Once a Deadbeat, Always?

Deadbeat dad

Here’s another deadbeat dad story — but with an unusual twist.

(Yes, I know plenty of deadbeat mothers exist. Here’s a tragic example. But “Gold Diggers and Deadbeat Non-Custodial Parents” isn’t catchy.)

If you read my book Gold Diggers and Deadbeat Dads: True Stories of Friends, Family, and Financial Ruin, you might remember Diana’s story, “Where Did All the Child Support Money Go?”

Diana’s troubles began when she married her high school sweetheart Bart, who turned out to be anything but sweet, she told me.

Instead, he was a raging alcoholic who slept around their small town in a Minneapolis suburb.

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300 Ways to Say You’re Stupid

Stupid person had financial problems

When I launched this blog, it was a big step to reveal that I screwed up financially by loaning money to a relative.

I didn’t think there were three hundred ways for total strangers to remind me.

[Read more…]

The Shocking Personal Finance Story I’ll Never Tell

It’s difficult to find people who are willing to talk about their personal finance experiences for this blog and my upcoming book.

Of course it is.

Why would you tell a total stranger such intimate details about your financial mishaps? I truly appreciate people who trust me with their secrets.

A man shared his story recently. It was a bit hard to follow as he talked quickly and veered off onto a lot of tangents. That’s not unusual; people seldom tell me their tales in a chronological, coherent fashion. There’s always a lot more to the story than the money.

We chatted for quite a while and I encouraged him to check out my blog. Told him I’d follow up and see if he was still interested in participating.

Meanwhile I wrote up his story. I left out a lot of the meandering, irrelevant, and confusing details. It was a short anecdote but had an interesting angle I hadn’t considered before. I even picked out a great image to go with the post.

I called him a week later. He was no longer interested. It wasn’t clear why; he had been so eager before to spill his guts and share his tales of financial and personal woe.

Inside, I was whining, “But NOOOOOOOO, I need your story!”

I couldn’t say that, of course, so I thanked him for his time and wished him well.

That story will never see the light of day.

I do keep my word.