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The beloved writer-comedian expands on her popular podcast with an entertaining, refreshing, and empowering book chronicling her quest for financial literacy. In the first episode of her “Bad With Money” podcast, Gaby Dunn asked random people at a coffee shop two questions: First, what’s your favorite sex position? Everyone was game to answer, even the barista. No holds ba The beloved writer-comedian expands on her popular podcast with an entertaining, refreshing, and empowering book chronicling her quest for financial literacy. In the first episode of her “Bad With Money” podcast, Gaby Dunn asked random people at a coffee shop two questions: First, what’s your favorite sex position? Everyone was game to answer, even the barista. No holds barred. Then, she asked them how much money was in their bank accounts. Deathly silence. People were aghast. “That’s a very personal question!” they cried. And therein lies the problem. Gaby argues that our inability to speak honestly about money is our #1 barrier to understanding it, nurturing a stigma that leads to our shame, embarrassment, and anxiety, which in turn prevents us from taking ownership over this important part of our lives. She wants you to know that there are real reasons to feel helpless when it comes to managing your money, and that the patronizing know-it-alls on TV who blow air horns in your face and charge you up the wazoo for their self-help seminars do not have the answers. But despair not, there is a light at the end of this dark, moneyless tunnel. Through her own journey toward “financial literacy,” Gaby uncovers the real reasons that we feel so disempowered when it comes to finance—deeply rooted habits we inherited from our families, systemic imbalances, and intentionally-complicated terminology that makes it impossible for regular people to feel competent. Bad With Money isn’t going to tell you how to get rich or erase your debt, nor will it offer up a litany of humiliating confessions about horrible financial decisions that Gaby has made (okay, maybe some): it is an invitation from a friend who is just as clueless as you are. Equal parts memoir and journalistic investigation, Gaby covers topics like the financial dynamics of dating, the costs of mental health, and how to maintain your self-respect as a freelancer. In addition to debunking the “entitled millennial” stereotype, Gaby reveals essential truths like how “401K” is not the name of a sci-fi movie, why it feels like your bank teller is speaking a foreign language, and how to decide whether to take an unpaid internship. Weaving her own stories with the perspectives of various researchers, artists, students, her parents, a financial psychologist, her exes, and more, she reveals the ways that money makes us feel confused, hopeless, and terrified, and what it might look like to start taking control of our financial futures.


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The beloved writer-comedian expands on her popular podcast with an entertaining, refreshing, and empowering book chronicling her quest for financial literacy. In the first episode of her “Bad With Money” podcast, Gaby Dunn asked random people at a coffee shop two questions: First, what’s your favorite sex position? Everyone was game to answer, even the barista. No holds ba The beloved writer-comedian expands on her popular podcast with an entertaining, refreshing, and empowering book chronicling her quest for financial literacy. In the first episode of her “Bad With Money” podcast, Gaby Dunn asked random people at a coffee shop two questions: First, what’s your favorite sex position? Everyone was game to answer, even the barista. No holds barred. Then, she asked them how much money was in their bank accounts. Deathly silence. People were aghast. “That’s a very personal question!” they cried. And therein lies the problem. Gaby argues that our inability to speak honestly about money is our #1 barrier to understanding it, nurturing a stigma that leads to our shame, embarrassment, and anxiety, which in turn prevents us from taking ownership over this important part of our lives. She wants you to know that there are real reasons to feel helpless when it comes to managing your money, and that the patronizing know-it-alls on TV who blow air horns in your face and charge you up the wazoo for their self-help seminars do not have the answers. But despair not, there is a light at the end of this dark, moneyless tunnel. Through her own journey toward “financial literacy,” Gaby uncovers the real reasons that we feel so disempowered when it comes to finance—deeply rooted habits we inherited from our families, systemic imbalances, and intentionally-complicated terminology that makes it impossible for regular people to feel competent. Bad With Money isn’t going to tell you how to get rich or erase your debt, nor will it offer up a litany of humiliating confessions about horrible financial decisions that Gaby has made (okay, maybe some): it is an invitation from a friend who is just as clueless as you are. Equal parts memoir and journalistic investigation, Gaby covers topics like the financial dynamics of dating, the costs of mental health, and how to maintain your self-respect as a freelancer. In addition to debunking the “entitled millennial” stereotype, Gaby reveals essential truths like how “401K” is not the name of a sci-fi movie, why it feels like your bank teller is speaking a foreign language, and how to decide whether to take an unpaid internship. Weaving her own stories with the perspectives of various researchers, artists, students, her parents, a financial psychologist, her exes, and more, she reveals the ways that money makes us feel confused, hopeless, and terrified, and what it might look like to start taking control of our financial futures.

