Broke Is Beautiful: Living and Loving the Cash-Strapped Life

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Running Press, Apr 13, 2010 - Self-Help - 272 pages
The economic downturn has forced nearly everyone into a life of limited means, but author Laura Lee was broke before it was cool. She won't tell anyone to clip coupons or forego their morning latte—in fact, she won't give any guidance on how to be saved from a dark financial destiny. Instead she provides readers with a psychological how-to full of fun tidbits. Broke is Beautiful is an insightful compendium of history, inspiration, facts, and humor that all celebrate the lack of money as a gateway to more serenity, self-awareness, and yes, even security.

In the tradition of Alain de Botton's How Proust Can Change Your Life and Eric Wilson's Against Happiness: In Praise of Melancholy, here is an unconventional take on a subject that is relevant to us all. It is quirky comfort for the (literally) poor soul: offering historical and geographic perspective, ponderings on consumerism and credit scores, and even recipes for ramen noodles.

 

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Contents

I WAS BROKE BEFORE IT WAS COOL
9
PLANNING TIPS FOR A SUCCESSFUL LIFE OF POVERTY
13
THE ADVENTURE OF BEING BROKE
21
BE A SOCIAL CAPITALIST
28
AN OVERVIEW
36
THE GDP OR IS CONSUMPTION GROSS?
42
FURTHER REFLECTIONS ON SOCIAL CAPITAL
51
DEFINE YOURSELF AS AN ARTIST
57
A CULTURAL VIEW OF FINANCIAL VALUES
110
THRIFT HORATIO THRIFT
117
THE WORLD OF SECONDHAND GOODS
125
ALTERNATIVE IDENTITYITS JUST THAT EASY BEING GREEN
131
DUMPSTER DIVING
136
THE WORLD OF WORK
143
DOWNSHIFTERS VOLUNTARY SIMPLICITY AND SLACKERS
151
ACTING YOUR AGE
161

THE FECES OF HELL
65
THINK YOURE THE ONLY POOR SLOB IN THE RICHEST NATION ON EARTH?
69
SHRINKAGEOR WHERE HAVE ALL THE DOLLARS GONE?
76
DO YOU REALLY NEED ALL THAT STUFF FROM CHINA ANYWAY?
85
A LOW CREDIT SCORE? WELCOME TO THE CLUB
97
FATHER JEREMIAH OCALLAGHAN
106
A LOVE STORY
167
REASONS TO BE GLAD YOU CANT AFFORD A BIG SCREEN TV
172
DAYDREAMS ARE LIKE FREE MOVIES
183
THE JONESES ARE DOING WORSE THANK YOU THINK THEY JUST HAVE GOOD PR
190
POOR AND ANONYMOUS ITS A GOOD THING
199
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About the author (2010)

Laura Lee is the author of ten books including The Pocket Guide to Aggravation, The 100 Most Dangerous Things in Life, and The Elvis Impersonation Kit. She has been a regular contributor to the Times Union in Albany, Reader's Digest, and other newspapers and magazines. In addition to her writing career, she has sustained her less-than-stellar financial state with stints as a morning radio DJ, an improvisational comedian, a professional mime, and public relations director for a Russian Ballet Company. She lives near Detroit, Michigan.

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