Sunday, February 10, 2019

Bad with Money: The Imperfect Art of Getting Your Financial Sh*t Together by Gaby Dunn

This isn't the type of book I would normally obtain for myself, but I'm a huge fan of Gaby Dunn and have been ever since her BuzzFeed days, so in a show of support, I downloaded the book from Netgalley and read it without adding it as "currently reading" on Goodreads just in case it wasn't the type of book that I wanted to move forward with.

As others have mentioned, BAD WITH MONEY is equal parts memoir and financial self-help guide. Some people seemed put out by the memoir parts, and I can see how if you were looking for something solidly informational, that could be annoying. Personally, I thought her struggles with loans, over-spending parents, and lack of college resources made her relatable and gave her cred. It was like, "Look, I've struggled and seriously regret some of the mistakes I made that have made my current situation so difficult. Let me tell you how I fucked up so you don't."

I honestly would recommend this to older teens who are just about to start college (or are already in college). My mom told me a lot of this stuff already, but there were still things I didn't know (text messages count as wills in some states?!). Dunn gives some pretty great advice on a wide array of topics ranging from "is your unpaid internship a scam?" to "intro to tax forms 101" to the hidden costs of weddings and babies to "millennials are destroying everything: a baby-boomer story"-type clickbait bullshit opinion pieces.

People love to talk about how millennials are the over-privileged, lazy generation - one that they usually envision as a white, blonde, upper middle-class stereotype decked out in Anthropologie and sucking down on a customized Starbucks drink while using ten unfathomable apps expertly on the Pixel 3. The sad reality is that a lot of millennials can't afford health insurance, spend most of their paychecks on rent, are overqualified for the jobs they perform, weighed down by student loans, and find themselves without property, much less a well-balanced checkbook. They live in a tanked economy that was spoiled by the generation that came before them, and that generation continues to do its damnedest to continue to make their lives hell by mocking them for eating avocado toast.

The fact of the matter is, being a millennial is hard. There's no easy entre into adult life, and as much as we're sneered at for not knowing how to "adult," a lot of this stuff isn't taught in schools, and if you aren't lucky enough to have a parent or guardian figure who's willing to walk you through this kind of stuff, you might be SOL the next time you apply for a credit card or file your W2.

I enjoyed BAD WITH MONEY. The balance of memoir and instruction guide doesn't always quite work, but she says what she has to say with candor and a ready willingness to help.

Thanks to Netgalley/the publisher for the review copy!

3 out of 5 stars

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