Being Citybroke is about perspective. It’s about seeing glitter in the gutter and a sense of humor when life is giving you everything you don’t exactly want and you’re hanging on for a dream that you sometimes can’t remember.
It’s not sales or survival - it’s an electronic letter from the trenches. It’s what suits who make $60K in at age 24 can’t even imagine. It’s Freedom. It’s Poverty. It’s Broken. It’s Beautiful.

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

My Cousin Needs a Roommate!

Email us! She gets here Friday!
Shelby is looking for a guy or girl to live with either in Brooklyn or Manhattan. A native of Walhalla, South Carolina, she is being transfered from her hometown Arby's to the one on 14th Street. She starts Monday. She gets a lot of free food so that's a perk of being her roomie! (if you like fries and roast beef sandwiches)

Forbes Posts 10 Stocks for under $10

Want to invest but you're BROKE? Well, skip a few drinks one night (or convince someone to pay for you) and buy a few shares of these cheapies. Forbes asks some investment advisers and financial newsletter editors to list out 10 stocks for under $10, which really is like 10 stocks for the price of a beer in New York.

10 Stock for Under $10

Colbert Appears to be Running for Reals

While popular with Facebook users (who are statistically unlikely to cast a vote anyway) the candidate faces some challenges in his homestate:

Another council member, Charleston County Democratic Party Chairman Waring Howe, was more blunt: "Over my dead body will Colbert's name be on the ballot."

Cheap Awesome Show on Friday

Phil Lesh Show @ the Highline Ballroom

with special guest Josh Clark from Tea Leaf Green
Friday November 2nd
Located at
431 W 16th StNew York, NY 10011
between 9th and 10th Ave

General Admission Standing Room Only
Concert starts @ 12:00am
Doors open @ 11:30pm
Tickets $17.00 in advance
$20.00 at door.

Thanks Courtney!
check out

This Chick Did Not Deserve Her Job

When I crash landed in New York, I took an unpaid internship at a New York Travel/Lifestyle magazine in Rock Plaza.
2 Reasons why the recently axed managing editor SUCKED.

She stiffed me. She knew I was broke and 3000 miles away from home and she promised to pay me for the freelance work I did when I left the intership. I even sent her humble emails, begging for my 350 bucks. Ignored. **Noteworthy, she is a total cake-eater. She grew up on the Upper East and dropped names all day. She sucked. I am confident no one ever dropped her name. Learn why below.

She was an ignorant, unintelligent, chubby, perennially without boyfriend snob. We go to lunch with the friend of a friend who got me the underpaid intership and he says, "You know, typical WASPY types." (Remember when I said she grew up on the UES?)
She says, "What's a WASP?"
Pause - She is a managing editor of a lifestyle/travel pub.
He says, "You know, like white, Protestant."
She says, "What's Protestant."
We both are in shock.
He kindly says, "You know, like, yuppy JCrew."
She nods, not understanding.
I say, "Christian - but not Catholic? Like the Reformation?"
Her pale blue eyes were empty pools of non-recognition.
The fof steered the conversation away from these tricky concepts and then we all went back to work. Me in my cube and she in her corner office.
She sucked.

Worst Boss Submissions

Tell us why you have (or had) the worst boss ever in 100 words. We want to hear stupid things your boss did, dumb rules, lame motivational speeches etc.
Awesomely pathetic would be ideal.
Nominees go up Friday. There will be voting.
We will post the top 3 Winning Losers on Monday. 1st place takes all - 3 beers.
You'll remain anonymous but your company doesn't have to.
email or us.

Cheap Must-See Concert

Dr. Dog @ Bowery Ballroom $14

Save ticket master charges & buy at Mercury Lounge Box Office. 217 E. Houston St. (corner Ave A & Houston)
Learn more about Dr. Dog
Thank you, Courtney Myers.
get more of her musical insight at

Get in the Spirit!

This bitch is.

Last Minute Costume Ideas

I recommend these easy last second costumes:

1) *%#@ in a Box. Gold chains, cheap suit, gift wrapped boxes attached to belt.
2) Tourist. Shades, hat, floral shorts or shirt, giant map, enthusiasm
3) Nerd. Thick glasses with tape, bowtie, high pants, combed gelled hair, D&D comic
4) Wolverine. If you happen to have a beard - paint yourself blue and rockout!

