Support Marketplace

Family finance lessons: comedian Maria Bamford

Comedian Maria Bamford.

The most important lessons we learn about money don’t come from our accountants or our radios. They come from our family. Each week, we invite someone to tell us about the money tips they inherited from the people they grew up with.

Our guest this week is the comedian Maria Bamford.

Bamford grew up in Duluth, Minn., and says she enjoyed her upbringing.

"I had a really lovely childhood," Bamford says. "My mom took care of all the bills and she would only get mad once in awhile ... but it was usually because of some poor decision due to compulsive shopping."

Bamford's father was a dermatologist, so they had steady income, but she still describes him as a saver.

"We did have a lot of powered milk. The thermostat was at 50 degrees. It was chilly," she says.

It's a trait she might have picked up. She was raised religious, and remembers a Bible story that recounts three men who are given gold by their master. Then, the master heaps praise on the men who invest their money and shuns the man who hides his money away.

At the time, Bamford recognized a different hero.

"It's the guy who dug the hole and put the [gold] under his house because it's safe there!"

"But that's no longer how I manage my money," she says. "I have a no-fee financial advisor ... I'm paying down my mortgage faster, and I keep track of everything I spend, even if it's ridiculous. Let's say I spend $8,000 dollars a month on coffee. You know, that's me, that's what I need, that's something that makes my heart sing," says Bamford.

Comments

I agree to American Public Media's Terms and Conditions.
With Generous Support From...