Broke Ass Stuart's Guide to the Cheap Life

c/o Julie Michelle

Earlier this year (ironically enough, on April Fools Day), I had the honor of holding title as Broke Ass of the Week for a website that knows a thing or two about how to get by on a dime– Broke Ass Stuart’s Goddamn Website. Unfortunately for me, no one screams April Fools when this girl checks her bank account.

After making internet friends with Stuart, we decided it would be fun to have the brokeitude savvy Editor-In-Cheap answer his very own Broke Ass questions.

What makes him an expert, you ask? Well, he’s written two books on how to live cheap in San Francisco and New York– basically doing all the research (i.e. drinking a lot) for you. And although the blog itself is based out of SF, the NY section is lengthy enough to keep us going back for more.

So read the rest of the interview after the jump to learn the perks of pulling out, garbage plates, and how money can buy you a houseboy to throw your shoes at.

Name: Broke-Ass Stuart

Age: 29 but I don’t look a day older than 28 and a half.

Occupation: Travel Writer and mouth piece for the young, broke and beautiful.

What neighborhood do you live in?: Currently in San Francisco’s Mission district, but I always say I’m bi-coastal curious.  While I no longer live in Brooklyn, I was there five times last year.

What are you listening to these days?: Richie Cunning.  Hip-hop hasn’t sounded this good in WAY too long.

Best money saving tip: Buy my books and read my site.  If you like cheap stuff and shit talking, you my friend have just happened upon a goldmine.

What do you refuse to spend money on?: Condoms.  I only trust the pull out method and abortions…but really, I refuse to spend money on anything that’s supposed to be “in right now”.  I’d rather have the stupidest looking shoes and wear them because they’re comfortable, than look back at picture of myself and think, “Wow, not only did I look like a total cheese dick, but those shits hurt my feet too.”

Most expensive thing you’ve ever bought: A video meant to blackmail me.  Here’s a tip: if a Thai hooker offers to teach you how to shoot ping-pong balls out of your ass, make sure there’s no one hiding in the closet filming it.

Actually the most expensive thing I’ve bought is my Mac Book.  It’s fucking sweet!

How’d that feel?: Damn good.  No more viruses from looking at shady internet porn sites!

Favorite cheap eat: I’m obsessed with the Garbage Plate.  Unfortunately it’s mostly only found in the Rochester, NY area.  Otherwise, I’m currently digging Mr. Pollo, which is one of the only places in SF to get arepas.  In New York though I’m all about street food.  Fuck I miss that shit.  We have it in SF but it’s not like it is in NY where you can get it on every corner.  It’s utter brilliance.

Favorite dive bar: I love old school spots that have been around forever and there are so many good ones in New York. Jimmy’s Corner is a gem and it’s within crawling distance of Times Square.  Seriously you can get drunk off $3 beers there and then go man handle the tourist.  I also love classic spots like the Subway Inn in the UES and Winnie’s in Chinatown.  While doing the research for my NYC book I found myself in these kinds of places a lot.  I also put on like 10 pounds of beer weight because of it.

When I’m in BK though I dig on spots like The Turkey’s Nest and Rosemary’s Greenpoint Tavern. The Brooklyn Inn is pretty fucking sweet though too.

Best deal you’ve ever gotten: Getting Bar Mitzvahed.  It was like having a wedding, but just for myself.  I think I paid for half of college with that Bar Mitzvah money and all I had to do was learn some kind of Jew talk and sing poorly.  It’s kind of fucked up that my life peaked at 13 isn’t it?

Favorite free thing to do: Wander around different neighborhoods.   Writing books sucks because you just sit in front of computer wishing you weren’t.  Researching them on the other hand is awesome!  You get to stroll around new places and meet interesting people all the time.  Does anyone wanna make a deal with me?  I’ll do all the research and you can do all the writing?  No?  Dammit.

If you woke up a millionaire, what’s the first thing you’d buy?: A houseboy.  I’d make him wear a bowtie but no shirt and he’d have to answer to some kind of regal sounding British name like Sterling or Bentley or Queen Elizabeth.  I mean I guess “buy” isn’t the right word because you’re not supposed to do that kind of thing any more, but I’d pay him handsomely for dealing with my tantrums and for being understanding when I threw my shoes at him.

Despite not having money, do you still love your life?: Absolutely.  I’d rather be broke and happy than work 80 hours a week and be unhappy.

Do you own my book?: Wait, I think I just completely blew my mind with this one.  Am I asking myself if I own my own book?  Whoa….it’s like that part in Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure when future Ted tells current Ted, “Give my love to the princesses”.

Best hangover cure: I’ve actually solely started drinking Kettle One and soda.  Now look, I know that’s not exactly broke-ass, but follow me for a sec.  Kettle sodas are only like 6 bucks at the bars I go to so I end up spending like $12 ($2 extra per drink) more than I would’ve if I’d been drinking well vodka all night.  But here’s the thing, if I only drink Kettle sodas all night long, I get absolutely no hangover!  Amazing right?  So next time you’re disgustingly hungover, think about whether or not you’d pay $12 to not be hungover.  I just pulled a logical checkmate on your ass.

Are you a hipster?: I feel like this is one of those catch 22 questions where no matter how you answer the outcome is the same.  So I’m just gonna put it out there: I was totally a hipster WAY before you were.


  1. rasputin says:

    sorry, but BAS is a complete misnomer. nothing on this website is about saving money. it is about going to bars and hooking up with people. sure, it plays beneath the guise that it is showing you deals, but everyone knows where the free concerts are dude. your site is fine, but it is just a blog. it has nothing to do with the serious realities of saving money.

  2. leisure boy says:

    Broke Ass Stuart is not poor though he and his kind sure can afford to ‘look poor’. Anything for that illusive street cred I suppose, not surprising coming from those who are financially secure enough to not only be able to avoid working but having the gall to feign poverty.

  3. Seriously! I’m so sick of these NON HOMELESS guys trying to give out funny and entertaining advice about having a great time on the cheap. He should distribute his writing via peigon, on napkins, over the Hobonet! If I…. If…. Sorry; had to hand crack my iHobobook. I should really save these calories…

  4. blick blondhi says:

    you should read one of his books. i’ve read the sf one and it has serious money saving realities. you can borrow mine. or just buy one and then you won’t have to meet me.

  5. 5 times!!! NYC changes too fast

  6. This guy seems like a total hack. Not to mention a prick. Hey man, good for you that you decided to avoid adulthood. When you’re in dive bars in your 50s, drunk and rambling on about your paltry past achievements, don’t even think about demanding I buy you a drink because I managed to create a savings account.

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