Gaby Dunn used to be bad with money

In the very first episode of her podcast "Bad with Money," Gaby Dunn proved exactly why we need to be talking openly about money. "I went to a coffee shop and I asked strangers, 'What's your favorite sex position?' and everyone was happy to tell me," Dunn told SalonTV’s Mary Elizabeth Williams on "Salon Talks." Then I said, 'Second question: How much money is in your bank account?' And everyone was like, 'No.'"

Breaking down the walls of secrecy, shame and misinformation around money, especially the ones surrounding millennials, is Dunn's mission. Now, in her new book, "Bad with Money: The Imperfect Art of Getting Your Financial Sh*t Together," she digs even deeper, tackling the often unspoken and intimidating topics of investing, budgeting and the suffocating weight of college loans.

Millennials, she said, are being judged based on old metrics. “We graduated college into a terrible job market, into a housing crisis, into rising healthcare costs. We graduated with more student loans than boomers and Gen X had. We were not set up to succeed,” Dunn said.

Significantly, she added, those millennial-panic hot takes are often only a fraction of an entire generation. "Millennials are only talked about in the sense people taking selfies and eating avocado toast and wasting money. But Sandra Bland, who passed away in police custody, was 28 years old — squarely a millennial. We don't think of police brutality as a millennial issue, but it is. Our stuff is seen as frivolous, but we need to broaden our idea of what millennials care about."

Watch the video above to find out why Dunn says that student debt is "the neck tattoo of the financial world," and how getting real about money means facing our inner Kurt Russell.

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