Narratively

For many in their formative years, the financial struggle is very real. From telemarketing to sex work, here are some sordid tales of the craziest things we’ve done to make a buck.

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I Was a Young, Broke Lawyer When I Found the Perfect Job On Craigslist…

My company settled tax debt “for pennies on the dollar.” But really I was the one settling.

That Time I Tried to Be a Stripper…But Pepper-Sprayed Myself in the Face

I thought I was going to make big bucks as a sexy and empowered nude dancer. I didn’t even make it to the audition.

Confessions of a Jewel Mule: That Time I Smuggled a Fortune in Precious Gems Through US Customs

I spent my twenties saying yes to every crazy opportunity that came my way. When my best friend suggested this Mexican adventure, maybe I should have just said no.

That Time I Hit a Parked Car—and Just Walked Away

Recently divorced, extremely broke and terrified of yet another bill, I was shocked to learn of my own capacity to shirk responsibility.

I Paid Off My Student Loans…and All I Had to Do Was Win a Mercedes-Benz

As a post-grad struggling to build a creative career while drowning in debt, I was desperate for a lifeline. Then one rolled right up in the form of a $50,000 luxury SUV.

How I Came to Terms With My Secret Sex-Work Past

In the last decade I’ve built a prosperous career, met the man of my dreams, married him and lost him—all the time haunted by my brief stint selling my body for money.

The Roaming Beach Kids of Byron Bay

Meet a close-knit community of homeless teens who sleep in tents, get high, scavenge for food and become family—all on the fringes of Australia’s ritziest resorts.

I’m a Straight Man, and He’s My New Sugar Daddy

When one broke Brooklynite embarks on a new side job as an escort for hire, he finds himself swimming through a murky world of easy money, broken promises and naked truths.

The Vice and Vagrants of Old-School Gowanus

It’s now a seven-million-dollar property, but this one-time electrical substation along Brooklyn’s infamous canal was once a funhouse for runaway teens and renegade punks.