30 review for Bad with Money: The Imperfect Art of Getting Your Financial Sh*t Together

  1. 4 out of 5

    Nenia ✨️ Socially Awkward Trash Panda ✨️ Campbell

    Instagram || Twitter || Facebook || Amazon || Pinterest 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 Instagram || Twitter || Facebook || Amazon || Pinterest 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 stars

  2. 4 out of 5

    BookOfCinz

    More entertaining than educational The book started out with a lot of promise. Dunn talked about her family's relationship with money and how that impacted her life. I thought the book would be an exploration of how to not be bad with money. It was more Dunn talking about how bad she was with money with some bits of advice thrown in. I guess I wanted more educational content. If you are looking for a hilarious memoir that is centered around money you will enjoy this. If you are looking for practic More entertaining than educational The book started out with a lot of promise. Dunn talked about her family's relationship with money and how that impacted her life. I thought the book would be an exploration of how to not be bad with money. It was more Dunn talking about how bad she was with money with some bits of advice thrown in. I guess I wanted more educational content. If you are looking for a hilarious memoir that is centered around money you will enjoy this. If you are looking for practical ways to be better with money, this book might not be it.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Heather Brown

    While I found this book enjoyable, I was hoping for more instruction than anecdote from it. Gaby Dunn has written a fun book about living the best you can and trying to figure out the personal and societal issue that is money. She talks a lot about herself and her family and friends, in order to put us all at ease, but I wanted just a little more hard facts and info. As a reading book I would definitely pick this, especially as an audiobook or beach read.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Kevin

    Every 18 old should read this. The evils of school loans, making emotional decisions on where we go to college, consumer credit wickedness, the truth about credit, saving and budgeting.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Sarah

    I contributed this review to Really Into This Check out all of our reviews at https://reallyintothis.com Happy Reading, friends! A book that breaks down the culture of money, finance, wealth & more. I need this book in my life! PAIRS WELL WITH THE PODCAST Since seeing this book on Instagram, I’ve listened to several episodes of Gaby’s podcast of the same name. Through the episodes, listeners get to know Gaby. We learn a bit about her financial history & it makes her more relatable. We also learn a bi I contributed this review to Really Into This Check out all of our reviews at https://reallyintothis.com Happy Reading, friends! A book that breaks down the culture of money, finance, wealth & more. I need this book in my life! PAIRS WELL WITH THE PODCAST Since seeing this book on Instagram, I’ve listened to several episodes of Gaby’s podcast of the same name. Through the episodes, listeners get to know Gaby. We learn a bit about her financial history & it makes her more relatable. We also learn a bit about what drives her financial decisions. For instance, she donates money to charities she cares about. She also breaks down finances in a way that represents regular working people. I love it. LET’S BE HONEST ABOUT MONEY In the Bad With Money book, Gaby displays a vulnerability I truly respect. She outlines her family’s monetary history & how it influences her decisions even today. I also love she shares her experiences with mental health & how it impacts her finances. Throughout the book, Gaby encourages us all to talk about money. Through sharing our experiences, our mistakes & our triumphs with each other we can navigate the complicated financial world. Working together, this financial journey won’t be as isolating & scary. I love it because people can be so weird about money. It shouldn’t be this way & Gaby tries to bring so many financial discussions into the light. SOME TAKEAWAYS One thing I love about this book are the takeaways. At the end of each chapter, Gaby places a few bullet points. Each bullet details, you guessed it, the takeaways. These are great for all readers. This way it’s so easy to go back & refresh your mind as needed. Yes, I read the chapters about W-2s, 1099’s & other tax forms. Could I use a refresher? You bet your ass. THE VERDICT I am Really Into This book! Bad With Money is a resourceful book that breaks down finances in a hilarious, honest & meaningful way. Buy this book for every high school or college graduate you know. While you’re at it, buy yourself a copy! Special thanks to Gaby Dunn & Atria Books for providing our copy in exchange for an honest & fair review.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Lindsey

