How to handle a breakup and move out on a shoestring budget

Did you recently break up with your live-in girlfriend and now you have to move out? Do you have a limited income or are waiting on a check or two? Don’t know how to deal? Well sit down, read up, and get your shit together, girl! We’re getting you outta there!

Disclaimer: These pro tips aren’t for everyone. I don’t know what kind of breakup you’re going through. These are just the things that I learned from my experiences in the past.

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Get out.

I know it may be tempting to stay on the couch or sleep in the spare bedroom, but take my advice and just leave. Avoid post-breakup confusion and emotional stress and get out of that environment. Breakups are hard and they can be even harder with your ex-lover one wall over. Call a friend or two, pack a bag, and couch surf. Hopefully your ex will let you leave your stuff there while she’s swiping right and you’re looking for a place to move. If she won’t let you keep your stuff there, well, you’re going to need more help than this advice column.

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Call your friends.

You’re going to rely heavily on your friends through this point in your life. Don’t feel embarrassed or ashamed that you are leaning on them so much—that’s what friends are for! I’ve found that the best amount of time to spend between each friend rotation is one to five days. Basically, never stay longer than your period lasts. Plus, friends are also a great resource to help you find your new place or a future roommate. Or single girls.

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Learn to laugh.

Your life is going to be pretty shitty for a bit, so you might as well learn to laugh off the little things and some all of the big things. Humor has been scientifically proven to help fight stress, boost immunity, combat fear, and battle depression. The last one is a no brainer. Go to a comedy show, hang with your funny friends, or put on a Netflix special. Life is all about perspective, so the more you perceive as funny, the better your days are going to be.

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Get wild for at least one night.

Give yourself a break. I’m not advocating drug use or jumping off sobriety, but for one night, allow yourself to go wild—whatever that means to you. It doesn’t have to be drugs or alcohol—maybe it’s ice cream and a long jog! Personally, I got white girl wasted and went dancing. Dancing is another great stress reliever and it’s also a great way to meet ladies! Uh, hello! Get up on that rebound! (Or under.)

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Get out of town.

If packing up all of your clothes and keeping them in your trunk works for you, do it! I don’t have a trunk so I filled a backpack with tools that I needed for work and then packed up a carry on suitcase. Living out of a suitcase is fun! It allows you to step out of the heartache reality you’re living in, and pretend every day is a vacation! When you’re on vacation, nothing is sad!

Remember, the best thing to do is to keep moving forward! Push your emotions down! Promise yourself that you will process them when you get a down moment or after you’ve moved into your new place. Pro-tip! Always stay busy and never fully process your emotions! This will work wonders with your next relationship. (Wink wink.)

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Absorb yourself into work.

A breakup is the perfect catalyst to motivate you to find and do what you love. Avoid your emotions and use that fuel to fire the motivation of getting out of your current work slump. Remember, you’re pushing your feelings aside to deal with later!

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Now, one of the things you will have to deal with, suddenly, is a singular income. Here are a few tips on living on the cheap:

Shampoo/body wash Combos.

These little ditties are great space and penny savers. If you’re on total vagabond status, I highly recommend this route. This isn’t my normal go to, but for the time being, it really helped out.

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Wash your clothes for free.

Not everyone may have this option. I work part time at a gym and brought my clothes in during my opening shift. If your place of employment has a washer and dryer and you can use it without getting busted, bam! You just saved yourself some quarters! Another resource could be staying with friends and family who have a washer and a dryer.  Another plausible idea is to just burn your clothes for warmth since you’ve been kicked out to the cold. Kidding!

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Accept all free food.

Food is expensive and you’re a gal on the go. Also, you probably don’t want to buy too many groceries if you’re never in the same place more than two nights. My current job has a bagel day on Thursday. I bring a bag, stash a few bagels and cream cheese, and eat them during the week. Its amazing what a bagel can be a base for. For one thing, uh, ever heard of a pizza bagel? You can also use them as bread Frisbees. You can also smash them into balls of bread and hurl them at a wall or some other non-sentient object to relieve stress or anger.

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Hit the sale section. 

Did you know you can get more than discounted bread at grocery stores? Most grocery stores have a rack they keep tucked away in the back of the store near the restrooms. This is a nice place to shop because it reminds you of how close to shit your life really is. But cheer up! Look—that 12 dollar bottle of wine is now nine bucks! That’s three extra dollars you can now spend at the bar! While you’re there, stop by those aforementioned restrooms and steal some toilet paper!

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Cruise Craigslist.

Need furniture for free or cheap? Check out the Craigslist “free” section. It may seem like a virtual junkyard, but if you dig hard enough, there are some real gems.

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Liquor over beer. 

You don’t have to keep liquor in a fridge, and it doesn’t smell like skunk like beer. Plus, if the bottle is small enough you can carry it around in your back pocket or purse. I don’t carry a purse. I guess if you strolled around with a backpack you could keep a large bottle in it, but that’s like walking around with a giant red flag. (As opposed to the tiny red flag you keep in your back pocket.)

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Get to the parties on time. 

Who cares if you’re early? You just saved five to 15 bucks that you can now spend at the bar. Plus you can snag a seat and claim your turf before it gets crowded! DOUBLE WIN!

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Good luck!