1) Britney Spears. cut-off jean shorts, black fishnets, gum, big glasses, wig (any kind really)
2) Gold Digger. Spray-painted Gold shovel, gold eye shadow, gold dress, gold jewelry
3) Devil. horns, tail, attitude
4) Ski Bunny. bunny ears, cotton tail, ski clothes

Halloween Costume Backup- Reno 911

Looking for a cheap group costume... Reno 911! All you really need is a khaki shirt / pants (and if you're Officer Dangle really short shorts), some black fabric for your stripes and pockets, and accessories (think aviators, guns and nightsticks). All together? About $25 and absolutely hilarious. Visit your local Ricky's for the works.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

I was feeling a little low.

Even though I generally rag on people who bleach their teeth - because I really do think it looks bad when teeth glow - tonight I bought a tooth whitening kit on my way home.

It was $24.99 and a special 2-hour Rembrandt teeth whitening kit. It was awesome. My teeth look like little pearls.

No pain and it was pretty easy. Apply [ shower ] reapply [blow-dry hair] reapply [phone-call] reapply [paint nails]. Cinchy.
Go to - it's on sale and shipping is free when you sepnd $25.

TRUE STORY: I only interview in 1 outfit

AND it's a black dress. Suits are expensive and they wrinkle. And only fancy ones (Theory please!) look good on me. Solution, I always interview in the same black Calvin Klein dress. For my job at Forbes I had 3 interviews. 3 different people to impress, one little black dress - ha!

The best part is it's very fitted and has some synthetic in it or something (I don't know!) so I can roll it up in a ball and pull it unwrinkled out of my suitcase. Now that is a good friend.

So, ladies on a budget trying to land the dream job - Screw the suit. Dresses look chic, cost less and show confidence.

Food Find - Caracas Arepas Bar in East Village

This is the best restaurant EVER. There is a dine-in restaurant and a to-go joint next door.

The delicious arepas (corn based wraps filled with yummy stuff) are all good and the salads and soups as well. Not too exspensive ($8-$12) and worth every penny.

The Valdivieso wine is very nice and so is the price - $30 a bottle
Check it out


Good Style + Trashy Stores + an Honest Wingman =

Cool clothes that you can buy and take home with you! They probably don't feel as luxe as they look, but hey, at least you look good. Don't expect a 20 dollar dress to last more than 10 wears, but it least polyester doesn't wrinkle or need to be dry-cleaned. When you make enough money to start using your savings account as something more than a psychological spending deterent, you can get investment pieces at Bloomies and JCrew.

Cheap & Trashy Shops that rock:
Joyce Leslie "Hot & Trendy Fashions" University at 8th street
Necessary Objects on Broadway btw Broome & Houston also avalible at
Strawberry on 14th near University
Foxy Lady on 14th near University (across from diesel)
Classier Alternatives: Forever 21 & H&M

Virgin America Launches with Cross-Country Sweet Deals

Check it out.

Free Museum Nights in NYC for Fall 2007

Check it out

You could train for 6 months and run 26 miles

OR look like you did! The official gear is super cute and high quality (pieces between $25 & $170) The cute stuff is selling out!

The New York City Marathon is Sunday, November 4th. Be sure to have a good spot to watch other people from around the world sweat it out. FUN!

Friday Night Classy-Style at the Guggenheim

Actually, it's pretty sweet. Live DJ's, sweet art & alcohol (prices not indicated = your flask in action) A good date idea and fun way to meet fancy art people. Admission is $25 and it lasts from 9pm to 1pm.

Alex Barck of Jazzanova and Toby Cornish of Jujoto
Celebrating it's 10 year anniversary with record label Sonar Kollektiv, Berlin-based DJ collective, Jazzanova, will be hitting up November's First Friday event in collaboration with the city wide festival Berlin Lights. Alex Barck will be representing Jazzanova and Toby Cornish from design group Jujoto will provide a live site-specific visual set to accompany the music in the rotunda.

Free Tacos at Taco Bell - Whoohoooo!!!

Taco's Bell's new promotion "Steal a Base, Steal a Taco" has officially begun. If any player can steal a base in any game in the World Series Taco Bell will offer one free taco to every single person in the country between 2-5pm. That's right New York, for once you're not the only ones mooching off promotional deals.