    I could pretty much always use 200+ pages of someone telling me guilt, shame & anxiety won't help me make better financial decisions, so this was pretty useful for me! I was familiar with most of the terms/concepts she goes over, but I did learn a few things & appreciated the accessible writing style. Tbh I skimmed some of the systemic analysis stuff because it wasn't new to me, but also how great is it to see a personal finance book acknowledge individual decisions can't change systemic inequal I could pretty much always use 200+ pages of someone telling me guilt, shame & anxiety won't help me make better financial decisions, so this was pretty useful for me! I was familiar with most of the terms/concepts she goes over, but I did learn a few things & appreciated the accessible writing style. Tbh I skimmed some of the systemic analysis stuff because it wasn't new to me, but also how great is it to see a personal finance book acknowledge individual decisions can't change systemic inequality (but might make it more survivable)?

  7. 5 out of 5

    MEGAN C

    Some of it is very American focused and doesn’t work in the Canadian context.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Meredith

    Some interesting stats and definitely gives you something to think about. But it just wasn't what I was expecting.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Karen

    Wow. So, Gaby is Bad with Money. This book is more memoir than how to so if you're looking for a straightforward how to get out of debt or how to handle money book, this isn't the best choice. There are financial tips throughout, but they are connected to lessons she's learned and not set up as a straight how to. If, on the other hand, you're looking for a funny, honest memoir about money troubles and learning how to not be bad with money, this is your book. Gaby writes with honesty and humor ab Wow. So, Gaby is Bad with Money. This book is more memoir than how to so if you're looking for a straightforward how to get out of debt or how to handle money book, this isn't the best choice. There are financial tips throughout, but they are connected to lessons she's learned and not set up as a straight how to. If, on the other hand, you're looking for a funny, honest memoir about money troubles and learning how to not be bad with money, this is your book. Gaby writes with honesty and humor about her past monetary foibles and complete lack of financial knowledge and I know there are those who will greatly identify with her. My first roommate would simply stop writing down the checks she wrote in her checking account ledger when she was getting close to $0. Not stop spending... just stopped writing it down. Yeah, sure, that's how that works. I made plenty of my own mistakes with money over the years. At this point, in my mid-40s, I've learned to budget and my only debt is my mortgage which I've happily gotten paid down by nearly half over the past 5 years (I'm so looking forward to the day I make that last payment!). But it's been a journey rewriting the money scripts I learned growing up. Throughout the book, she tells not only her own story, but inserts what she's learned from interviewing experts and talking to friends and family along the way. Don't keep waiting, hoping for some windfall to save the day and fix all your money problems, get on a budget. This book would be especially useful to a younger person - teens and 20s - as a warning what not to do and how to get a good start on handling money. I would also recommend checking out her podcast, also titled Bad with Money. I've started from the beginning and am really enjoying the interviews she does with experts and people in her life talking about money. Thank you to Atria Books and NetGalley for the opportunity to read this book in exchange for my honest review.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Gabriella

    Bad with Money by Gaby Dunn is a 60-40 split between a memoir and financial advice book, which offered just enough self-help and just enough self-loathing for my tastes. One of my favorite things about this book is that she admittedly acknowledges that financial advice is sort of foolish in our current economy—throughout the book, whenever you may start to feel too down on your spending habits, Dunn is there to offer the helpful disclaimer that the ultimate problem is that you probably aren’t pa Bad with Money by Gaby Dunn is a 60-40 split between a memoir and financial advice book, which offered just enough self-help and just enough self-loathing for my tastes. One of my favorite things about this book is that she admittedly acknowledges that financial advice is sort of foolish in our current economy—throughout the book, whenever you may start to feel too down on your spending habits, Dunn is there to offer the helpful disclaimer that the ultimate problem is that you probably aren’t paid enough money for the ever-growing expenses of American life. This leads to several chapters of financial advice that don’t require you to turn your conscience off before reading (before you say I am so clever, this phrase is stolen from my Episcopal uncle, who succinctly describes his denomination as “church where you don’t have to turn your brain off.”) Dunn doesn’t shy away from the “racial, classist, ableist, transphobic, homophobic, and misogynistic tints to money that can’t be ignored.” Instead of ignoring them, she sees them as all the MORE reason why we shouldn’t experience shame about our money issues, and should communicate these challenges honestly and openly, so that we can resolve as many as possible. She’s arguing for the middle ground in a way that’s inherently logical, by calling for systemic and individual accountability : “we can prepare for future medical debts while still calling our congressional representatives to put universal health care in place.” In addition to the strong ethical grounding of Bad with Money, Dunn is also a hilarious commentator and master conversationalist, which makes sense given the frequent interviews on her podcast. She also speaks to a number of financial experts here, but their insights appear alongside #relatable, meme-like asides: “It’s an unsolvable catch 22: how can I make sure I have what I need to exist and succeed within a broken system without supporting that system? To borrow from my own tweet: ‘me on Twitter: burn the capitalist system/Me on Amazon: check out my wish list’.” Finally, I really enjoyed her accounts of how our early life experiences lead us to develop money scripts, which is right on time for me, given my own therapy visits and obsessive consumption of Esther Perel podcasts. This is another helpful way Dun encourages her readers to arrive at a more empathetic rationalization of their spending habits, and to ensure that we are learning more than a bunch of fad diets (I mean budgeting tricks.) TLDR: Kudos to Gaby Dunn, and please read this if you are looking for common-sense financial self-help alongside an enjoyable memoir of an “LA creative.”

