The Smart About Money website will be retiring on July 31, 2021. Learn more about this decision.


Trooper Stories: Molly

a hand drawn dream catcher and Molly showing her back tattoo

What do you care most about? My family because they’re my rock and my foundation. They support and love me unconditionally.

How is this evident in your life choices? I definitely base a lot of my decisions off of what has worked (and hasn’t worked) for my siblings and parents.

What can’t you live without? Love, music and yoga, because they keep me grounded and inspired.

What do you buy or pay for that you could (and maybe should) live without? Way too many clothes and takeout sushi at least once a week.

How do you make a living/earn money? I work as a stylist at a clothing store. I also have my own Etsy shop, where I sell my artwork.

What would you be doing if you didn’t have to make money? Traveling the world.

What’s the best advice anyone’s ever given you? “There's only one rule that I know of, babies: God damn it, you've got to be kind.” —Kurt Vonnegut

What’s the worst advice anyone’s given you? To obey practicality and not follow my heart.

My enemy... is myself on a bad day.

Money matters because... unfortunately, it really is what makes the world go ‘round.

The last thing I bought was: Tacos. They made me feel so happy and full.

picture taken from an airplane window
amphitheater located in Colorado

What do you want in life that you can afford? Good music, good food, good clothing.

When I encounter an obstacle to getting what I want I... figure out a different way to get it.

$25,000 would be enough to... satisfy my travel bug for a few good years.

My earliest memory about money was... Taking my piggy bank to the bank when I was three and opening up a savings account.

What’s your American Dream? Someone to love, a house at the beach and spending my days doing what makes me happy.

How is your American Dream similar or different from your parents’? My parents both strived for happiness and love like I do, but their dream had a clear-cut career path, something which I don’t necessarily have. A typical career or corporate life just doesn’t interest me.

Describe your relationship to money: I hate it and I love it. I dislike that so much of life revolves around it, but I understand how it can help me get where I want to be.

two pairs of jean clad legs on the beach
Molly with her mother

Who do you turn to or where do you look for guidance when you have financial questions? First, my mom. Then, my personal banker.

What are your three greatest financial challenges? Having an inconsistent income, paying college loans, saving money to move to a new city.

What three things could you do to change your relationship with money? Save more, spend less on the unimportant things (lattes at Starbucks, that expensive and amazing pair of shoes); find a job that has more consistent hours and better pay.

What financial rules or advice seem absurd to you? Credit cards and our cultural obsession with them seem so ridiculous to me. It seems like you’re just asking for trouble, unless you’re extremely conscientious and responsible with your money.

What three words best describe you? Adventurous, creative, warm.

What do you collect? Photos. And lots of music.

hot air balloons before their release
old vinyl records

What vehicle do you own? I have a Toyota 4-Runner. I’ve always had and liked big cars. It makes me feel safe and is perfect for mountain adventures.

Lead or follow? I tend to follow.

Favorite band/musician and how many albums you own of theirs: This is the hardest question so far. I love Joni Mitchell and have all of my dad’s old records of hers on vinyl, which I treasure.

Favorite possession: A silk tapestry my mom got me from India.

What one thing defines you: Love.

What has no one ever asked you that you wish they would ask? What do you really, deep down, want your life to look like?

What do you really, deep down, want your life to look like? I want my life to look like happiness. I want to feel fulfilled, inspired and content.

hand painted heart on a cement sidewalk

Other Stories:

Alexia Nomad

Casey Pathfinder

Chelsea Trooper

Marissa Tenderfoot

Theresa Nomad

Molly Trooper

Jessie Nomad

Elizabeth Trooper

Melissa Pathfinder

Dante Trooper