By in Guest Post, Saving | 16 comments

Part 1; Cheap Living and Travel

Welcome to a new guest contributor, the Broke Bytch. She is a new college grad with a minimum wage job. Enjoy her irreverent tips for saving and spending. Caveat; Her ideas are her own and I bear no responsibility for their content!

Broke Bytch Background

Like most people in their early twenties, I’m strapped for cash.  Sometimes I feel like my monetary impairment keeps me from going out and living life to its fullest.  What can you do for fun these days for free?  I’ve done my research and most articles professing solutions to a lack of funding suggest things like: reading a book, taking a walk, going on a hike, stargazing, window shopping, renting a movie from the library, sunbathing; I think you get the idea.  Well if you’re like me, you can only go on so many walks and hikes or read so many–ha! I had to stop, its too absurd, I’m out of college, please, like I read.

So I  made a list of my greatest spending categories and came up with cheaper alternatives, so I wouldn’t feel so burdened by my my financial state.

My greatest spending categories list looked something like this:

  1. Housing
  2. Food
  3. Entertainment
  4. Transportation
  5. Cell phone
  6. Clothes

True Confession About My Housing Arrangements and Other Cheap Living Options

First, before I begin showering you you with my unbridled wisdom, I must confess I partake in one of the biggest money-saving techniques out there:  I live with my parents.  However, if you are unable to afford this luxury, there are other solutions.

A potential option, other than cramming into a hole in the wall with twenty other roommates is to look for an in-house caregiver or nanny position. Aupair-World is a cool site to check out.

Ever considered farming? If you are flexible in where you live you could work on an organic farm or WOOF. This organization profiles farms world wide, so it’s a great option for those broke souls with wanderlust.  Other benefits of farming are, you won’t need a gym membership or sleeping aids because you’ll be working so hard doing back breaking labor.

Skip the apartment altogether and travel instead. In terms of traveling on the cheap STA travel  and couch-surfing are awesome options. In fact couch surfing is promoted by NPR, the Frugal Traveler, the New York Times, the Guardian, and Time Magazine, so it must be okay.

If you can’t live with your folks “rent free” you could even rent a room in someone’s home. All those people who got slammed by the mortgage meltdown are now renting out rooms to help with the mortgage payments. And if the family is really helpful, maybe they will even do your laundry (although don’t count on it).

What to Expect From the Broke Bytch

…Wait, wait, one more thing: as you can already gather from my previous paragraphs, I’m not exactly a short-winded person, so in order to make my mind-numbing awesomeness easier to digest for all of you weak-minded individuals, I’ve broken down my entries into manageable chunks.  Therefore my subsequent entries will be grouped as follows:

  1. Food: How to not eat through your wallet, no matter how high the fiber content
  2. Entertainment and Transportation: Time to wake up from your drunken stupor and get home (oh wait, that’s me..)
  3. Phone and Clothes: Brrrring, brrrring, Its the 90’s calling, time to get some new duds, dude (because that is apparently how the 90’s talk)

I would like to promise a particular schedule, but I’m too busy trying to make a buck to commit. Why not pick up the RSS feed and then you’ll be sure to catch every column.

Update;  I finally published Part 2FOOD; How to Not Eat Through Your Wallet, No Matter How High the Fiber Content. Squeeze in a few minutes to check it out.

See you next time,

Broke Bytch

How do you slash living costs?


  1. Looks like the start to a great series. Young people definitely have to deal with a tighter budget than most. Housing is usually where you can save the most money. When I was younger I always had roommates. This saved a lot of money. Sometimes we were just sharing a basement suite or apartment, but other times we were sharing an entire house or townhouse. Not only does this cut down on your rent expenses, but it allows you to split things like electricity, internet, cable, etc. Plus you can take turns cooking and it’s great to always have some friends around to stay entertained.

    Modest Money

    May 16, 2012

  2. I’ve been trying to do cheap living but I keep on failing every time. What do I lack then? Can you help me? I’m broke too.

    Thanks for sharing!


    Harold Y.

    May 16, 2012

  3. Many years ago, when I was broke I ate a lot of pasta. mac & cheese and bummed meals. It was so long ago mac & cheese was 15 cents. As long as you are broke anyway, work on the career by volunteering or other free things to get your name out there. A few hours a week will help.


    May 16, 2012

  4. Looking forward to future posts! When I first moved out at the age of 18, life was pretty horrible because I had no money!


    May 16, 2012

  5. Ouch minimum wage out of college? I really am sad for all new grads, and I thought I was still a new grad (graduated in 09)… times are tough.

    Can’t wait to hear more from you! So who exactly is Broke Bytch and how is she related to Barbara??? 🙂

    From Shopping to Saving

    May 16, 2012

  6. @Modest-With rents so high these days, room-mates are a must. That or living with the ‘rents.
    @Harold-Read on, and there will be lots of help here to live well on little money.
    @Krantc-Great tips.
    @Michelle & Sean- It really is quite stressful. If you’re broke and starting out, it’s so important to build skills and work hard.
    @Shopping-Wow, you just graduated a few years ago… You’ll have to stick around and look for clues as to her identity.

    Barbara Friedberg

    May 16, 2012

  7. I think I’m going to enjoy reading this series! Though I’m much older, I vividly remember my early 20’s and they were painful in terms of being cashed strapped. I’ll reminisce as I read. 😉

    Little House

    May 17, 2012

    • @Little House-Enjoy, it keeps getting more and more entertaining. and, there are some more great tips to come.


      May 17, 2012

  8. @Modest Money: You seem very enthusiastic about roommates, it is quite possible you never lived on the east coast…or perhaps you just “like” people…that is a good asset, i applaud it, for I have never had that luxury.