  11. 5 out of 5

    Lucie

    *Received a review copy from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review* I'm so sad that I didn't LOVE this, because I do love Gaby Dunn (or at least I thought I did). Firstly, do not read this if you are actually looking for financial advice. She covers topics so broadly that I found most of the tips to be so superficial that I can only imagine them being helpful if you have literally 0 knowledge of anything financial. Like 0. Maybe even negative knowledge. Even then I feel that there are better *Received a review copy from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review* I'm so sad that I didn't LOVE this, because I do love Gaby Dunn (or at least I thought I did). Firstly, do not read this if you are actually looking for financial advice. She covers topics so broadly that I found most of the tips to be so superficial that I can only imagine them being helpful if you have literally 0 knowledge of anything financial. Like 0. Maybe even negative knowledge. Even then I feel that there are better books out there to help you learn these things & that go more in depth while still being readable. This was much more memoir/anecdote than I thought it would be as well, which might not have been a problem except for the fact that I just didn't like a lot of the anecdotes she shared. For example at one point she writes about a discussion she had with her mom about the student loans she was allowed to take so she could go to school out of state. It almost seemed like she was mad at her mom for letting her do that for her mental health? But in the next paragraph she writes about her old journal entries which state that she was seriously considering suicide if she had to stay in state. I don't know, it seems a little bit ridiculous to me that she would be mad at her parents for that when she was in such a state... Finally there were a decent amount of "social justice-y" (for lack of a better term) thoughts shared. Even though she was technically preaching to the choir I still felt it was pretty heavy handed and not done as well as it could've been. I also think that a book where she's trying to encourage people to take control of their financial problems didn't benefit from constant reminding about how "the system wasn't made for you". While this might be true, unless you are ready to somehow overthrow the government right now you have to learn how to work within it and I would've appreciated a little more focus on that. Overall this was just not as good as I wanted it to be and that was pretty disappointing to me.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Ariel ✨

    I liked it! I do like Gaby Dunn's "Bad With Money" podcast, and this book seemed like an extended podcast episode with no guests. It is very 101, so someone with a good grasp of basic financial literacy likely will not learn anything. Other reviews mention being disappointed that the book was primarily anecdotes from Dunn's life and the lives of her friends, but I liked the anecdotes! I already love reading Refinery29's Money Diaries series and The Financial Diet's Financial Confessions, so I kn I liked it! I do like Gaby Dunn's "Bad With Money" podcast, and this book seemed like an extended podcast episode with no guests. It is very 101, so someone with a good grasp of basic financial literacy likely will not learn anything. Other reviews mention being disappointed that the book was primarily anecdotes from Dunn's life and the lives of her friends, but I liked the anecdotes! I already love reading Refinery29's Money Diaries series and The Financial Diet's Financial Confessions, so I knew this book would entertain me. I admittedly don't know much about Gaby Dunn, I just listen to her podcast and see her pop up every once in a while on YouTube or TV. It's been fun listening to her learn about money, and frankly, it's also reassuring to know that I'm not totally alone in my confusion about what I assumed were basic financial concepts.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Cy

