Hooray it's the last week before payday! Time to celebrate by staying indoors and being unable to move for fear of money falling out of you.
With money so tantalisingly close, yet so devastatingly far, it's weirdly easy to spend your last tenner on a blow-out, thinking next week you'll have the money to make it up. Don't do this, it will only turn to thoughts of "now I've been paid but I actually have no money for the coming month" and "I have to buy Christmas presents but I'm poor due to that blow-out" and "WHY DID I BUY A GOLD INGOT AGAIN".
Instead, partake in some free activities around the town/city of your choice, and revel in the beauty of the world when you've got a few quid in your pocket. I mean literally a few quid, as opposed to the jaunty saying. What-ho, paupers:
1. Go for a walk
Yeah let's get the boring, crap one out the way. Everyone told me to go for a walk when I maxed my overdraft and couldn't afford to eat for 24 hours. Problem was, I was so poor and sad and poor that the thought of walking seemed like the most pointless waste of energy imagineable. I thought of going to see the sights, then realised I couldn't afford to get into any of the sights. I thought of having a nice walk in a nice area, then realised I'd be overcome with bitterness at the lovely people around me talking and delicately spitting money over each other.
However, walks in the park are OK. Especially if you can convince someone to lend you their dog. You can sit on a bench and pretend you're in a film. Also, walking to a desired destination is something I did during my dark, maxed-overdraft days and I continue to do it now I can afford the bus. Mark my words, you'll cultivate thighs like an ox.
2. Exchange all your foreign money for actual money
Remember when you were really rich because you got a student loan and went on holiday loads? Those days were great and free and filled with bad sangria. However, if you've got some euros/dollars hanging around, why not cash them in? Who knows, maybe you were really frugal and didn't spend all but the equivalent of two quid that time in Magaluf (and who blames you, the bars are so upmarket there!). A word of warning: don't get your hopes up with Yen. 30,000,000,000,000,000 yen equates to roughly 23 pence.
3. Gather together all the 1ps in your house and exchange for notes
Fairly self explanatory, but amazing how many pounds you can put together once all your bags, trousers, coats, sofas, jars have been emptied. Large Sainsbury's always have Coinstar machines, otherwise go to your bank and proudly earn your place as the most annoying customer they've experienced that day.
4. Invite people round, rather than going out
It's a revolutionary idea that's sweeping the nation: a bottle of wine from Sainsbury's is cheaper than going to a bar and buying a bottle of wine! Also houmous too! I had no idea houmous would feature so heavily in a money-saving blog. Anyway, grab some friends and some cheap vino/beers and sit around being hilarious for the evening. If you think about it, you're bound to get seats, you don't have to wait to get served, and you can hear each other talking. It's the perfect plan.
5. Go to Pizza Express with a good friend, if you must eat out
It has to be a good friend, because you're going to voucher the hell out of the meal and insist to pay only for the free pizza. Or they often do a Buy A Main Get Another For £2.50 which isn't going to break the bank is it? Unless you're really struggling, in which case, snaffle Pizza Express pizzas in Tesco because they're on offer too (2 for £6), and they taste great with a pot of houmous. Or not. That's optional.
6. Sit on the internet and distract yourself with interesting Tumblrs
A variation of this is: think of something far too specific/niche and type it into Google alongside the word "tumblr". If nothing comes up, start one.
Plant your last £10 in some soil and sprinkle it with hedgehog tears at a crossroads. While naked. At midnight. This does not work.
Googling around for some pre-payday respite? Check out the following and thank me later. Or, if you don't find any of the following useful, I'm really sorry.
1. Pizza Express always have a deal on because they're kind and just want to be loved: http://www.pizzaexpress.com/latest-offers
2. To find out the best exchange rates, and any other FAQs on changing your yen into pounds, go to World First: http://www.worldfirst.com
3. Distract yourself from your money woes with this: www.theuselessweb.com (takes you to a different pointless site every time!) and this: http://mashable.com/2012/07/01/25-funny-tumblrs-to-make-you-lol/
4. Locate your nearest Coinstar machine here http://www.coinstar.co.uk/
5. This is handy for getting money quickly, but don't forget to scroll down if you have debt problems http://www.voodoodeprince.com/money%20spell.htm