cover image Bad with Money: The Imperfect Art of Getting Your Financial Sh*t Together

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

Gaby Dunn. Atria, $16 trade paper (304p) ISBN 978-1-5011-7633-3

In a humorous and forthright manner, podcaster Dunn (I Hate Everyone But You, coauthor) makes facing money issues seem not only palatable but possibly even fun. Using her early life story as a cautionary tale, Dunn explains that, like many, her diverse relatives—among them a working-class grandmother forced to postpone retirement, a wealthy but tight-fisted grandmother, and a flower-child father—had one thing in common about money: nobody discussed it. Dangerously ignorant of finances upon entering adulthood, Dunn learned the hard way about budgeting, saving for future expenses, and retirement planning. In addition to traditional finance topics, Dunn does a great service by discussing money’s relationship to mental health. In her case, Dunn—diagnosed with bipolar II, addicted to alcohol, and prescribed psychiatric medications but given poor medical oversight—spent wildly while manic and felt unable to cope with her financial mess when depressed. In acknowledging her health problems, Dunn elevates her guide above the usual financial self-help fare. With wisdom earned through making almost every conceivable mistake, Dunn coherently explains such topics as credit history, the workings of banks and credit cards, and estate planning. Whether read as candid memoir or as utilitarian financial primer, Dunn’s book delivers. Agent: Sasha Raskin, United Talent Agency. (Jan.)