So who can we have to thank for this beautiful day? Red Sox centerfielder Jacoby Ellsbury, or as people have been calling him “Tacoby Bellsbury”. So go out there and retrieve what is rightfully yours!

Sunday Hotel Breaks in NYC

Hold the sleeping bag, have your 4 college friends stay in a swanky hotel instead! 40 bucks a heads ain't so bad. Budget Travel has an awesome article (10/8/07) on Sunday hotel deals in NYC. Read on

New York City's tourism promotion company has teamed up with 35 hotels to offer discounts and perks for guests who stay on Sunday nights. Discounts of between 20 and 30 percent off the lowest available rates. Major Manhattan hotels usually witness a roughly 20 percent drop in the number of guests on Sunday nights (when compared to Saturday night levels)

Monday, October 29, 2007

Brunch is for broke happy people

...who like drinking at breakfast! Brunch in New York is the best and you can get a really amazing 3 hour all-you-can drink Sunday fun-day mid-day meal for cheap.
I recommend Paprika on St. Mark's and Cafe Colonial on Houston.
iSpend? Your thoughts? I bet you like the Sunburnt Cow & Bondai Road.

Honeysuckle Smells Better than Stale Beer

Ok, so iSpend really liked the Joe Malone candle for $65. While you do have to spend some money for quality candles, you don't have to spend that much. Check out Votivo (I prefer No. 68 Honeysuckle) candles for $25 each. You may think this is still a lot, but one of these lasted me through my entire senior year of college when I lived with 6 people and had parties every night. If it can make a beer-soaked room smell pretty (for an entire year), it can do wonders for your "adult" apartment. Why buy 5 $5 candles, when you can have just one. Think of it as an investment.

Go to the site if for no other reason then to read the poetic descriptions of the candles.

Where to Get Free Books

At a library! For you bookworms out there who can’t dish out $15 every two weeks for a book – go to that quiet little place you used to frequent as a child (and for some of us a college student).

Another tip: most libraries actually have a pretty good CD collection, so quit stealing music online and borrow CDs to burn. And you thought Netflix was a good deal – wait until you see the DVD (and, um, VHS) collections most libraries offer.

New York Public Library
Staten Island

Queens Library

Sunday, October 28, 2007

A Home Essential (for your tiny apt)

This candle lasts forever and smells amazing. I love, love, love it!
It costs $65 but that's totally cool because the next size is $365. I recommend the little one.
The scent of clementine leaves in the morning dew sparkles above a heart of orange blossom and water lily, transporting the wearer to a garden oasis.
Orange Blossom Home Candle

eBay's kind of ROCKS.

On you can search for housing & if you get a lease through them they give you a hundred bucks. But, the search for roommates tool is probably the best resource for a city newbie.

Get a friendly email when the MTA decides your train is going to take the weekend off

It's a special feeling when you stumble down the subway stairs at 2am, wait for your train for 30 minutes and then notice you are all alone and the dirty flyer on the floor reads: "No weekend service 12am-5am." Troubleshooting this one is going to suck.

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Drugstore Fix

I love drugstores. I always spend more than I expect and get more than I need. BUT, I love when I find a new cheap and wonderful product and hate when my not-so-fab $5.95 facial scrub stings my ego like a $40 parking ticket.
Real Simple has an awesome roster of 40 Best Drug Store buys. A few products I highly recommend not found on the RS list: J&J Baby Oil Gel in Lavender, Loreal lip gloss, Burt's & Bee's Milk&Honey lotion, Crest VanillaMint toothpaste, Loreal Voluminous mascara in carbon, Vaseline 24 hour Lotion, & Maybelline mousse blush


This could be your job:

Harvard B-School Professor likes Upstarts

"At their core they are flexible, fast-moving, and innovative, and they don't want their creativity stifled."
Bill George Business Week article (10/22/07)

A Good Umbrella... a good investment. The $3 umbrella business is a booming industry. They are made to last for about a week and they are so cheap, you just want to lose them. A clear umbrella is cool and expected. The classic black is a good call, too. For me, Paul Smith's swirl pattern women's umbrella can't be topped.

