it forward, because there is inevitably a jerk making over $100K a year who leaves a 2-5% tip. I know, because I used to be married to one of them. 
  • If you get your clothes out of the dryer and lay them flat, they won’t look wrinkled, but you didn’t have to fold them or put them away. It’s amazing how long it’s possible to get dressed from a stack of clothes that moves from your bed to other flat surfaces repeatedly.
  • Don’t be afraid to be kind and to give help when you can. Does the man holding the sign in the grocery store lot REALLY need food? I don’t know. Why not buy him some fresh muffins and fruit anyway?
  • Don’t be afraid to ask for help. Monetary or otherwise. The people that you love and that love you—whether your family or your chosen family—need to know what help you need. They can’t read minds. 

Things I’d like to add: 

  • Buy one good cookbook at the thrift store and learn it until you can do a few decent recipes in your sleep. It makes you look good, and soon you’ll realize you can make better mac & cheese from scratch, for cheaper.
  • If you’ve got even the tiniest bit of apartment patio, grow something. Herbs, tomatoes, flowers - make something live. 
  • Do one Random Act a week, from paying for coffee for the person behind you to slipping love notes into books. The love you make, people. 

Other things I would like to add:

  • Please, PLEASE get insurance. You are too young to be lumped with debt if your toaster accidentally burns down your apartment or you drive your piece of crap car into the back of a Benz. It may seem like an additional expense but hey, it’s piece of mind or paying back a loan you had to get because you had no other choice.
  • omfg pay your bills FIRST. Budget. Your. Shit. My own mother’s rule of thumb was this: pay your bills first, buy your food, fill your car, put 10-20% into savings and the rest is yours to play with. 
  • No one actually gives a shit if you rock up to the gas station in your sweatpants and a grotty hoodie.
  • Make time for your family. I am 28 and I still have dinner with my parents every week. I write to my grandparents who live four hours away. They LOVE getting handwritten letters and I love getting them in return. 

And finally.

  • Don’t be a cunt.

I would also add:

  • Sometimes a kindness from a stranger makes all the difference in the world. Offer to pay the ten cents difference in someone’s bill if they’re short and you’re behind them. Buy a homeless person a hot coffee when it’s cold out. Buy your cashier a chocolate bar. Small things like that can make all the difference between a shitty week and a great one.
  • Maintain your car or else it will blow up on you at the worst possible time. I have had a car drop a drive shaft, explode, and almost any other terrible thing a car can do, and it was all because I didn’t take the time to swap out the oil and change the spark plugs occasionally.
  • Try not to judge other people so harshly. They’re having a hard time of it just like you are.
  • Do not feel ashamed if you have to ask for help (be it from friends or family or by going to apply for welfare). No one can get through this alone.
  • If a bill collector calls you and you owe $700 and you can only spare $300, make an offer. They bought your debt for pennies on the dollar and are usually glad to make anything off of it. It’ll get the debt of your credit score and stop the people from harassing you.
  • Do not ever lie to a judge. Judges are human bullshit detectors. If you’ve done something bad, even if it’s just a speeding ticket, go before them, ‘fess up to being wrong, and ask for lenience cuz it’s your first time and you REALLY don’t wanna do that again. 
  • Ramen noodles can be modified in about fifty billion ways. You can add shit, take shit away, make a stir fry, whatever. Google “Ramen Recipes” because it will change your life.
  • Additionally, rice is the cheapest and easiest food to make and you can do SO MUCH with it. Pennies per meal.
  • Do not drink and drive. DO NOT DRINK AND DRIVE. Seriously. Don’t drink and drive, I don’t care how good to drive you think you are. 
  • Always keep a portable space heater or a kerosene heater around if you can help it. You never know when you’ll be stuck in your apartment freezing your balls off at 3 a.m. with the power out.
  • Credit cards are a ripoff. Unless you absolutely have to (as in, emergency medical care or something), you really shouldn’t bother getting one. You’re better off saving up hard cold cash for anything you want. Seriously.
  • Checks will get you into trouble. You should probably stay away from those too.
  • Cheap conditioner is the best shaving cream. Don’t bother with anything else. 
  • If you have the money for a Costco (or similar bulk-buying place) membership, GO FOR IT. I save SO much money on eyeglasses and contact lenses, medicine, and coffee beans that the membership basically pays for itself. Plus Costco is actually a really good company and treats it’s employees well.
  • Always stand up for your rights. If you don’t know what rights the law affords you, be an educated person and read up on them. It might screw you over occasionally, but there’s a reason they’re called rights.
  • Sock monkey hats make everything better.
  • Make time for things you enjoy.
  • Breathe, nothing is the end of the world, trust me, shit works out.
  • Be nice to your car, spoil it. That car is your baby.
  • Don’t forget to be awesome
  • Yo, forreal never put dish soap in the dish washer. Don’t do it.

