Keys to Living Broke

Here in Detroit, I have been living sparse. Through that though I am learning thriftiness and affordable living. Logan once told me that I am the best person that she knows at living within my means and it is true. She has seen me make a thousand dollar paycheck and a twenty dollar bill I found on the side walk last the same amount of time.

Being that I am getting better at this, I thought I could share a few insights.

1) Limit Overhead – The fewer bills you have to pay regularly the fewer immediate hits that your paycheck will take right away. It is amazing how quickly rent, car payment, car insurance and a phone bill can kill your paycheck. Before I moved up here I canceled Netflix, got the smallest data plan possible for my phone and was given an affordable place to live.

2) Stretch that Dollar! – If you go out to eat see if you can limit what you eat there and take some of it home with you. You just paid for two meals at once.

3) Combine Trips –I feel kind of bad because when I leave my house in the morning I tend not to get back until ten or eleven at night. Mostly that is because when I can’t afford to be driving back and forth to my house. So if I go to Troy I am there for the day. If I go downtown I am there for the day. Sometimes that means you have to plan a couple days in in advanced where you are going to be on what day.

4) Accept Hospitality – This is the hardest for me. When someone says, “Let me pay for it” my initial reaction is to say, “No, that’s okay. I got it.” Even if I can’t really afford it. Just the other night I was at a friends cookout and she asked if I wanted to take some extra burgers home with me. I said no, but once I thought about it I said yes. Those two burgers saved me about $5, which was 1/20 of my paycheck.

5) Utilize Your Community – I have been blessed with some great friends in and around Detroit. Friends who have said, “If you need to take a shower at my place, do it,” or “If you ever need a place to stay so you don’t have to drive all the way back home, crash here.” These are acts of hospitality that go a long way to keeping you out of the red.


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About coleyoakum

My name is Coleman Yoakum. I am formerly a student at Harding University. Today you can find me in Detroit Michigan doing what I can to expand the Kingdom of God and preparing to start an intentional community in Pontiac. I enjoy reading, writing, photography, music and politics. I am sure that all of these things will find their way to this blog from time to time. Twitter: coleyoakum Facebook: Coleman Yoakum Email: Flickr:

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