Dirty Secret: NYC Happy Hours all Suck

It's true. They do. All suck.
Either you pay the full $6 for a bottle of Amstel Light at 6pm or you are stuck with hipster NYU students and lecherous old men.
Does anyone know a good happy hour anywhere in New York? I swear all the cool happy hour websites have outdated, incorrect or barely any information. (Like looks sweet, but appears to have like 3 reviews/ratings total)
If you need to get buzzed on the cheap:
Boxcar Lounge (Avenue B near 11th) this psuedo-happy hour ($5 pints) at least feels cool. The barmaid will make you feel worthless, but your drink will take the sting out of it.
BUA (St. Mark's btw 1st & A) 1/2 all drinks until 8. Actually a good bar with nice cocktails and good beer.
The Bourgeois Pig (7th btw 1st & A) wine bottles are 1/2 off before 7pm. Nice.
Seriously - we need help. Anyone know some good happy hours? (Anything in the Murray Hill region doesn't count.)
Love, iSpend

BYOB and be less broke.

If you want to drink with friends and the number of dollars in your bank account is lower than your age - 1st try to get someone to host a pre-gaming apt party. If that isn't happening - campaign for a BYOB restaurant.
- Have about 5 good spots up your sleeve so you can cater to different palettes and neighborhoods.
- If you are seriously broke, call ahead and find out if there is a corking fee and how much it is ($5 is totally doable)
Favorites -
Panna 2 in the East Village (7th & 1st Ave) they will rush you through dinner, the Indian is so/so, but the xmas light/chili pepper/disco ball atmosphere is one in a million. Great for dates and when friends visit. ($6-10 a meal - no corking fee)
Zen Palate in Union Square (18th & Broadway) Awesome vegetarian Asian fusion. Great for a date, large parties, and last second lunches or dinners. Make a reservation if you want, but I've never waited more than 10 minutes. The upper level has sweet views and cool semi-private spaces ($10-18 per meal, $5 corking fee. 1 bottle of wine per 2 guests)
Zaytoons in Carroll Gardens, Brooklyn (Smith Street & Degraw) Zagat says they have the best Mediterranean in NYC. I agree. ($8-12 per meal, no corking fee)
Good Online Resources for BYOB research:
NYC Pulse (byob)
New York Magazine (byob)
Amuse-Bouche - has a byob in NYC map, too!


Do you know any good byob spots? email or comment.

Friday, October 26, 2007

Save Money by Furiously Ranting about how you Hate all Airlines

That’s right. I had a terrible experience with United Airlines a few weeks ago flying from the Big Apple to the corn fields of Iowa. Let’s face it. Flying out of LGA, JFK and Newark involves D-E-L-A-Y-S.

But, one very helpful United Customer Service agent (they do exist!) told me not to complain in person, but via email because then it's documented in the system. I did – and it was turned out to be a mentally and financially satisfying experience. They ended up giving me a $175 voucher.

To file complaints against airlines and get free stuff:
(Make sure to have all your flight info. to make it valid.)



And more people on our team:
USAToday: I Hate Southwest
PM's World: I Hate Airlines
TheCrankyFlier: Why People Hate Airlines
An Irishman's Diary: Why I Hate Airports and Airlines

Do you have any tips on manipulating airline reps to get free stuff? let us know at

Sharing Cabs.

Find someone to share a cab with you through This website also serves Los Angeles, Chicago and San Francisco.

The site looks awful, but it will change your life.

Farecast and you can fly more. will tell you if you need to buy your ticket today or wait a few weeks. Airline companies have fare adjustment strategies that are designed to punish the early bird and fill still empty seats with last minute breaks. Outsmart the system with Farecast.

Hoffer in the AM

In the unfolding of the individual’s life, chance is everything. In a vigorous society, chance and example have full play, and in such a society the talented are likely to be lucky.
– Eric Hoffer, Reflections on the Human Condition

**Hoffer was a longshoreman in San Francisco who spent nearly all of his available time reading, studying people, and writing. He became suddenly famous when President Eisenhower praised this book in a speech.

You are your MEDIA. Consume carefully.

It's Friday morning. You are probably hungover. Let's aim for redemption in the next few hours.

