WW presents "Distant Voices," a daily video interview for the era of social distancing. Our reporters are asking Portlanders what they're doing during quarantine.
Just when Lillian Karabaic was getting burned out giving personal finance advice, the coronavirus happened.
Suddenly, people who were previously disinclined to discuss money issues—artists and gig-economy workers, namely—were tuning into her radio show and podcast, Oh My Dollar!, as well as question-and-answer livestreams, trying to figure out how to navigate a terrifying new era of economic insecurity.
It reinvigorated Karabaic's initial goal of making personal finance more accessible to the average millennial, and also gave her a bunch of new subjects to explore herself—like, say, the virtual financial markets of Animal Crossing.
"The questions started very specific," Karabaic says of what she was hearing at the start of the pandemic. "It's pivoted completely to work-esoteric questions like, 'Why does the stock market keep going up when all my friends have lost their jobs?' It's been a lot more existential economics questions, which are fun for me as someone who used to focus on answering really tangible questions. We've realized we don't really understand what's going on with the economy."
In a conversation with WW, Karabaic discusses Oregon's uniquely terrible unemployment system, where people should consider putting the money they're saving from never leaving the house, and how her personal spending habits have changed—and why she decided to buy a pair of hot-pink rollerblades.
See more Distant Voices interviews here.