Book review: ‘Young, Broke and Beautiful’

That’s my brother, Chris Scheidell.

I didn’t think to look in a travel guide for the inspiration I needed to start living smarter, but this one’s got me rethinking my strategy on the whole living paycheck-to-paycheck business.

Stuart Schuffman’s voice comes across as if he’s just dying to tell you the scoop.

He does a pretty good job at covering all the bases as far as budgets go — and these budgets are super tight. So tight you might spend more time looking for a ride to the job interview you might be missing at this very moment while you read the Central Florida Future, when you could be making some money as an English tutor or some such trade, if only you had read this book first.

Schuffman breaks it down. He gives you all of the details: the dirty, the grit, the grime, the beauty and the lust any novelist could dream of, but with a heavy dose of facts, tips and tricks that are sure to either get you laid or get you some free food. If you’re in need of any or all of the above, take the time to at least skim through the organized sections of this book.

In the past, Broke-Ass (Schuffman with Jill Strominger) directed its target to the regions of New York and San Francisco; now, Young, Broke & Beautiful, also known as the Guide to Living Cheaply, covers the entire globe. Well, as far as travelers have made it thus far.

Young, Broke & Beautiful covers an array of topics, from not only on how to impress a date while traveling light, but also on essential eating tips, ways to make money (both safe and extremely dangerous) and of course how to have fun on a budget.

Schuffman’s favorite topic? How to navigate the land of the drink. All the while, as always, remaining frugal.

At this point, I’m wondering if he collected all of this information purely by word of mouth, or if this is really a brilliant manifesto of time spent researching and digging up all the facts and figures he possibly could to make this available to anyone who can get their hands on this book.

Schuffman suggests you rent it at a library nearest you, in case you were wondering. This saves you money!

He dabbles in a lot of truth, and a bit of fury, among his reasons for choosing one job opportunity over another, and that’s what makes this book such a smooth read: his ability to flawlessly weave all this information together.

At times I can see myself traveling alongside Schuffman’s broke-ass down secret alleyways, going dumpster diving, but most of it reads like a list of sponsors one might find in a magazine.

In any case, he knows what works for him.

Schuffman sold out in the first two weeks when he printed his own copies of Broke-Ass Stuart’s Guide to Living Cheaply in San Francisco, and now there is even a TV show airing on the Independent Film Channel called Young, Broke & Beautiful, named after the book that came out in June.

Young, Broke & Beautiful provided me with a little insight on the real joys in life that should be given for free. It’s like I just spent a week with this fella who’s been surfing my couch, eating all my food, and though I may have resented him at the time for slacking so hard, he was really doing me a favor. You see, by nagging the hell out of me philosophically, after it’s all said and done, and the book is out of my hands. I can now go back to my miserable ways and hate myself some more for being able to say that I still have yet to own a passport. There’s one thing he suggests actually paying for — I bet it’s worth every penny.

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