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Icebreakers with…personal finance creator Katie Gatti

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Katie Gatti, aka the Katie behind Money with Katie, joined Morning Brew as a creator in January. She crams all of her vast personal finance knowledge into newsletters, podcast episodes, and Insta posts for #RichGirls around the world.

We chatted with Katie (and her cat, who loves Zoom calls) about being young, anxious, and pressured to buy a house.

Recently you tweeted, “Someone asked me the other week in a podcast interview, ‘So, I get who Money with Katie is. But who’s KATIE?’ I literally sat in stunned silence, unable to answer. It’s hard for me to define myself outside of traditional success metrics. Gave me a lot to think about.”

Many young people are going through the same identity crisis. Why do you think that is?

I need to preface this by saying that it’s entirely possible that every generation goes through this…but my prevailing theory is it seems that life is more economically precarious for people now.

It makes sense that young people are always the ones who have the least amount of money, because we’ve been alive the shortest amount of time. But anytime you have a system where the people who have the least amount of money, aka the young people, feel like they’re living close to the edge, or that financial ruin is one misstep away (get in an ambulance one time, good luck paying for that), I think it breeds anxiety.

And look at all these other millennials who are getting rich by trading dogecoin, or building online media empires, and you could be doing that, too. But you’re not. I mean, it’s an anxiety cesspool at this point, and I don’t think it’s sustainable. The more I learn about how life now is different than it was even 30 years ago, the more it makes perfect sense to me that people are having that identity crisis of, “I want to feel like I know who I am.”

What’s the biggest personal finance myth right now?

Buying a house is a good investment. That was a huge realization for me: realizing how much you end up spending as a homeowner in property taxes, homeowner insurance, mortgage interest, maintenance, capital expenditure, or just needing major repairs. Again, that sounds crazy right now, given what we’ve seen in the housing market over the last 18–24 months. And renting, it’s not inflation-proof in the same way that owning a home is. But I used to think of a big house as a good investment. And now I think that it’s just a big liability.

What is one thing you’re always going to splurge on?

Saving my own time. Anything that provides convenience to me, I will pay a premium for.

This interview has been edited and condensed for clarity.

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