Just want to add here:

  • Pay attention in algebra. That shit is actually useful once you get out of school, if only because sometimes it shows up on employment applications.
  • There is a difference between things that you want and things that you need, and figuring out that difference is the biggest step toward managing your money well.
  • Save money. Even if it’s only $20 a paycheck or something like that, put it in a separate account and pretend it doesn’t exist anymore. That way you have a little extra if something unexpected happens. “Something unexpected” is not the release of your favorite band’s collector’s edition boxed set. :P (You can save up for those things, too, but keep that separate from yoursavings.)
  • Speaking of money, try to bank with a credit union. A lot of them will let you join as long as you live in a certain area, and it’s basically a co-op where everyone who is a member is part owner and it exists to serve its members rather than pay dividends to shareholders. They aren’t always as convenient as banks, especially in rural areas, but it’s worth it in the end. (My CU charges me $5 when I overdraft. I don’t do it often, but it’s a huge difference between my fiance’s bank, which charges $30.)
  • Seconding Costco so hard. Thirty bucks for fifty pounds of rice that will last you three months easy. A hundred fifty there once a month plus another hundred fifty throughout the month at a regular store will feed four people no problem.
  • If you can make it yourself, do so. Processed foods are hella expensive and never as good for you as unprocessed foods.
  • Rice and beans are a complete protein, potatoes and butter are a complete protein. Cabbage is cheap and delicious and can be used as filler in most dishes.
  • Don’t turn on your heat if you can help it. Collect blankets and sweaters instead, or use a space heater to warm the area you’re in.
  • Christmas lights are your friend, especially white LED ones. They provide a significant amount of light while using hardly any electricity. They’re especially great at staving of seasonal depression resulting from low lighting.
  • Thrift stores and dollar stores have great dishes for really cheap, especially glass wear. Dollar store glasses are hard core.
  • Ross is a really great place to buy things new.
  • Don’t bother with cable, unless you end up getting a really great deal combined with internet. Netflix and internet is really all you need.
  • Get twice as many small spoons as anything else. They will disappear. You will not know how all your spoons disappear, but they will.
  • Plastic sheets over windows, especially single pane windows, help keep heat in.
  • White vinegar and baking soda will clean anything, without harmful chemicals.
  • Dawn dish soap will remove grease stains from clothing.
  • Don’t leave big ass messy piles of things places, especially clothes. You will end up with bugs.
  • Take care of your health. Doctors are expensive as fuck, but go if you need to. Dentists are also expensive as fuck, but go when you’re supposed to go. Bad teeth is a sign of poverty for a reason, and preventative care goes a long way.
  • Check your mail regularly.
  • When you move into a new place, especially a cheap one, do a thorough check of all the cupboards and drawers. If there’s a stash of drugs/jelly beans/dead rodents/something else interesting hidden away that the last person to live there forgot about, you want to know as soon as possible.
  • If you’re looking for an apartment, try to get an upstairs one near the middle of the building. You’ll stay warmer.
  • Literally anything you buy as a boxed mix you can make from scratch way cheaper. Rice-a-roni is rice, noodles, and chicken stock.
  • If you have the time and access to multiple food sources, don’t do all your shopping in one place. It’s worth it to spend a little more on meat and produce, but don’t buy dry goods for more than you have to.
  • I’m not just talking “buy generic,” by the way. Buy generic at the bargain places. The warehouse-style grocery store’s store brand and the slightly more expensive place’s store brand are the exact same product made by the exact same company, just one has a classier packaging design. Don’t pay for classier packaging.
  • Know where the cheap gas stations are. Know where the slightly less cheap but still affordable gas stations are in case the cheap gas stations go out of business.
  • Get canvas grocery bags. Not only are they better for the environment, but they can be loaded heavier without ripping or losing their handles so you’ll have to make less trips too and from the car to bring in groceries.
  • get a library card
  • put money into savings because if the shit hits the fan you will need it
  • baking soda and vinegar make less expensive cleaners
  • baking soda is good for skin too if you need a skin cleanser 
