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10 Reasons Why Doing Good Stuff is Actually Good For You and Your Wallet

Updated: Jun 30, 2016 12:13
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I originally wrote this article for, which no longer exists but was website all about doing good stuff for the world.


“Oooh, look at me, I read Tonic and wanna do good stuff for the world…blah blah blah”. If you couldn’t tell, that was me doing my impression of you reading Tonic. Hey, I’m not saying there’s anything wrong with wanting to do good, I’m just saying that there’s gotta be a little part of you that’s wondering, “what’s in this for me?”. Right? Come on, you can be honest with Uncle Broke-Ass, I won’t tell anyone. Look, whether you admit it or not, I don’t really care. I’m just here to show you a few ways that being a goody-two-shoes can actually be beneficial to you AND your scrawny little bank account. They’re in no particular order, so don’t ask.

Kicking it backstage at a soup kitchen

1. Feeding the Homeless: This one is a no brainer. Go down to your nearest homeless shelter and ask how you can volunteer. Then do it. After the shift is done you generally get to eat some of the food you’ve been doling out all day. I know that PB&Js and vegetable soup doesn’t sound all that amazing, but after three hours of serving it and not eating it, there is nothing you want more in the world. Plus you get to drink all the coffee you want for free. A homeless shelter without unlimited free coffee is just one big smelly riot waiting to happen.

2. Planting Trees: Who needs a gym membership when you’re outside working with a shovel and hoe all day long? Check out the Arbor Day Foundation for more information about tree planting than you can possibly fathom. And fellas, physical labor isn’t just good for the muscles, chicks dig a guy who’s a little dirty and smells a bit like man stink. They say there’s a lot of pheromones in men’s sweat.


You greedy bastard! Save some for the rest of us dammit!

3. Recycle: Collecting bottles and cans isn’t just for little old bag ladies and homeless Vietnam Vets anymore. You, yes you, can cash in on the craze that’s sweeping the nation, (well, swept the nation 20 years ago) Recycling! All you gotta do is get a bag (or a shopping cart), pick up the aluminum cans and plastic bottles you see everywhere, and take them to your nearest recycling center (often found near supermarkets in the suburbs). You my friend might be able to make a whole $10!!!

4. Volunteer: Just go volunteer anywhere. Do you know how good that shit looks on your resume or college application? It’s like in elementary school when your teacher would put gold stars on your homework, except it’s better. It’s like a gold star from god or Barrack Obama or something.


Fuck you Death! You can’t find us if we move to Florida!

5. Hang Out with Old People: Old people are often lonely and looking for someone to talk to. That person can be you. Sure they might repeat themselves 15 times, but it’s like free entertainment because they’ve got awesome stories that prove how big of pussies your entire generation is. Plus, if they like you enough, maybe they’ll put you in their will.

6. Always Tip 20 Percent: Alright, I really just put this one in here because I’ve waited tables for most of my adult life. But seriously, being a good tipper is like being a patron of the arts. There’s a good chance your waiter is involved in the arts in some way and you tipping well ensures that they won’t starve to death or run out of drugs. Plus people who don’t tip well are fucking schmucks.

At least it will make recycling easier.

7. Ride a Bike: Not only are you saving Mother Earth from choking to death on exhaust fumes, you’re saving yourself a ton of money on car payments, insurance, and gas. It’s also a good way to lose some of that Budweiser weight you’ve been carrying around since junior year of college. And think about how good your legs will look in a skirt or a utility kilt.

8. Get a Reusable Water Bottle: Apparently the number one thing in American landfills is plastic water bottles, so getting a reusable one (like a Nalgene bottle) is like being eco-conscious and accessorizing. Not only can you get different colors to match different outfits, you can finally have a place to put those damn Phish stickers you’ve been carrying around since tour in ’99.

The sweet (I mean disgusting) smell of compost.

Ahhh, the sweet (I mean disgusting) smell of compost.

9. Composting: Why pay for shit (literally) to grow your plants in when you can grow them in stuff that’s rotting? I’m not sure which actually smells worse, but at least if you grow your veggies in compost you can be all organic man. Check out How to to learn all about it.

10. Buy My Books: Sure this is shameless self promotion, but seriously if you’re into stuff that’s cheap and local with healthy amount of shit talking, there’s no better resource in the world…except maybe my website.

photos from: New Birth Society, Teinbridge, Don’t Have Kids, Methodshop,

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Broke-Ass Stuart - Editor In Cheap

Broke-Ass Stuart - Editor In Cheap

Stuart Schuffman, aka Broke-Ass Stuart, is a travel writer, poet, TV host, activist, and general shit-stirrer. His website is one of the most influential arts & culture sites in the San Francisco Bay Area and his freelance writing has been featured in Lonely Planet, Conde Nast Traveler, The Bold Italic, and too many other outlets to remember. His weekly column, Broke-Ass City, appears every other Thursday in the San Francisco Examiner. Stuart’s writing has been translated into four languages. In 2011 Stuart created and hosted the travel show Young, Broke, and Beautiful on IFC and in 2015 he ran for Mayor of San Francisco and got nearly 20k votes.

He's been called "an Underground legend": SF Chronicle, "an SF cult hero":SF Bay Guardian, and "the chief of cheap": Time Out New York.


  1. March 3, 2010 at 2:28 pm

    Great summary of good ideas to do good! Enjoyed it and will try to take the advice!

  2. Broke-Ass Stuart - Editor In Cheap
    March 3, 2010 at 3:40 pm

    Nice! Glad you dig it 🙂