FACT #1 Tabloid journalism in all forms (US Weekly, Perez Hilton, E!) is bad for your soul and society at large.
FACT#2 Thoughtful publications are good. They are a luxurious return to the classroom for corporate slaves and perhaps one of the few ways to turn office drudgery into time well spent.

Spend your time online in good company with a few smart websites:
The Economist
The Los Angeles Times
Time Magazine
The New York Times
THe Christian Science Monitor

Tend to your mind & tend to your soul. They matter most.
What online pubs do you recommend? TELL US!


Thursday, October 25, 2007

I Will Never (Ok Rarely) Spend Money On in New York:
Taxi Cabs: Walk or train it and use that extra $20 to buy yourself something that lasts.
Wine over $8 a glass: Really, if you’re going to spend cash on wine, at least go for the $100 bottle. It's all or nothing.
Brand-Name Toilet Paper: Yes, I've seen this. And you can shove this up your you-know-what (literally).

The Movies: Just go to Wok-and-Roll on Flastbush in Brooklyn – you’ll get what you need there.
Pizza over $3 a Slice: Although I learned last night that in the Village this is not possible...
Lunch: Ok, I’m cheap, but honestly how hard is it to pack a lunch?
Designer Clothes at Full Price: Sample sales, baby.
Water over $4 a Bottle: Anyway, we should all start drinking more tap water. It has fluoride.
Concerts Over $100: No one is worth that! (Ok, a few bands are but not many…)
To be Continued...

Want to Work for Me?

Steve Forbes, AKA Flat Tax Man, is looking for a Marketing Assistant. This is actually a pretty good job. You’ll work a very cool boss, have decent responsibility, and the office is young. Ok, so you might have to go on Birthday cupcake runs, but cherish the fresh air – it might be the last job that lets you enjoy it.

Did I mention it’s on 5th Ave. b. 12 and 13? Great location! Email us if you’re interested:

Marketing Assistant
Description: Forbes Magazine seeks a Marketing Assistant to assist and support the marketing staff with execution of marketing promotions, presentations and events. This person is an administrative resource, providing support for the general and category marketing teams. This entry-level position offers lots of opportunity and room for growth.

Qualifications: This role requires excellent written and oral communication, attention to detail, strong organizational, multi-tasking and customer service skills. We are looking for an enthusiastic candidate who is a natural "go-getter", self-motivator and responds well to a high-energy environment. Ideal candidate will have a strong interest in magazine marketing and a drive to learn about the industry. Internship/work experience (0-2 years) in publishing a plus.

How We Spend Our Days...

"How we spend our days, is, of course, how we spend our lives."~Annie Dillard

You shouldn't dread your job. In many ways, it is the largest part of your life consuming more hours than any other activity. Here are the factors you should consider when assessing your current job or a job oppportunity.

In order of greatest importance:

1) Culture
What is the mission statement of the company? How are underlings treated? What are your co-workers like? Is it a fratty culture or a bunch of A-types all competing for the boss' affection?

2) Career
What are you learning in this position? How will it impact your resume? Is there upward mobility at the company? Do you want to continue on the path you are on? Are you making connections with people who can make your career? What is your dream job? Are you on your way?

3) Money
Are you making decent money? Are you on your way to making a salary you are comfortable with in 5 years? Do you have a second job to pay your bills?

4) Boss
Do you hate your boss? Do you hold them in contempt? Do they give you guidance and professional advice? Are they less intelligent than you - if they are are you able to manage them so they don't resent you?

If you get 3 out of 4, It's a good job. If you get 4 out of 4, never leave. Less than that, look around.
Life's too short.



Savings Accounts for a Waste of Time – Choose an IRA!

Savings accounts are worthless. If you are making under $40,000 a year and losing 25% on rent (as most of us are) than, like me, you might be doing the savings / checking account dance. I get paid. I put $300 in savings. A week before my next paycheck I’m broke. I transfer $200 to checking. It goes on and on. And, guess what, Chase (the bank I use) charges me for savings account transfers (to be fair I get 4 per billing period).

I am already putting 6% in my 401k, but since I have less then $10,000 after 2 years this doesn’t seem to be enough of a “nest egg” for me and I’m starting to freak out. I want early retirement goddamnit! I heard of this little investment called an IRA account, but someone said I need to invest in a Roth IRA, rather than a Traditional IRA. Confusing! So I turned to my friends from the north at a great site called, in Calgary, Canada, for advice. Here is what I was told: “The difference between the two is that the Roth IRA contributions aren’t tax deductible but the distributions are tax free while contributions to a traditional IRA can be tax deductible the distributions are taxed as income.”


