Beg borrow or steal sign

It seems everyone has an idea about the best ways to scrape by in life as a penny-pinching, coupon-obsessed, miserable troll. (Did you know you can turn an old milk carton into a shoddy, flimsy dustpan that you'll throw away after one near-use?)

But what if I told you that all the typical "life hacks" everyone tries to pimp out are bush league? And that there are much more effective ways to win at life that will save you time and let you live like a goddamn king!

1. Steal things!

Stealing things is as old as things themselves. People steal a whole lot of things these days, from cable TV to babies to hot sandwiches. And you can do this, too!

While you may know that a package of shredded cheese can make even the crappiest frozen pizza taste bearable, did you also know that a juicy, thick-cut steak can fit comfortably under a bowler hat? (Two under a top hat!) So why dress up poor people food in a false sense of accomplishment when you could eat like a king of the middle class simply by sticking some meat on your head?

(Remember, though you may feel the urge, never tip your hat to the bag checker on your way out. And also—this should go without saying—but only pre-packaged, non-perishable items should go in your crevices!)

You can steal from your friends:

"This extension cord was yours? Well too goddamn bad, I'm trying to save some money over here, so now it's mine."

You can steal from your employer:

"This box of rubber bands belongs to the company? Well too goddamn bad, I'm trying to cut down on my rubber band expenditures this month, so now it's mine."

You can even steal from Best Buy:

"This copy of Bryan Adams Live at the Budokan belongs to the store? Well too godda—wait, what's that now? Nobody knows how it got here? You say Best Buy in no way endorses legal sales of Bryan Adams concert DVDs? Well…too goddamn bad, I don't have one so…you know what, I don't actually want this, either. Can you direct me to your Blu-ray players?"

Bryan Adams Live at Budokan performance
"Wait, me? Did somebody say sing ‘Summer of 69' in Japanese? ‘Cause I'll do it… I really will."

2. Borrow things from your friends and never give them back!

Of course, if you don't feel comfortable with the word "stealing" or the illegal action it implies, you always have the option to borrow things. It's completely lawful and banks will even let you do this with money! Yeah, you can just have money all of a sudden. A lot of it.

The only catch is that you need to give it back at some point. But that point is not today!

While banks are certainly the jackpot here, there are smaller applications for this concept you can apply throughout your life. For instance, you can totally borrow things from your friends and then just never give them back. It's called "extended borrowing with an exemption to keep the stuff after an unspecified matter of time has passed," and you can tell your friends that when they keep asking you to return their hoodie, Brad! I'm still in the middle of borrowing it, you dick nozzle!

3. "Forget" to take your wallet/purse with you wherever you go!

This one's so easy that I almost hesitate to tell people, for fear you'll all think I'm being too condescending. But to hell with decorum, I'm here to help you save money, not nurture your precious egos.

Whether you're going out to a nice dinner or sitting down for a few dozen rounds at the local pub, this is one trick you'll definitely want to "keep in your back pocket," if you know what I mean.

…I mean don't put anything in your back pocket. Like, your wallet or whatever. You could put something in your back pocket, sure—condoms, gum, that copy of Bryan Adams Live at the Budokan that you've been trying to pawn off on strangers for the past few weeks—but make sure you don't have any actual money on your person. Then, when the bill comes, you have two options, depending on your exact situation:

  1. If you brought friends, who in turn brought their wallets like smug a-holes, make those irresponsible planners foot the bill. This will teach them a valuable lesson about living in the moment.
  2. If you're flying solo, tell your server/bartender to—and make sure you say these words exactly—"Suck it, proprietor of devilish consumables!" Then give 'em the ol' crotch chop. Cause guess what? They can't do anything about it! You've already had your fancy meal/nineteen whiskey & somethings, and they can't take those back.

Okay, yeah, full discretion: they can throw you out on your ass and ban you from that restaurant/bar for life. But there are literally hundreds of other places you can go to the very next night to try this again. And yes, you'll probably get tossed again. And again. But remember The Little Engine That Could? Did he just give up after derailing and barreling through that middle school that was placed irresponsibly close to the train tracks? No! He dusted himself off, picked the braces and backpacks from out of his spokes, and kept on chugging!

The point is, this is bound to work somewhere! You just have to decide if it's worth being beaten up in every back alley your city has to offer. (Hint: It totally is, as long as you order the lobster and drink the high-end scotch.) Worst case scenario: your face is plastered in every local establishment under the "Do Not Provide Service" sign. Worst worst case scenario: A manager makes a citizen's arrest and you face a hefty fine and some serious jail time.

But think of all the free meals you'll get in prison!