    this was a pretty easy read, considering the subject. the author's voice is very casual--like talking to a friend (probably because this is based on her podcast lol). it was definitely a lot more memoir-y than i was expecting. there are still tips and facts but many more anecdotes and just general advice. i did skim through a couple chapters that just didn't apply to me, like how to save for a wedding or for having a baby. anyway, it was comforting to read this, because the author repeatedly poin this was a pretty easy read, considering the subject. the author's voice is very casual--like talking to a friend (probably because this is based on her podcast lol). it was definitely a lot more memoir-y than i was expecting. there are still tips and facts but many more anecdotes and just general advice. i did skim through a couple chapters that just didn't apply to me, like how to save for a wedding or for having a baby. anyway, it was comforting to read this, because the author repeatedly points out that not only is all this stuff confusing, but it's also incredibly common to get a late start on your financial planning--many people aren't taught about budgeting or how to plan for retirement, and it's often no fault of your own if you're just starting out now. that was nice to hear. anyway, much more interesting than i expected for a 250 page book about finance. i do wish i had learned a little more, but i guess this is more of an introductory overview than an in-depth how-to.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Angela Sullivan

    gaby skillfully weaves memoir-type stories, personal finance tips, and intersectional analysis of predatory and capitalistic structures together to create this incredibly insightful book. tons of resources, diverse perspectives.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Sarah Ames-Foley

    Doesn't feel like there's anything new if you've already listened to the podcast, but probably a good read if you haven't or if you'd like to read through what you'd already heard.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Leslie

    I loved the writing and style of this book, but wish I'd known it would regurgitate the whole podcast series before I bought it. The author brings up several good ideas and the personal narrative makes it easier to follow. I especially like the "Key Takeaways" at the end of each chapter. For a reader that identifies as young, broke, and unaware of the systems related to money, this book would be a great introduction.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Kayle

    I highly recommend the "Bad With Money" podcast by Gaby Dunn. The book is fine, but you could get the same message/ideas from the podcast. Would be a great book for a high school or college-aged kid heading out for the first time into the world to help them steer clear of common money pitfalls.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Really Into This

    Sarah contributed this review to Really Into This Check out all of our reviews at https://reallyintothis.com Happy Reading, friends! A book that breaks down the culture of money, finance, wealth & more. I need this book in my life! PAIRS WELL WITH THE PODCAST Since seeing this book on Instagram, I’ve listened to several episodes of Gaby’s podcast of the same name. Through the episodes, listeners get to know Gaby. We learn a bit about her financial history & it makes her more relatable. We also learn Sarah contributed this review to Really Into This Check out all of our reviews at https://reallyintothis.com Happy Reading, friends! A book that breaks down the culture of money, finance, wealth & more. I need this book in my life! PAIRS WELL WITH THE PODCAST Since seeing this book on Instagram, I’ve listened to several episodes of Gaby’s podcast of the same name. Through the episodes, listeners get to know Gaby. We learn a bit about her financial history & it makes her more relatable. We also learn a bit about what drives her financial decisions. For instance, she donates money to charities she cares about. She also breaks down finances in a way that represents regular working people. I love it. LET’S BE HONEST ABOUT MONEY In the Bad With Money book, Gaby displays a vulnerability I truly respect. She outlines her family’s monetary history & how it influences her decisions even today. I also love she shares her experiences with mental health & how it impacts her finances. Throughout the book, Gaby encourages us all to talk about money. Through sharing our experiences, our mistakes & our triumphs with each other we can navigate the complicated financial world. Working together, this financial journey won’t be as isolating & scary. I love it because people can be so weird about money. It shouldn’t be this way & Gaby tries to bring so many financial discussions into the light. SOME TAKEAWAYS One thing I love about this book are the takeaways. At the end of each chapter, Gaby places a few bullet points. Each bullet details, you guessed it, the takeaways. These are great for all readers. This way it’s so easy to go back & refresh your mind as needed. Yes, I read the chapters about W-2s, 1099’s & other tax forms. Could I use a refresher? You bet your ass. THE VERDICT I am Really Into This book! Bad With Money is a resourceful book that breaks down finances in a hilarious, honest & meaningful way. Buy this book for every high school or college graduate you know. While you’re at it, buy yourself a copy! Special thanks to Gaby Dunn & Atria Books for providing our copy in exchange for an honest & fair review.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Andrea Everett

