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.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Play the Stock Market - For Free

There is a new interactive website currently in it's beta stage that is totally worth checking out (although I'm still sort of trying to learn it). It's called WeSeed, and it's sort of like Sim City for investing. You are given 1 million (fake) dollars to start, and then you can basically just invest it and see what happens. Of course, the money isn't real, but the stocks you can "invest" in are, so you will see real live results when a stock goes up or down. A great way to get your feet wet in the stock market without losing any of that precious cash. Maybe once you kick all the other investor's asses on WeSeed, you'll have the confidence to earn some real money in the market.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Free Food (and other stuff) on Election Day

We've already established the fact we LOVE free things, this includes food and voting rights. So today, November 4th, Americans everywhere can celebrate a happy marriage of both.

Ben and Jerry's: Free scoop! Democracy never tasted so good. 5pm-8pm. Locations here
Starbucks: Free cup of tall coffee. If you care enough to vote, they care enough to give you a free cup of coffee. For the YouTube video click here
Chick-fil-A: Chick-A-Election Day. Supposedly you can get a free sandwhich today, although cannot confirm that.
KrispyKreme: Hot vote now. Get a free "I voted" sticker and a star shaped cookie!
Flu Shot: Who wouldn't want to vote yes on freedom and no on the flu! Find a clinic here
Babeland: Voting Feels Good. If you vote you can pick up a Maverick Sleeve (for him) or Silver Bullet Vibe (for her). New York and Seattle....I'm going for mine this afternoon. More info here

Well-timed Disaster

For people under 35 - or better - people with limited financial liabilities. So, no mortgage or kiddies.

[extra psychological boost if you start at zero sans trampled stock portfolio]

This is because the decline in investment valuations caused by the financial crisis potentially presents the greatest transfer of wealth in history from the cold (not) dead hands of baby boomers and beyond into those of younger generations. But that's only if you get smart.

Why? Because your pathetic paycheck (relative to someone 20 years your senior) is now roughly 5 times more powerful when it comes to investing. It's like you hand your broker a 20 dollar bill and he buys up a hundred dollars worth of beaten up blue chip stock (especially financials.) Pretend its a $100 Apple gift card that cost you $20. Sweet deal, right?

What's the first thing you need to do? Up your 401K. Its a downturn, damnit. Cut costs and turn up the volume on your investing strategy. Beer instead of cocktails, itunes instead of concerts. You are probably mostly in equities anyway so don't worry about bond/stock ratios.

Is the market at a bottom? Maybe, maybe not. What we know is that a ton of stocks are trading cheap and -for once- you can afford a fistful full of them. Attempting to perfectly time a market recovery is like using liquid liner - It should be left to the pros. Otherwise, you'll likely end up with a black eye.

So take a cue from Warren "Snowball" Buffet and be fearful when others are greedy and greedy when others are fearful.

Making the Most of Double the Investing Power

Actually Proud (!) to be an American

It may have been because it was 5:45am and I was sleep deprived, or because these have been a rocky past few months. Or maybe it was my contacts. But I found myself getting all chocked up (yes, I may have shed a tear) as I waited in line to vote this morning. Watching everyone from college kids to old men carrying chairs so they could sit waiting patently in an unorganized and way-too-long line, I came to realize that as a country we are, in fact, tied together. Even if half of us are jerks, we are all still Americans.

Now I know this sounds like a bunch of patriotic bullshit--which it is--but I actually feel this way and I can't believe it. I have never once felt proud to be an American, but today I can say I am. Let's hope for the best today.

Monday, November 3, 2008


Screw the Lender, They'll Screw You

We are starting to see a new crisis on the horizon, and this time it's credit cards. Not surprisingly, American's have been borrowing way too much money and making dumb purchases they can't afford and credit card companies are screwed. Now that people are losing their homes and jobs, they can't afford to pay that money back. Credit card companies are are freaking out, and we're gonig to see some changes in how they lend us money. Miss one payment and you might see your interest rate skyrocket. (Or, it might skyrocket for no reason at all.) You shouldn't shouldn't even be carrying a balance on your card. But, if you have a lot of debt you might want to think about transferring over to a card with o% APR. The prices for transferring debt might go up to, so do it while you can!

Your credit score is actually going to matter now
-- a lot. So now stuff like missing your payments or spending too close to your credit limit is a bit of a bigger deal. Wow, life isn't so fun when it starts getting serious.