Tuesday, 12 January 2016

Poorcraft: The Funnybook Fundamentals of Living Well on Less Review (C. Spike Trotman, Diana Nock)

Poorcraft is an edumacational comic for completely clueless people to help live within your means. It covers things like creating a financial budget, prioritising your income so that essential bills are paid first (rent/mortgage/loans/car payments), to teaching yourself to cook, finding the right place to live and how to furnish it, to keeping yourself fit and healthy, as well as avoiding modern financial pitfalls like advance payday loans. 

Some of the topics feel a bit too hippy-dippy, like growing your own food, raising chickens, and foraging(!). I don’t have the time, inclination or room to do the first two and I wouldn’t recommend anyone eat anything they pick up in the park either! I do remember my parents taking me and my brother for blackberry picking when we were kids which my Ma would then bake into delicious pies/crumbles but I still wouldn’t say foraging is any kind of substitute for going to the supermarket! 

I’m also British which means the section on buying healthcare insurance was moot – just the benefit of living in a socialist paradise, I guess! And making your own house-cleaning supplies – yikes. That’s a little extreme to save a small bit of cash! It has suggestions for almost everyone on the financial spectrum who’s interested in cutting back (obviously excluding the rich, damn them!), but especially for those who are in a serious jam, money-wise - there’s even a section on bankruptcy!

Writer Spike Trotman and artist Diana Nock both make this an enjoyable reading experience with cheerfully cartoonish art and all of the advice is couched in a cleverly-plotted story between our wise sage Penny, her cute dog Nickel, and her hopeless friend Mil. 

Note the “fundamentals” part of the title – a lot of this stuff is very basic and will be common sense for many but this is mainly intended for young people who’ve maybe moved out for the first time (or are thinking/dreaming about it) and will likely feel themselves out of their depth to start with. The section on selecting the right college that won’t leave you financially crippled for years afterwards will probably be useful for them too. That said, because Trotman covers so much ground, anyone looking to make savings/live more frugally in certain areas of their lives might find something for them here. 

Poorcraft is a very practical and accessible comic for anyone looking to live just as well for less but are also willing to go the extra mile to make that happen.

Poorcraft: The Funnybook Fundamentals of Living Well on Less

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