Broke and Desperate? Here are 10 Ways to Survive When You Have No Money Left!


In today’s economy, the dollar doesn’t go as far as it used to. For many, there isn’t enough money to cover all the necessary expenses or have any leftover for potential emergencies. 

One man found himself in financial trouble and reached out to the internet for help. His request? What do you do when you have no money left? Here are the answers he received.

1. Sell Random Items As Is or Fix Them Up

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Looking for things to sell around your house for cash or even dumpster diving and searching for things being sold or given away around town can be a great way to bring in extra income. 

One person said, “I ran out of money a few years ago like this, I remember 2 things that I did. I scrapped metal at the local recycling facility, and I sold furniture and random items on Craigslist/Marketplace. I literally just drove around alleys and industrial sites all day looking for metal/furniture that I could resell. Paid my rent and bills like that for like 3 months.”

Another person agreed, stating, “If you live in a big city, check your local self storage facilities. People always dumping huge amount of stuff and you picking it up, frees up trash space or having to call the trash guys to come early and pay extra. Leave your name and number, and if you are reliable, they will always call you to remove big expensive item.”

Yet another chipped in with some other places you can sell stuff on, “You can go to garage/estate sales and resell things on Craigslist, Facebook Marketplace, and eBay.”

2. Spending Money Wisely

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Looking for ways to survive on $1,000 a month? On person said, “Spend the $20 wisely: peanut butter and ramen, beans and rice. Do not scorn the crap jobs: flipping burgers, bussing tables. Small businesses with help wanted signs might can start you right away.”

Another person agreed, stating, “Cheap and calorie dense. My budget staples are beans, rice, cheese, potatoes, frozen veg, and eggs. Although egg prices are pretty crazy right now with the bird flu thing.”

A final person responded with, “Yeah, my go to’s in those days were peanut butter and saltines, ramen, frozen peas and corn, Lipton Noodles and sauce when on sale. If OP knows anyone in the area with a Costco membership, its a great way to ask for help without asking for actual monetary help – just having that opportunity to get bulk sized things like peanut butter goes a long ways.”

3. Find Quick Ways to Make Money

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Being frugal is essential if you’re living on a meager income, but it doesn’t always prevent the money from running out. Some people find creative ideas to make money fast to boost their income. 

One commenter said, “Donate plasma. I don’t really know the specifics but I see it suggested all the time when people post like this. Good luck man.”

Another person offered, “My brother was in a similar situation about 15 years ago. That temp job got him a job at a bank. He is set with a great bank job now and just paying off his house. He says he just worked his butt off through the temp agency and they saw that and prioritized him for the better job.” Yet another person added, “Do you have a car? Recommend gig stuff like doordash or Uber if you need quick cash. Definitely do not recommend as a full time thing, it’ll ruin your car in the long run.”

Related: Learn the simple ways to make money with your body

4. Selling Pics of Your Feet

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Sometimes, funny answers can be viable or at least relieve some stress for the moment.

One person said, “Sell feet pics.” Another replied, “An intriguing idea. Team up with a bunch of cam girls who do foot stuff, if they don’t pay enough money your feet start streaming instead.”

One person optimistically added, “Never know until you try!”

Related: Here is how to safely make money selling feet pics

5. Making a Map of the Future

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One person responded comprehensively and well-thought-out, stating, “You tread carefully. Desperation can lead to many things you regret. You spend time on yourself and get to know yourself. Sit down with a notebook or anything you can write on (if you have nothing, you have whatever device you posted this on).

Write down a list of things you’re good at; whether you enjoy doing those things or not. Look for local jobs online/in person and apply. Doesn’t matter if you’re qualified or not, applying is free and legal.

Look for free certification courses online to add to your resume. Many can be completed in 1-2 weeks. Be strategic and make yourself irresistible. Also, look for food pantries and reach out to family/friends.”

Many others agreed, “This is the right answer. “Don’t just do something, stand there!” Another replied, “Sitting down and plotting a course for the future is better than sitting around wondering what to do.”

6. Reach Out for Support

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More often than not, there are plenty of ways to get help when you need it.

One commenter said, “Go to a local community non-profit agency and get a case manager who can help with local resources (food banks, utility assistance, rent assistance, church donations, clothing banks, possibly gas cards depending on if they have grants, etc.) and also help apply for employment and/or disability.”

