"When I was 8 or 9, my parents sat me down and drew a chart explaining how expensive college was, what % they would pay and how I'd have to make the rest of it myself. So by the time I was 9, I was already like, I've got to make some money."
I just came across a fantastic article on Wealthsimple where Andrew Goldman interviews Elizabeth Gilbert (she of Eat, Pray, Love fame) about money and how it plays a factor in her life.
I am a HUGE Elizabeth Gilbert fan. I love her books and love listening to her interviews. She is delightful, funny, smart, and very, very charming. I've been aware of her thoughts about money for a while since she has spoken honestly and openly about this in both Eat, Pray, Love and in various interviews. We have very similar thoughts about money and I personally relate to what she says.
Here are some of my favorite parts of the interview:
I've thought about money my entire conscious life. Both my parents had real anxiety about money. My mother grew up on a very financially strapped dairy farm in Minnesota, and every season her family wondered if they were going to lose the farm. So she developed a particular fear of debt and financial dependency, and a fear of raising a woman in the world who would not be able to take care of herself. So to me the message was: You have to find a way to support yourself in the world. We'll take care of you until you're 18, and then that's it; you're an adult. The biggest lesson of our childhood was frugality plus self-sufficiency.
When I was eight or nine, my parents actually sat me down and drew a chart explaining how expensive college was, and they explained what percentage they would be able to pay and how I would have to make the rest of it myself. So by the time I was nine, I was already like, Damn, I’ve got to make some money. Eat, Pray, Love definitely gave me a financial independence that very few creative people get to have. But it also came with a sense of great responsibility.
Rule number one for me was: Don't lose it; don’t pull a Mike Tyson. Don’t go crazy. There is no amount of money so huge that a person can't blow through it if they aren't thinking straight. I think I inherited in my DNA a deep constitutional fear of losing the farm, and every once in a while I still have to remind myself that there is no farm to lose.
Read the rest of the interview here!
What is this?
An anthropological look at how people think about money. Created and edited by Star Li.