Just millennial things: “Broke”


It’s a word I use a lot.

If you’re anything like me, you use it a lot too.

I’ve always known that there are different levels of “broke.”

Like, there are the people that are actually starving and can’t find the resources to survive.

And there are college students that can’t afford to go to “Lightning in a Bottle.”

Most of my life, I’ve been that “college student.”

Meaning, I’ve never really been broke at all.

I’ve always had a roof over my head and food on my plate. My immediate needs were always taken care of (things like utilities, warm clothes and quality shoes… Thanks, Mom and Dad!)

A lot of my societal needs were taken care of, as well (things like books for school, car insurance, phone bill and health insurance… Again, thanks!)

(Yes, “phone bill” and “health insurance” fall in the same category in modern-day America. Ya’ll already know how I feel about phones so I won’t delve any further into that topic.)

But recently, as I change levels (and Mom and Dad stop letting me blackmail them into paying for my life), I’m learning more about the word, “broke,” and that it really has no levels at all.

“Broke” is purely based on priority.

As I run lower and lower on cash, I’ve had to take the time to sort out my priorities.

After the dust settled, I’ve found that a hierarchy has formed based on with what I am provided and what I must attain for myself:


Looks a little different than Maslow’s, huh?

Let me break it down with an example:

Example – My brother just graduated from high school. The guy I call my boyfriend suggested that we take him to see a baseball game in San Francisco to celebrate.

Trust me, I know that I CANNOT afford a trip to San Francisco to go to a game.

But instead of saying no, I said yes.

So what gives?

No grocery shopping this week?

I’m so hungry.

Most people would think that a person deprived of nutrients is broke.

But, sometimes a person deprived of nutrients just has back-asswards priorities.

Like, me! *waves*

Even though I can’t afford food, I kinda find it hard to call myself “broke” when I plan to go to a Giants game tomorrow night.


My “broke” is different than your “broke.”

Because of our ambiguous use of the word, “broke” has lost its credibility.

We ruined its reputation.

Sorry, “broke;” You’re not “you” anymore.

And I’m not “you” either.

I’m not “broke,” I just can’t get my shit straight.


(artwork by Joel Penkman – https://www.pinterest.com/YvonneJenks/artist-joel-perkman/?lp=true)

2 thoughts on “Just millennial things: “Broke”

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