Anthony Bourdain’s Stories About Being Broke Will Make You Feel Better About Your Financial Situation

03.15.17 7 months ago 2 Comments

This is fun. We really think you’re going to enjoy this because like us, you are a money guzzling, savings-less, cash spenda, teetering on the thrilling edge of financial despair. Fortunately, it’s comforting as hell to know there are successful people who’ve been through similar financial woes and boy are we all in good company! Case in point: Anthony Bourdain.

In a new article posted on the site, WealthSimple.com Bourdain talks about affording drugs while in debt (take notes), living without a savings account for most of his life, and his financial priorities today. Some of what he shares might even help you be more financially secure, you never know…stranger things have happened!

In the article, Bourdain recounts his “decidedly middle-class upbringing,” spent mostly in New Jersey and New York City. His parents, he says, were not good with money but found a way to put him through private school regardless. He describes being an unmotivated bicycle messenger in The Big Apple, and living noticeably less comfortably than most of his classmates (the bashed in side door of his parents’ station wagon a dead giveaway).

Bourdain also explains that he envied the freedom of his school friends and admits he wanted to be able to afford all the drugs under the sun, like his bougie-er friends, Beauregard Altemus and Alistair Gearhardt (whose names we completely made up).

That was certainly a motivator, maybe a bad one, but a not unimportant one: my friends could afford drugs, I could not. They would share but, of course, the thing about cocaine is that you can never have enough.

Bourdain’s parents also found the funds to send him to college, which he dropped out of after two years and then they paid for his culinary education. So it’s not exactly like the dude came from nothing.

He started working immediately after graduating, 12 hour shifts, five or six days a week but was hardly raking it in, saying, “I didn’t put anything aside, ever. Money came in, money went out. I was always a paycheck behind, at least. I usually owed my chef my paycheck: again, cocaine.” It wasn’t until he was 44-years-old that Bourdain opened savings account. So, maybe you’ve got one up on him!

Bourdain tells WealthSimple that he quit jobs to indulge in trips to the Caribbean where he’d max out a credit card then return to NYC and find a new job. He says he was constantly in debt (Shit, the resemblance between us and Tony is starting to get a little freaky, wouldn’t you say?) and then it gets pretty ugly.

When Kitchen Confidential was published, I hadn’t filed taxes in about 10 years. I was seriously behind on rent. It had been about a decade since I’d communicated with American Express in a timely manner. In my daily life, the goal was to muffle the anxiety that I’d feel as I tried to drift off to sleep knowing that, at any point, what little money I had in my bank account could be garnished by the IRS or the credit card company. The landlord could kick me to the curb. That was my reality for many years.

He could have been a freelance writer!

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