  • use dollar stores i mean seriously
  • no really always have baking soda on hand
  • learn to bake and cook from scratch
  • Places like Old Navy sell good clothes that can look professional. A 5 dollar tank top over an 8 dollar long sleeve shirt is a poor man’s sweatervest and looks good for job interviews.
  • has an application where you put in the ingredients you have in your kitchen and it tells you recipes that you can make with them.
  • There is no shame in dollar store food. When canned name brands crop up in dollar stores, it means that it’s close to expiration, but canned goods last for a long time after their consume by date. 
  • is a site to help find apartments. It lays out ads from sites like kijiji and craigslist over a map and you can select your rent range and how many rooms you need and shows sublets and room shares etc.
  • Similarly, check kijiji for furniture, because people will often need to move and need to get rid of a bed or a bookshelf or a dinner table quick.
  • If you are in college or university, check online for your textbooks first. Especially if there is a possibility that you are going to change your program. There is nothing worse than paying 500 dollars for a text book and trying to sell it back the next month and being told that it’s suddenly out of date and they can only give you 12 dollars.
  •, project free tv, and are places you can stream tv and movies. Seriously, cable is not worth it.
  • Check places like liquidation world, factory overflow or factory direct stores and dollar stores for things like shampoo and conditioner and soaps. They get good brands in all the time. 
  • A bottle of tea tree oil can be found in organic sections at grocery stores or in some drug stores. If you get a bottle of this oil, dab a drop or two on your hand and rub it on your face. It burns like the fires of hell, but it will decimate acne. It also works to heal cuts and such. Use this in conjunction with a regular face wash instead of shelling out for the super expensive face washes promising no acne and never delivering. 
  • If you are not in a rush and someone is playing music on the street, stop for a minute and listen. It’s okay to slow down sometimes. 
  • Frozen vegetables are nicer and easier to prepare than you think they are. So are canned vegetables. 
  • At some point in your life you are probably going to eat cold ravioli or beans out of a can. It’s okay, we all do it. Just pretend you are Rorschach from Watchmen or something. 
  • Books are expensive. I know you want them, but they are expensive. If you can, download a pdf or epub version of it, and if you really love the book, come back for it and buy it to support the author when you can.
  • Most libraries have an online system now where you can renew your books. Do not let library fines pile up. They will send library ninjas after you. 
  • Use facebook and twitter and google to figure out what kind of things are going on in your city/town. Theatres have cheap nights, or special 2 dollar saturday shows, bars have ladies nights and 2-for-1 Jaggerbomb nights and artsy cafes have poetry slams and sometimes clothing stores have concerts with no cover. There are inexpensive ways to go out and have fun. 
  • Get a proper bra fitting. Wasting money on an ill-fitting bra because you’re pretty sure you’re a 38C will end in pain and frustration when you realize that a 40D makes your boobs look better and your back hurt less. 
  • Kellogg’s make a kind of cereal called Buds, which are all bran and you can mix into museli and yogurt. This is good if you like yogurt but have a texture sensitivity. 
  • Peanut butter on pancakes or waffles makes them more filling. Also, you can make a huge batch of palm sized pancakes and freeze them, then heat them in a toaster for a quick pancake breakfast every now and then. Use an empty ketchup bottle for the pancake batter.
  • If you are a writer, look at your city’s region on the Nanowrimo site. You can message people and maybe connect with other writers in the area.
  • When you hand in a resume to a place, ask to talk to a manager, shake their hand and introduce yourself, and give your resume. Say thank you and tell them to have a good day. They will remember you. 
  • Job interviews are scary. This is a fact of life, whether you are 16 or 60. It is okay.
  • Your mental health is worth more than minimum wage. If your job is seriously detrimental to your mental state, quit. There are other jobs and there are likely programs in the area to help you while you are finding a new job. 
  • There is no shame in asking for help. There is no shame in asking for help. There is no shame in asking for help. 
  • Echinacea comes in vitamin form and tea form and in both forms they can work better than a lot of cold medicine. 
  • Everyone else is as scared as you are. You are not alone. 

(via geothebio)