I’ve recently moved into San Diego, and into my first apartment post-college that’s really mine. At least, it’s mine and my roommate’s because there’s no way I could afford a 1BR spot for myself. It’s straight up too expensive. I work as a barista (hence the anonymous message, as I don’t want my regulars to identify me), and I earn what I actually thought would be pretty good money, considering the relatively high minimum wage in California. As I adjust to the high cost of living a normal life, I have to say, my mind is completely boggled. How can so many hipsters hold down stereotypically “hipster” jobs (like mine!), yet still freely enjoy hipster extravagances like craft beer, $8 avocado toast, Polaroid photography, designer beard tonics, and vinyl records?
— Broke Bro in North Park
I’ve spent the past few weeks trying to hit every aspect of this problem, which vexes nearly all hipsters at some point or another. You could consider direct participation in the hipster economy as a means of easy access to hipster commodities. Alternatively, cut everything insufficiently hipster out of your life. At bottom, a hipster lifestyle may well be reserved for the young, carefree, and childless. That said, never say die! I have a few more means of staying in the hipster black.
Step Four: Be Independently Wealthy
Makes things easy peasy, lemon squeezy. One, teeny-tiny little problem though — turns you into a caricature of the worst of hipsterkind. Really kind of a big, intractable problem, when you get right down to it. For further reading, review “Step Two.”
Step Five: Go Back in Time
I think most hipsters would leap at the opportunity to take a vacation to four years ago, back when they were into today’s hot hipster trend before it was cool... and, by “cool,” I mean, “before the thriving market for your erstwhile obscure interests supported no less than seventeen local startups who can’t seem to use that Kickstarter money to buy themselves a collective clue.” Mostly kidding here, because this is impossible, but also sort of not kidding.
Step Six: Sell Drugs
No. Wait. Don’t. That’s an absolutely terrible idea. I’m clearly grasping at straws here. Don’t listen to me.
Step Seven: Sugar Mama/Sugar Daddy?
This is also awful advice. Don’t go this route. I’m sorry.
Step Eight: Be the Ball
That doesn’t even make sense. It’s like I can’t help myself.
Step Nine: ???
[Redacted: Step Nine is Too Hot for TV.]
Step Ten: Innovate
Back to reality. Time to make sense again. Remember Step Five? Well, that may be impossible, but you know what is possible? Being the future, but right now, that’s what. Not too long ago, starving hipsters were eating kale because it was the only thing they could afford. Nowadays, organic kale is basically out of reach for lots of hipsters.
Steps One through Nine may all offer you some hope, but the only sure way of living the affordable hipster dream is to lean in hard on your obscure thing of choice and let the world follow your lead. Afterall, some hipster has to “discover” the affordable glory of malt liquor. Why not you?