Ok, so basically I can contribute the same amount to both the Roth and Traditional IRA, however, it’s the taking out that matters. Basically, taxes on money put into a Roth IRA are paid now, while typically distributions from Traditional IRAs may be subject to income taxes at the time they are withdrawn.

So that means…Investopedia?

“I personally would look at a Roth IRA. While I am unsure of what you make [very little] now I assume that when you start to take distributions in the future (retirement) [that happens at 30, right?] that your salary and tax bracket will be higher than what they are today [God I hope so!], which would make it advantageous to have the distributions tax free versus being charged at a higher future tax bracket."

So pay now for to pay less later. Thanks Investopdia! I’ll let you all know what happens when I finally have enough money to invest which should be about $500.

For more on IRAs (and where I borrowed some of the fancy language for this post) go here:

Usually, I say that discount swipe cards, or “memberships” as they say are crap. I have one at Key Foods; however I’m not sure I’ve ever really gotten anything back from it. My Duane Reed Dollar Rewards Club card? No idea how it works. I know it involves my receipt which I promptly throw away after a purchase. Come on, saving should not involve devoting hours to interpreting the ins and outs of every discount card. It’s almost as bad as cutting coupons. But Sephora, bless this store, has gotten it right.

The BeautyInsider card is simple and sweet. Spend $100, get a free gift. And we all know how easy it is to spend $100 at Sephora – even for me (why are Juicy Tubes so amazing and expensive!?). You also get a free gift on your birthday, and are invited to fun store events.

And not to mention the design is appealing and it actually looks pretty cool hanging from your key chain.

Noteworthy Bits brought to you by iSpend

“Don't tell me where your priorities are. Show me where you spend your money and I'll tell you what they are."
-James W. Frick

“Never spend your money before you have earned it."
-Thomas Jefferson

“I certainly wasn't happy. Happiness has to do with reason, and only reason earns it. What I was given was the thing you can't earn, and can't keep, and often don't even recognize at the time; I mean joy."
-Ursula K. LeGuin

“Hope is a state of mind, not of the world. Hope, in this deep and powerful sense, is not the same as joy that things are going well, or willingness to invest in enterprises that are obviously heading for success, but rather an ability to work for something because it is good.”
-Vaclav Havel

Penny for your Thoughts, a Twenty for your Mental Health

Life in the city can be rough. If you are like me, you like to spend a little coin to make the daily grind feel more like La Dolce Vita and less like Hard Times. The trick to buying a little shred of joy (on a budget) is making damn sure your purchase will really make your life sweeter. More importantly, will it make your life better or worse in 12 months? Sliding into credit card debt will definitely make you miserable in the long run, but a $40 scented candle on your bedside table might make another year of poverty significantly more pleasant.
When you are on the brink of insanity - when you are broke, your boss is awful, and your parents are telling you maybe you ought to come home - it's time to buy a little joy. Before you break out your check card (note: not credit card) You need to be thoughtful about your comfort purchase.
Ask Yourself:
1) Considering my hourly wage, how many hours of work will this cost me?
ex: if you make less than $30K a year in NYC, $80 is about what you earn in a single day. This will help you curb your your spending.
2) Will this make me at all depressed later?
Considering hitting the bars or buying jeans that don't exactly fit? Be good to yourself. This is about feeling better now and then. No benders and no muffin-top pants that will make you feel gross when you get them home. However, drinks with friends might be a great pick-me-up. Odds are they hate their jobs, too.
3) Is there something you sort of need?
New jeans, new perfume, new little black dress? Using your shopping savvy and license to spend to add something to your wardrobe that you already need is the ideal form of joy spending!
4) Buy a gift!
That's fun and you won't have any trouble spending mor ethan $25 on your sister. You (in your current state of duress) are another story.
5) Finally, consider not spending at all.
Money saved is money earned. If you can't figure out a good joy spend than give yourself a mental gift card for a later date. You eaarned it!

Happy spending and don't let the bastards grind you down.