“People kept telling me, you seem less stressed out about money than the rest of us. I’m really good at living cheap. I did two years in Americorps, and I was a Catholic worker—you take a vow to live frugally. But I also got an economics degree and was a volunteer tax preparer for low-income people. So I guess I just hate money less. I also enjoy dressing up in costumes to explain things.
I talk about personal finance and teach investing and budgeting at conferences and in my own workshops. Five-inch heels and spandex—for a lot of people, David Bowie helps. The message is basic: spend less than you earn, invest the rest. Don’t try to time the stock market. Don’t go into debt if you can avoid it. It doesn’t have to be complicated. But money is emotional. So you need to feel comforted by the person you’re talking to, or you’ll shut down. I talk to people who want cats and glitter with their personal finance.
I started Oh My Dollar because there wasn’t much in the podcast world: Marketplace Money, Planet Money, and Dave Ramsey, who is a phenomenal host but is a conservative Christian who proselytizes a bit and talks about women staying in the kitchen. Not my audience!
I’m a big fan of index investing. Don’t try to pick stocks. Tax planning is important for everyone, including low-income people.
My new workbook, which we funded on Kickstarter, will get you through all the personal finance basics. Budgeting, retirement planning, credit scores—all explained with cat analogies and cat illustrations. Imagine adorable cats, rolling around on piles of money. It’s meant to be an incredibly cute thing that you want to hang out with.
Twenty-year-old me would judge me for how I spend money now. She would be appalled at the fancy stockings and high-end fitness. But she also ate out of Dumpsters a lot.”