    I've gotten out of the habit of writing reviews in recent months, so this is my attempt to remedy that. #NewYearNewMe. I've been a fan of Gaby Dunn's work for a while, though I've only sporadically listened to the Bad With Money podcast. I put the book on my TBR shelf almost a year ago and I don't remember what compelled me to put it on hold at the library (this was only two weeks ago; in my defense, I was writing a paper). At 265 breezy pages, BMW is a quick read chock-full of useful information I've gotten out of the habit of writing reviews in recent months, so this is my attempt to remedy that. #NewYearNewMe. I've been a fan of Gaby Dunn's work for a while, though I've only sporadically listened to the Bad With Money podcast. I put the book on my TBR shelf almost a year ago and I don't remember what compelled me to put it on hold at the library (this was only two weeks ago; in my defense, I was writing a paper). At 265 breezy pages, BMW is a quick read chock-full of useful information. As a young adult striving to improve my financial literacy in a crumbling capitalist society, this book was perfect for me. Even if you know the difference between a 401(k) and a Roth IRA (I didn't before reading this book and to be honest I'd still have to consult the book in order to explain the difference), Dunn provides invaluable evidence for the intersection between finance and race-/sexuality-/gender-/ability-based discrimination. She also critiques the moralistic tone of other financial "gurus" and utterly decimates the condescending idea that poor people can avoid the burdens of intergenerational poverty and crushing debt by skipping their morning coffee. As other reviewers have noted, this is not an advice book; however, this is a great place to start. The Financial Diet--comprised of a website, a book, and a YouTube channel--focus more on personal finance and specific budgeting strategies. Just as a side note: I would love to see Chelsea Fagan and Gaby Dunn work together in some capacity (and hey, they both wrote for ThoughtCatalog at some point! Maybe there's a story there...) The conversational tone bugged me at times and I felt like the book could have used more careful line editing, but the good information and accessible presentation cancel out my personal thoughts about the language.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Isabelle Duchaine

    Ok. I'm a SUPER into reading other people's financial stories. It's why I follow like 20 financial planning Youtubers - there's nothing like hearing other people's money stories! I really liked Gaby Dunn's book, even though most of it isn't applicable to my personal situation. I've always had a pretty good relationship with money - most of it aided by the fact that I grew up in an upper-middle class household and graduated with almost no student loan debt. My parents were always good at talking Ok. I'm a SUPER into reading other people's financial stories. It's why I follow like 20 financial planning Youtubers - there's nothing like hearing other people's money stories! I really liked Gaby Dunn's book, even though most of it isn't applicable to my personal situation. I've always had a pretty good relationship with money - most of it aided by the fact that I grew up in an upper-middle class household and graduated with almost no student loan debt. My parents were always good at talking about money, and I was the kid who saved most of her allowance. Mostly, spending money gives me anxiety. But Gaby's book - part memoir, part self-help guide - is a breath of fresh air. Not only is it very funny, but she's honest about the lengths people can actually go to make themselves financially sustatinable. It's easy for me to set money aside for savings because I have a good salary, no medical debt (thank u Canadian taxpayers!) and a safety net called "my parents like me and won't let me be homeless." Gaby is honest, especially about mental health and financial challenges - something that is almost NEVER talked about.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Jessica

    I heard Gaby Dunn interviewed on a podcast, and then realized she had her own podcast (“Bad with money”). I love the topic of personal finance and was curious to read her “financial memoir” as a way to learn where she was coming from, since I can’t really relate to her history or struggles. I started this book worried that it was geared towards a much younger audience than me- Dunn spends a few early chapters talking about how and why to get a job as a high school student and the college applicat I heard Gaby Dunn interviewed on a podcast, and then realized she had her own podcast (“Bad with money”). I love the topic of personal finance and was curious to read her “financial memoir” as a way to learn where she was coming from, since I can’t really relate to her history or struggles. I started this book worried that it was geared towards a much younger audience than me- Dunn spends a few early chapters talking about how and why to get a job as a high school student and the college application process. But then she tackles topics like mental health and finances, marginalized groups and finances, dealing with family deaths and financial consequences, medical bills and our healthcare system, and the capitalistic society we live in. I ended up being kind of blown away- she made me think about things in a way that I haven’t before, frankly due to my privilege. I consider myself a progressive and liberal democrat, but there are still issues that I found myself blind to. Thank you, Gaby Dunn, for opening my eyes a bit!

