The raw, honest power of stories about money

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Seattle – personal finance professionals often live in the realm of tools and tactics, optimization and automation. Their advice – our advice – is often completely bloodless.

Gaby Dunn, Chanel Reynolds and Vicki Robin are not everyday personal finance practitioners. Ms. Dunn and Ms. Reynolds used vulgarity in the subtitles of the new money book, and Ms. Robin spoke out about her stomach acid, mental illness and cancer scars.

Ms. Dunn, 30, is the author of “Bad With Money.” The book, named after her podcast, is about financial problems that previous generations may never have encountered, and has a powerful punk theme song that encourages a bout of “beat your ass” financial fear. ”

Ms. Reynolds, 48, became an expert on the death of her husband, jose, and the logistics and financial madness that followed. She describes it all in “the most important thing.”

At the age of 73, ms robyn has achieved advanced mastership as penguin has released an updated version of the 1992 classic phone to calculate overspending, our relationship with money and our definition of “your money or your life”.

“We talk to people with our stories, not with their spreadsheets,” Ms. Reynolds told me this week.

That’s why I put them on the same table: so the rest of us can listen.

RON LIEBER: Vicki, the origin story of the chanel book is clear, because it all started when her husband was riding his bike in Seattle when he was hit by a van. But how did you and your late partner Joe Dominguez end up writing a book?

VICKI ROBIN: Joe retired early from Wall Street, and he and I and others created a conscious community, because that’s what you did. It is in the rhineland state of northern Wisconsin. And then we built what we call the ultimate vehicle from the chassis, the home of the automobile, which will last for 20 years.


People started asking us, “why aren’t you working?” We are free, but we are not.

Robin: so Joe started explaining the basic math to people: spend less, save more. At first we taught a few friends. There were 20 people in the basement of a church in phoenix. And then, four years later, it was a whack from 400 people. We wrote in the new times, and the editor found us.

LIEBER: Chanel, you first came across Vicki’s book after college, right?

CHANEL REYNOLDS: I’m ready for life. My mom bought me two books. With you [pointing at lady robin], I read the whole article and thought, “oh my god, I could totally turn it into mine.”

My relationship with money may be my own condition that matches the unique approach I want to take. I don’t want to wear a lady’s suit or pantyhose, and I don’t want to be a vice President. I refuse to be a Green Tortoise bus driver throughout graduate school.

The second book is “everything” by Helen Gurley Brown.

LIEBER: Gaby, when did you begin to think that you might serve people who are confused about money?

Dunn: I started the podcast in a place of frustration, despair and sadness. I know I regret many of the choices I made in my 20s – unpaid internships, student loans.

I have audiences from YouTube and other writing, but I don’t know if they care about money. But if it continues to happen to me, it must continue for others.

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