Good Evening TXK

photo by Matt Cornelius
photo by Matt Cornelius

Good Evening TXK

September could not be a better time for me to write this article because exactly one year ago this month, I finally faced my fear of moving out for the first time on my own. I faced the fear of failing, of making a mistake, and of not being able to manage my money, and I finally moved into my own apartment! Update: I still cannot manage my money, but I made it a solid year on my own and enjoyed every second of it.

I want to let you in on a little secret. You, TOO can enjoy every second of living in your own apartment with nothing more than the necessary money you need to be able to pay your rent! Did I ever accomplish the vinyl record wall I wanted? Absolutely not. Did I ever have a dining room table? Nope. Did I ever have anything but Pop-Tarts in the pantry and eggs in the fridge? No! And yet, my year of living on my own was everything I wanted it to be and more. Here is my guide to living independently without a dime in your pocket.

This is BROKE LIVING 101...

1. Get a job.

Tip #1 is plain and simple! To accomplish broke living, you cannot be completely broke. You obviously need a small form of income. Lauren Conrad and Heidi Montag set the bar ludicrously high for us as tweens when they moved into a dream apartment (complete with stairs!) in the middle of Los Angeles at only 19 years old. WAKE UP, PEOPLE! This is not MTV, and you do not have a reality show. Some people work three jobs and never sleep. Others magically land a job that happens to pay lots of money. Everyone’s journey is different. Work hard, and you will find your way! I believe in you!

2. 4 for $4’s from McDonald’s are your new best friend!

I know what you are thinking. McDonald’s? Gross! It’s an acquired taste, but if you are determined to live on your own and you want to save money, you cannot have a scrumptious meal (Raising Canes, Chick-Fil-A) every single night of the week! Trust me. I learned that the hard way. Those fast food prices have skyrocketed! Keep it simple and keep your wallet from panicking with a double cheeseburger, four chicken nuggets, a small fry, and a drink for $4! Guys, you cannot beat that. It is impossible. You will learn to love it. Trust me.

3. Ironwood grill is much more important than having a dining room table.

There has been an empty space in my apartment the entire year I have lived there. Some may say, “Oh, don’t you want a dining room table where people can come over and eat?” What will they eat? Pop-Tarts? Eggs? I couldn’t care less about a dining room table! If you know me, you know that when dinner is served, it will be at the fabulous, delicious, iconic Ironwood Grill, right here in Texarkana. People ask me how I can afford to eat at Ironwood twice a week. Clearly, I had to make some big sacrifices! The main one is a dining room table. I live with absolutely zero regrets.

4. Closet clean-outs will never fail.

So let’s say my friends want to go out of town for the weekend, but every cent I make is tied up in this ridiculously overpriced rent I pay monthly! No problem! A quick closet clean-out on your own Facebook page will do the trick! Hey, homeless chic is in right now! So what if you are not wearing the most expensive clothes in Texarkana? Those wearing the best are probably in serious debt. You are walking around your apartment naked because no one else is there! Seems like a VERY fair trade-off to me.

5. Baths are free.

As I get older, I am finding that people are just so darn disappointing. But a long, hot bath’s warm embrace will NEVER let you down! You may not be able to afford the fourth night out in a row with your friends who are spending daddy’s money, but you will ALWAYS have the bathtub. All of the answers to life’s problems are in that water. Experience it yourself.

6. Decoration is overrated.

A friend of mine moved into the same apartment complex a few months after I moved in. I walked into their space for the first time, and they had all these gorgeous decorations and stunning wall art. I beat myself up after pondering how I could not even afford vinyl album frames for $22 a pop if I still wanted to be able to make my car payment. A couple of weeks after, a different friend was over. She told me how homey and safe and calm my place was. I did not have anything in my apartment but a couch, a TV that was off, and a candle burning. It is really not about the materialistic things you have in your private space. It is about the love, warmth, and openness you bring to that space. That is what others will remember.

7. We all need time to be alone.

You will find in your time alone that without being able to buy, buy, buy—because all of the money you have is due on the first of the month—you will have to sit and just be with YOURSELF. You cannot numb things with a night out every night unless you want to go into the negative in your bank account, and you cannot have friends around you at all times. The party ends, everyone goes home, and sometimes you are just alone.

In a generation where being alone is perceived as a negative thing, I want to tell you now that it is NOT! The dopamine shot to your brain from letting the world see your totally awesome life through your social media highlight reels will never compare to truly knowing yourself from the inside out. Sitting with yourself and figuring out what is next for you is good for your SOUL! You are bored? Good! Be bored! That is healthy! If you are scared to take the first step to be on your own, trust the process, do not be an idiot—make sure you have enough to cover rent—eat a honey butter chicken biscuit meal with the last $7 you have, and JUMP! Allow yourself to free fall into the unknown. You will not regret it!


September 9-18
Annual Four States Livestock Show
Four States Fair

September 10
Friends for a Cause Kickball Tournament
Karrh Park, 9:30 am

September 12
33rd Annual Opportunities Invitational Golf Tournament
Texarkana Country Club, 3:30 pm

September 16-18 & 23-25
9 to 5 The Musical
Fridays—7:30 pm
Saturdays—7:30 pm
Sundays—2:00 pm

September 16 & September 24
Haunted Texarkana Ghost Walk
Kress Gap, 8 pm

September 17
Kulture Con
Texarkana, Texas Convention Center, 12 pm-6 pm

September 17
First Annual Suicide Prevention Poker Run
Harley Davidson Texarkana, 10 am

September 18
Tim Hawkins
First Baptist Church, Moores Lane, 7 pm

September 21-25
American Heritage Tour
Four States Fair

September 22
Texarkana Resources
Under the Harvest Moon Drawdown
Ramage Farm Weddings, 6-9 pm

September 26
FREE Opioid Conference
First Baptist Church, 4-8 pm

September 27-October 2
Barrel Race
Four States Fair

September 30
Destination Downtown
Downtown Texarkana, 5:30 pm

For more events visit


September 2
The Standalones
Redbone Magic Brewing, 7-10 pm

September 2-3
Aces & 8’s
The Hideout, 9 pm

September 9
The Hideout, 9 pm

September 10
Nicci McCarty
Hopkins Icehouse, 7-9 pm

September 10
Alex & Liv
The Hideout, 9 pm

September 16
Dusty Rose Band
Whiskey River, 10 pm

September 16
Tailgate Poets Live
Red Bone Magic Brewing, 5 pm

September 17
Paul Holder & The Hot Snakes
The Hideout, 9 pm

September 24
Moss Brothers
Whiskey River, 9 pm

September 24
The LaRouxs
The Hideout, 9 pm

September 24
The Arrow Bar, 8 -11 pm

September 30
Clay Logan
Whiskey River, 9:30 pm


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