In another thread, a person said, “I agree with this. My husband and I have a good friend who is a long haul truck driver who was in a situation 4 years ago – he had broken up with his fiancé, and he was left with a house and 2 big dogs (and one was pregnant) that couldn’t be cared for because he’s out on the road all but 6 days a month. my husband and I were in a bad spot at the time, so all we worked out an arrangement that we would live in the house in the spare rooms, and take care of it and the dogs while he’s away.

We’re still here 4 years later (except now we have 3 dogs because we kept a puppy, plus a kitten we just got in October). It was a huge financial lifesaver for all of us at the time, and everyone is happy. And it’s saved my husband and I money to the point he’s starting his own business in the next couple of months – and our housemate and us have bank accounts at the same branch so we can transfer money back and forth if anyone needs spotted for a minute, which is rare these days but still can happen.

A good support system is everything. I wish everyone could have one, but I know that isn’t the case. We didn’t for awhile, but we have a great one now. It’s a lifeline.”

One other person outlined some ideas and tips for this type of support, “Just remember, you can only ask a favor like that from somebody once or twice. Assuming somebody helps you make rent, also hit a food bank, not just SNAP. And, try to figure out a worst case plan – try to line up a place to stay, a friend, just in case. Hope you can catch a break, bud.”

Related: Here is how to get free food with no money

7. Try to Find Ways to Become Self-Reliant

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It’s not just about surviving the now but finding ways to become self-reliant and invest in yourself.

One person explained their strategy, “I’m fortunate in the fact that I live in a rural area and I’m a farmer, but here’s what’s worked for me. Buy nothing. If it’s not food or something that’s related to the ability to obtain food, it’s not necessary. Forget having the newest and greatest. I just gave up on my iPhone 6 this past fall. Reuse anything you can. For example, my neighbor tore off his old deck to rebuild a new one. The deck on my old house had disintegrated so I rebuilt it using his old boards. It looks surprisingly good actually.

Grow as much of your own food as possible. Big garden, freeze and preserve as much as possible. Don’t get the illusion you can hunt or fish and get money ahead. The equipment costs WAY more than you’ll recover in good meat.

Look for energy sources anywhere you can. I partially heat using a waste oil and general garbage burner I made myself. It’ll burn any kind of used oil, waste wood (scraps and sawdust), cardboard, old clothing or towels, etc. It’s not very efficient, but it offsets some of my heating expenses and didn’t cost me anything but time to build.

Learn to fix anything. This is critical. I mean really learn how everything works. Get to the point where you understand that electricity has almost nothing to do with electrons. That level of understanding. Once you’ve got to that point everything is much easier to fix. I completely understand the advantages I have as a farmer to live more frugally. For someone in a dense urban environment it’s much more difficult.”

8. Take Advantage Of Pawn Shops

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While pawning things shouldn’t be your first option, it is an option nonetheless.

If you know you have money coming in and simply need cash now, consider pawning some things you own.

You’ll get the cash now, and then when you have money come in, you can repay the loan and get your stuff back.

Related: Here are the best things to pawn

9. Prioritize Bills

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It can be overwhelming to pay bills when you are flat broke.

A good rule of thumb is to prioritize them. First on the list should be housing. Everything in life becomes harder when you are homeless, so your mortgage or rent should be at the top of the list.

From there, seek out assistance for your other bills and think what else is critical to surviving.

As one person said, “When deciding what bills to pay, prioritize housing! There are many food assistance programs to help, but once you become homeless everything is so much harder. If you’re in the US, some areas have a hotline for community services if you dial 211, so it’s worth checking if your area is one of them. They can connect you with non-profits that specialize in housing assistance, utility assistance, finding food, and even mental health stuff.”

10. Go Into Debt And Take Loans

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In some extreme cases, you might have to make otherwise bad financial choices. This includes going into debt.

What you should not do is live as if money isn’t an object here. You only charge what you absolutely need.

So charge your groceries, but only buy cheap items that will last, like pasta, rice, peanut butter, etc.

When you get back on your feet, you can start tackling this debt. Of course, it will add stress to your life, but if you have no other options and it helps you to survive, it is an option.

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