Common Pitfalls of Bumming Money

Looking to make some extra money on the side? Perhaps considering a new career? Every think about bumming for money? It can be a lucrative profession if done right. Unfortunately most people on the streets have a 4th grade education and seen a bit too much of the crack pipe.

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Avoid these common pitfalls and you should be on your way to collecting $200 and passing GO in no time.

Avoid Smoking and/or Drinking

If you have enough money to purchase a pack of cigarettes than you probably already have enough money to purchase your alcohol, too. If you can support both you’re doing pretty good. You can’t let people know you have enough money to keep up these expensive habits. Put out the cigarette and give the Natty Ice a rest for a few hours. We are trying to be convincing! Show some will power!

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Poor Sign Colors and Typeface

Let’s buck up folks – we want a decent sign. Try your best to spell things correctly and put some effort into it. If you are using brown cardboard try to use a marker color that will really “pop” during the day. Black is OK but it can still be a bit hard to see. Stay away from yellow and white (duh) as it won’t up very good against the brown background. Perhaps try using red, green or purple and outline the letters with black. You should be able to see this pretty far away which is a plus. Using a white or brown background is a better choice during the day and a black background with white lettering during the night is the most effective.

See that typeface and picture? That is what I called proper signage. Bum Wizard!

Poor Sign Materials

Cardboard? Poster board? The back of a McDonald’s bag? Your own body? Decisions that are hard to make. Cardboard is standard. It an be folded some what easily and if small enough can fit into the back of your pocket. If it’s too small than it can be hard to see. Poster board is flimsy and unless it’s Styrofoam board which is a bit more pricey and bulky which makes it hard to travel with. Using your body shows dedication. The chest area and stomach area the best choices which shouldn’t get you into too much trouble. The body sign method works best at the beach.

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Excellent use of sign materials. White study poster board on orange pole w/ rubberized handle.

You smell like shit – Bumming Appearance

You don’t want to look or smell so horrible that your not approachable. The passerby needs to be able to give you some charitable donations. Use some of your past bumming money to look desperate but not too desperate, either. Walk the fine line.

Put away your iPhone for one goddamn second – Cellphones/Texting

Your “bummin4change” twitter account can rest while you do your work. Texting can be useful when communicating with other bums scouting out better locations but you want people to believe you don’t have any money. I don’t think that iPhone and subscription plan is going to sell yourself.

Don’t bum in the projects, you dumbass – Bumming Location

Develop a strategy where you can target the specific population of people your looking for. The corners of long street lights and areas of middle class democrat dominate areas. The areas where there are enough people to notice you and be willing to stop.

Abducted by Aliens – Bumming Story/Sign

We’ve all heard the line of “Homeless w/ Family“, “Homeless Veteran” or “Will Work for Food“. That is called using a person’s guilty conscience to your advantage. If you really want money for booze or drugs than be honest. Follow the “Poor Signage” tips above and try something like this – “No bullshit – I need booze“. I respect that. If you really want to make some cash try something like this “I fucked up – I just need to feed my kids“. That one hits my heart strings. You’re admitting you made a mistake and asking for money, honestly. If you can create a story, do it. Try something like being abducted by aliens and having your memory erased and replaced with a horny gay man from the 1930’s. Be creative – sell yourself. Need some sign phrases? Here are some excellent examples.

-Family killed by Ninja Turtles, need money for Karate Lessons
-Need to make a down payment on a cheeseburger
-Tell me off for 25 cents
-Will eat for food
-Need money to get drunk so that 2 women can take me home and molest me

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Great costume with witty sign. 9.2/10

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Only Paypal, please.

I fear this person really is from the future

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Legit.

Conclusion

You don’t need a college degree to bum for money but it sure can help. Use common sense and rememberCoordinate your Sign Materials, Sign Colors, Bumming Location, and Bumming Story together to achieve the best result.

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J.A. Laraque

J.A. Laraque is a freelance writer and novelist. His passion for writing mixed with a comedic style and intelligent commentary has brought him success in his various endeavors. Whatever the subject, J.A. has an opinion on it and will present it in writing with an insight and flair that is both refreshing and informative.