  22. 5 out of 5

    Genevieve Trono

    This book was part memoir and part very basic financial advice. It is an honest story of what she has learned about money...from her childhood, from her experiences in her career and from being a millennial. I appreciated the parts where she talked about how important it is to recognize that early experiences you had with money (how it was discussed in your home as a child) can have a big impact on how you were formed as an adult today. I liked the basic recap at the end of each chapter and foun This book was part memoir and part very basic financial advice. It is an honest story of what she has learned about money...from her childhood, from her experiences in her career and from being a millennial. I appreciated the parts where she talked about how important it is to recognize that early experiences you had with money (how it was discussed in your home as a child) can have a big impact on how you were formed as an adult today. I liked the basic recap at the end of each chapter and found many of her ideas to be very helpful to someone who was just starting out in their financial education journey. She has a relatable voice and she is able to share what she has learned without sounding sanctimonious which I think will help other millennials connect with this book. There were some chapters that were more helpful than others but all in all, I appreciate that there is a book that shares an underrepresented voice in the financial education field. Thanks to NetGalley and Atria for gifting me a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Katie

    I read perhaps too many personal finance books, but this one surprised and impressed me from the very beginning. (I'm passingly familiar with the some of the author's YouTube work, but not with her podcast, which is also titled Bad with Money.) From the introduction, in which the author talks about her father's addiction and how it financially impacted her family as well as her Holocaust-survivor grandmother, Dunn doesn't pull her punches or gloss over her own mistakes. This book reads less like I read perhaps too many personal finance books, but this one surprised and impressed me from the very beginning. (I'm passingly familiar with the some of the author's YouTube work, but not with her podcast, which is also titled Bad with Money.) From the introduction, in which the author talks about her father's addiction and how it financially impacted her family as well as her Holocaust-survivor grandmother, Dunn doesn't pull her punches or gloss over her own mistakes. This book reads less like a guide than a money-focused autobiography of Dunn, which I think worked very well (there are some bullet points and tips at the end of each chapter if you like that sort of thing). I especially liked the last chapter ("The System") and the way that Dunn consistently brings up how pre-existing structures make it hard for there to be a level playing field in finance, especially for marginalized groups.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Amy Layton

    Now THIS is a financial self help book I can get behind!  Written by a millennial like moi, this book is not only informative, but also a great read!  It's funny, and is jam-packed with information such as what the heck is a FICO score?  Should you invest?  What even IS investing?  401K?  Roth accounts?   Not to mention that she got me thinking about my own financial history and how my mom talked--and didn't talk--about money.  Knowledge is definitely power, and Dunn proves it!  If her goal is to Now THIS is a financial self help book I can get behind!  Written by a millennial like moi, this book is not only informative, but also a great read!  It's funny, and is jam-packed with information such as what the heck is a FICO score?  Should you invest?  What even IS investing?  401K?  Roth accounts?   Not to mention that she got me thinking about my own financial history and how my mom talked--and didn't talk--about money.  Knowledge is definitely power, and Dunn proves it!  If her goal is to make readers feel more empowered by learning about money and how we should get the most out of it, she succeeded.   And for any of you cynical millennials like me who are angry at the financial, capitalist world, and why do we even have money anyways when it causes so many problems--still read this book.  It's not gonna solve the world's problems, but the state of the world is the state of the world.  We may as well learn how to navigate it.  Review cross-listed here!

  25. 5 out of 5

    Mariam

    My rating is purely personal and reflective of the things I gained through this book. Like many have said, this is really “personal finance 101 for Millennials and Gen Z.” If you are not a newbie to personal finance, you probably won’t learn too many new things. One thing I really enjoyed is that By having this book be 1/2 memoir, it gave a lot of reference points for my personal finance situation. Since money is often very taboo to talk about, you have no point of comparison and no way to learn My rating is purely personal and reflective of the things I gained through this book. Like many have said, this is really “personal finance 101 for Millennials and Gen Z.” If you are not a newbie to personal finance, you probably won’t learn too many new things. One thing I really enjoyed is that By having this book be 1/2 memoir, it gave a lot of reference points for my personal finance situation. Since money is often very taboo to talk about, you have no point of comparison and no way to learn if you could be doing something better or using other available resources or whatever. This book helped me out some things into perspective. Also, the book is focused on the US system so lots of things don’t apply outside of the US. However, it was interesting to learn about the American system. From a perspective as a Canadian, the insights about post secondary costs, medical bills, work leave, and workers protections were particularly jarring and horrifying.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Paula

