I was terrible at money until I became a personal finance writer (and I’m still pretty terrible, but now I know better)

Recently, I’ve been noodling about the times in my life I’ve been the most miserable. (This is a super helpful, non-therapist-approved exercise to convince myself Life Is Great/We’re Going to Make It Through This Year If It Kills Us; much like how my mother read the Gulag Archipelago while giving birth to my big-headed brothers and me.)

Here’s what I’ve landed on:

  1. First major breakup (I am dramatic, this was just primed for me to be deliciously morose).
  2. Two weeks at sleepaway camp every summer from ages 8 to 13. My parents were convinced I loved camp, but I white-knuckled my way through it every year, taking approximately one and a half poops and making very few friends the entire time. [I was prickly and sullen and did things like accusing my bunkmate of stealing my Gatorade (she didn’t, I probably just drank it and forgot).]
  3. Third grade, when my mom had cancer. Probably? I don’t actually remember being particularly unhappy, it was just a long slog and I got very tired of the chicken and brownies everyone brought over. If you’re making food for a Family of Cancer, DON’T BRING OVER CHICKEN AND BROWNIES, it will be the fifth time they’ve eaten that this week and it will put them off brownies for life.
  4. Nov. 9 through current, natch.
  5. Age 22, just out of college, broke beyond my own comprehension.

Point No. 5 led me to write a Forbes article about being broke and dumb with money in your 20s, which published today. You can check it out here. Please enjoy my admission to shoplifting a toilet plunger from a Taco Bell within the first paragraph. Form an orderly queue, ladies.

It has some good tips from people better at money than myself, as well as a few that I have picked up through osmosis after years of editing articles about personal finance.

I wanted to give a little more background in a non-nationally syndicated news outlet to the many stupid financial decisions I made in my early-to-mid 20s here.

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