A Podcast for People Who Are Bad With Money

by Elissa Sanci

Gaby Dunn, a Los Angeles-based YouTube star, made her entrance into the podcasting world when Bad With Money, a weekly podcast that focuses on — you guessed it — money, was released mid-August. The podcast, which is part of the Panoply network, has garnered a four-and-a-half-star rating in the few months since its debut. Bad With Money isn’t an instructional podcast; you won’t find tips on saving or a step-by-step guide to maximizing your income. Rather, Dunn opens the floor for a conversation that is rarely had, daring to talk about one of life’s most private topics.

Money is difficult to talk about for many people, women especially, and Dunn knows that. Instead of continuing to ignore it, she’s decided to grapple with the issue head-on, talking freely about her finances and how closely linked it is to every other aspect of our lives. In a world where women are paid less than men, Dunn is setting an example by speaking up. How else would she had known that she was paid nearly $25,000 less than a male co-worker at Buzzfeed if she hadn’t asked?

“I’ve always felt very comfortable talking about my sex life or my body, but I’ve never been comfortable talking about money, and why is that? Why is money the thing I won’t touch when I share everything else? So now I’m a woman with a money podcast,” Dunn said in an interview with Salon.

Previous to my introduction to this podcast, I would have easily slotted myself into the “money illiterate” category. Money is scary, budgeting is hard, and taxes are confusing. What’s notable about this podcast is that Dunn knows this too, and she uses her platform to break down large financial terms and concepts through conversations with guessed well-versed in money talk.

The podcast intends to normalize public discussion of money, and although Dunn doesn’t distribute advice on how to handle your finances (at least not in a straightforward way), I’ve still learned a ton from listening to the episodes, and it’s incentivized me to take control of my finances and teach myself the things that I once avoided because they seemed too complicated and scary. Here are three of the biggest takeaways I got from Bad With Money.

Poor Person Thinking v. Rich Person Thinking: Dunn talks with Dr. Brad Klontz, a financial psychologist, who explains the differences in the psychology in the way “poor” and “rich” people think in “Gaby Gets Her Head Examined.” The short of it is this — people with poor mentality spend money the moment they get it, while those with rich mentality save and invest their cash.

Prepare for the future by talking to your parents about their finances: No one wants to talk about death, or imagine what life will be like once your parents are gone. But death can be a very unexpected thing, and it’s better to be in the know about your parents’ finances before you’re wading through them on your own. Dunn delves into this topic in “Death is Fucking Expensive.”

If you’re struggling with money, you’re not alone: The most important thing I learned from Bad With Money is not an instructional one; instead, I learned that it was okay to talk about your issues with money. Week after week, Dunn’s revolving door of guests include comedians, artists, musicians, actors and many others talk about the ways money can make them feel hopeless, confused and overwhelmed. The iTunes description says it best — “this is a safe space to admit that you have no idea what you’re doing either.”

Top photo via iTunes

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