    I love Gaby's podcast so I was excited to read her book. The only reason I didn't rate the book higher is because I am not a member of the targeted demographic. I'm fine with that. It's still an excellent book for Americans in their teens to 30s. And yet I'm grateful that I read this book. It made me realize that I am actually lower middle-class! It also made me intensely grateful to be a 40+ child-free asexual white woman living in Canada. I don't have to deal with the overwhelming expenses of w I love Gaby's podcast so I was excited to read her book. The only reason I didn't rate the book higher is because I am not a member of the targeted demographic. I'm fine with that. It's still an excellent book for Americans in their teens to 30s. And yet I'm grateful that I read this book. It made me realize that I am actually lower middle-class! It also made me intensely grateful to be a 40+ child-free asexual white woman living in Canada. I don't have to deal with the overwhelming expenses of wedding(s), child-rearing, or basic health care. For the first time in my life, I have $1000 in savings and I'm endeavouring to pay off my $4000 credit card debt. I'm making financial progress and this book helped boost my appreciation for that accomplishment.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Laynie

    I'm not normally a self-help reader, especially not financial books. But my bank account tells me I should probably start. Bad with Money was a great place to start, and not just because the title so aptly fits my circumstance. This isn't a textbook. You won't have homework or need to highlight passages to later recite. Instead, Gaby Dunn tells you like she saw it, what she lived through. She does give tips and advice and all of her stuff is backed up by the people who do this whole money thing I'm not normally a self-help reader, especially not financial books. But my bank account tells me I should probably start. Bad with Money was a great place to start, and not just because the title so aptly fits my circumstance. This isn't a textbook. You won't have homework or need to highlight passages to later recite. Instead, Gaby Dunn tells you like she saw it, what she lived through. She does give tips and advice and all of her stuff is backed up by the people who do this whole money thing for a living, but it doesn't feel like a crash course in microeconomics as must as a fun memoir that might just help your pocketbook.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Alana

    This is an easy to read intro to money as a whole and the systemic things at play when we think about money (intersectionality!). I appreciate this in addition to Gaby's podcast and would highly recommend listening if you haven't already. Money is probably one of the top 3 things I am most anxious about in the world. This book taught me some more about the things I need to start organizing in my life even though I feel I might be too young for them (retirement fund, investments, a will etc.) and This is an easy to read intro to money as a whole and the systemic things at play when we think about money (intersectionality!). I appreciate this in addition to Gaby's podcast and would highly recommend listening if you haven't already. Money is probably one of the top 3 things I am most anxious about in the world. This book taught me some more about the things I need to start organizing in my life even though I feel I might be too young for them (retirement fund, investments, a will etc.) and made starting to look money more in the face a bit less anxiety provoking. Having the bits of memoir were a bonus to reading this.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Sarah Koppelkam

    I am exactly the target audience for this - a young, queer, female-identified "millennial" who normally would never dream of picking up a book about money. And indeed, the experience of reading this felt like I was reading something I had written, had a done a bunch more research on finance. So, definitely an echo-chamber for me. Really appreciated how Dunn narrates the big-picture stuff, such as in the chapter "The System", how intersectional she attempts to be in each section, and how she remo I am exactly the target audience for this - a young, queer, female-identified "millennial" who normally would never dream of picking up a book about money. And indeed, the experience of reading this felt like I was reading something I had written, had a done a bunch more research on finance. So, definitely an echo-chamber for me. Really appreciated how Dunn narrates the big-picture stuff, such as in the chapter "The System", how intersectional she attempts to be in each section, and how she removes judgement around money. Not a lot of revelations here, but I would recommend to a young person setting out on their financial journey.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Anna Marie

    This book taught me some great tips about how to manage money stuff, while also making me laugh / never sounding preachy. I think it helped that I listened to the audio version, which was read by the author. I do think it is a little misleading that this not just a "how-to" or "self-help" book as the title suggests, but also functions as a sort of a memoir of Dunn's life. That being said, the bits about her life were what added a large part of the comedic aspect, so as long as you know what to e This book taught me some great tips about how to manage money stuff, while also making me laugh / never sounding preachy. I think it helped that I listened to the audio version, which was read by the author. I do think it is a little misleading that this not just a "how-to" or "self-help" book as the title suggests, but also functions as a sort of a memoir of Dunn's life. That being said, the bits about her life were what added a large part of the comedic aspect, so as long as you know what to expect, this is a great read (for millennials or younger). I can see it being a good graduation gift for a high school student especially. Definitely inspired to check out her podcast now!

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