Harold: Oh harold, harold, harold, honestly, it seems hard to diagnose what the problem is without knowing specifically how you have failed….were you tricked by those savage real estate agents? Landlord keeps jacking up the rent while your ragamuffin roommates fail to pay their fair share? Your ambiguity is quite intriguing….

    My best bets for saving money on housing are:1. roommates, roommates, roommates (keep adding until you see fit) 2. living with a family, taking an in-house nanny or caregiver position 3. if you live in a university or college town (and you’re not too old to make this super creepy), check out the university/college off campus housing resources….I know when I lived in Amherst, MA there was an off campus housing site where anyone could post and some professors needed house sitters for up to a year while they went on sabbatical.

    However, it is important to keep in mind that the economy sucks and even if you try your best to save money on housing there is no getting around that, especially if you live in an area with high living costs…..perhaps move to a more affordable area like montana or kansas?

    @Krantcents: ah yes, i am far too aware of the all-ramen diet 🙁
    Awesome tip about volunteering, sounds much more productive than my usual strategy of staring at my phone, waiting for a job offer to come through.

    @Michelle: Thanks, I appreciate your unwarranted enthusiasm!

    @Sean: Yes…..thanks for rubbing it in.

    @From shopping to saving: Well my curious friend, the joy is in the slow reveal, you will have to wait and find out who I am….and Barbara? I know no people by the name of Barbara….except if you mean Barbara Walters, in which case, I am intimately familiar with her.

    @Little House: Clearly you survived your cash-strapped years (unless you are some sort of zombie or paranormal creature that is undead), so I’d love to have your insight on how to survive relatively in-tact….

    Actually if you are undead I have so many more questions for you: What is your impression of our culture’s zombie/vampire/paranormal creature fascination? Is it a healthy curiosity or is it insensitive to the needs of the overall non-human community?

    @Barb: It’s not that great, please stop promoting my tips, i need low expectations in order to make my advice seem impressive.

    Broke Bytch

    May 17, 2012

  9. This looks like a good series . I liked the beginning of if and hope i like it all the way … keep posting .


    May 18, 2012

  10. I am really not one to be annoyed by blog posts, or to write overtly negative comments but the intro to this series is awful and the writer must be made aware of it:

    [For example] Since WHEN does a budget include clothes? Did you spend the last 4 years naked?! The only thing you will ever need is a suit for work/job interviews. Those can be borrowed or you can persuade even unreasonable parents to get you a semi decent one. Other possibilities include: you may have only a few pieces of underwear which are fraying – get them at a 1 dollar store, OR you have shoes that are falling apart – get cheap ones, or charity shop, or borrow or guilt your parents into getting one. As a “broke” graduate, are there other pieces of clothing that you need? I doubt it.

    The notion of a clothes budget and the comment about not reading books makes me think that this writer is clearly immature and has never had to get to grips with budgeting in the real world/or has had to manage resources, as the rest of us do.

    Since being broke is relative (and when you are writing for an audience, that needs to be taken into account), graduates who only have $200 to their name for the foreseeable future, wouldn’t bother worrying about most of the things suggested in the article, so far at least! [Hint: they’d be out finding jobs, building relationships with others and using every available network/friend/parent to support them as they spend their 8hrs/day looking for work.]

    I’m sorry to have to be negative but this is a wake up call – if you have the ability and authority to write on a blog many people will read, you have a responsibility to do it well. So, don’t begin without an understanding of your topic and/or readership.

    Constructive suggestion: [When talking about housing] Why not explain to broke graduates *how* to go about finding a place to live, i.e. what methods/systems they can put in place, if, for example, they live in a strange town or cannot go home etc. Don’t regurgitate what others write, because that sucks, for you personally and for the rest of us reading it.


    May 20, 2012

  11. @B-While your points are passionately held, I think you missed the subtle humorous aspects to this post.


    May 20, 2012

  12. Oh – I knew it was a joke, but the joke is the kind of thing I’d say when I was 20, and young/foolish etc.

    Adults, especailly ones with degrees, nevermind well educated people without degrees, would scoff at the notion of not reading. Does it make you look “cool”?! No!!! Lol.


    May 21, 2012

  13. @Edward: You seem awesome, hopefully you continue to enjoy.

    @B: Originally, I wasn’t going to respond because it would be giving far too much credibility to your pretentious comments. However my young and foolish side enacted my baser instincts and I now feel the need to briefly defend myself.

    First of all, it is a little premature to insult the information in my future posts without reading them first…..although I love your tip about guilting your parents into buying you clothes, what a sophisticated and imaginative suggestion!

    Also, my remark about not reading was an ironic comment playing on the current generation’s trend of surfing the internet instead of reading a book. It was not an attempt to seem “cool”. Although it is my personal goal to be the Fonzie of the finance world.

    Side note: please never write lol on this site, it hurts my eyes, my brain, my heart, and my soul.

    My favorite part of your comments have to be the unwarranted personal attack of my maturity level. Making critical assumptions about me, instead of focusing more on the actual content or (god forbid!) making helpful suggestions leads me to assume that you are more immature than I am. So take that you doodyhead.

    So, if I may, I would kindly ask you to please get off your high horse and try enjoying my witless self-deprecating humor….because right now you are being quite a B—-.

    Broke Bytch

    May 21, 2012

  14. I am a long time reader but first time responder. I love the content and the conflict. Makes for interesting reading. I particularly find Broke Bytch’s remarks compelling and very much appreciate her reply to the personal criticisms

    Martin Torres

    May 22, 2012


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