Broke-Ass of the Week

Broke-Ass of the Week: Travel Writer Spencer Spellman

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Every week we feature a different person from the community shedding a little light on their life of brokeitude. Who knows, maybe you’ll learn something about the human spirit – probably not.

Wanna be a Broke-Ass of the Week? Holler at us here and we’ll send you the questionnaire.

Our featured Broke-Ass this week is another dude with an enviable job: travel writer. Which means he gets to spend his whole winter in Costa Rica while New York freezes their asses of and San Francisco – well, San Francisco is pretty warm actually, but it’s no Playa del Coco. Take it away, Spencer:

Name: Spencer Spellman

Age: 27

Occupation: The title on my tax forms is Freelance Travel Writer, but these days I tell people I sell drugs; it takes out a lot of explaining. Being from the south, people don’t understand how I get to travel and make money from it; but they much better understand if you tell them you sell drugs.

What neighborhood do you live in?: For the last 3 months I’ve been doing the nomadic lifestyle and will be spending this winter in Playa del Coco, Costa Rica.

What are you listening to these days?: David Gray is my rock, but I’ve recently become quite the fan of Mumford and Sons.

Best money saving tip: Book your flights Tuesday afternoon and never on the weekend. People think that even if they are looking for a weekday flight on the weekend that it’ll be cheap, but it’s just not the case.

What do you refuse to spend money on?: Condiments. Seriously, you’re going to charge me for an extra tub of ranch for my wings. That’s like two tablespoons anyway so you’re really not losing anything restaurants.

Most expensive thing you’ve ever bought: Definitely the MacBook I recently bought. It was a refurb and so that made me feel a little better for dropping several hundred dollars.

How’d that feel?: It was rough. Kind of like when you pull out that one Jenga block and the whole thing falls down. However, it felt much better a couple days later when I was getting calls for my old laptop, which I had posted on Craigslist

Favorite cheap eat: Definitely food trucks. It’s the best of all worlds. Tasty, fresh food cooked right there that you can easily take on the go. Plus, I can stand there and make sure they don’t spit in my food when I curse the day of their birth when I mispronounce things like Falafel or Gyro.

Favorite dive bar: Professor Thom’s in Manhattan’s East Village. It’s a little bigger than your typical dive bar and they’ve got great happy hour specials. It doesn’t hurt that it’s in my favorite part of New York City.

Best deal you’ve ever gotten: I was at a jazz club once and got a free slice of cheesecake and beer. There’s free and then there’s free alcohol and desserts. It’s like winning the lottery.

Favorite free thing to do: My first time riding the AirTrain at JFK was my favorite free thing to do until I hopped off and found out you have to pay after you ride. But I’d probably have to say kissing; well except when I had to pay a dollar at the school fair when I was young.

If you woke up a millionaire, what’s the first thing you’d buy?: New underwear. I can never justify spending money on new underwear. I mean why spend so much money on something that nobody most people won’t see.

Despite not having money, do you still love your life?: Absolutely. Awhile back I decided that I would rather not have much money and do what I love, then have money and be miserable.

Do you own my book?: Wait, what you wrote a book? [Ed. Note: yeah, two of ’em!]

Best hangover cure: Burger with bacon, fries, and a milk shake. I’m not convinced it touches a hangover, but it sure is good.

Are you a hipster?: Hell no. I got too much junk in my trunk.

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Andrew Dalton - Aggressive Panhandler

Andrew Dalton - Aggressive Panhandler

Andrew is an East Coast transplant from Virginia hamming it up in San Francisco without any intention of leaving. Having worked every typical job from Bike Shop Employee to Bartender to Ad Agency Hotshot, to Dotcom Layoff he now busts his ass covering the "weird things to do" beat for gracious local audiences at and rallies the Western Addy/Lower Haight/Panhandle neighborhoods into action at His work was published in a real, paper magazine one time. One day he might even figure out how to make money from it.