back arrowOh My Dollar!

What if your life decisions were made by the stock market? ft. KmikeyM

Episode description

In a casual interview episode, I’m joined by Mike Merrill. Mike, or KMikeyM, has been doing one of the longest-running art project on capitalism as the world’s first publicly traded person, selling shares of himself to friends and strangers for 10 years. Shareholders then vote on his life decisions. Having just launched my own experiment in community-based capitalism with Oh My Dollar!’s patreon, I thought I should get his advice. We talk about how his personal self-image fluctuates based on his share price, eliminating his personal credit card debt, finding your own “personal rap video” version of wealth, and why everyone should set a dollar bill on fire in front of an audience at least once.

This Show is Brought to You by our Listeners

This show is supported by generous listeners like you through our patreon. This episode was underwritten by the Tamsen G Association and Surreptitious Huggermugger Foundation. To learn more about ways to support Oh My Dollar! and get cool perks like exclusive livestreams and cat stickers, you can visit

About Mike Merrill, AKA KMikeyM

Mike Merrill is the world’s only publicly traded person, which means he sells shares in himself and allows the shareholders to vote on his life. He is obsessed with concepts and focuses less on practical details, leading to many half baked projects. He is currently “writing” a ghostwritten crowd-sourced fanfic about himself, lives in a cabin in Los Angeles, and had left technology to work in advertising.

Disclosure: I coached Mike through some personal debt and was paid in “shares” of him, so I’m a shareholder.

In this episode, we discuss:
  • Index Fund of People
  •  Is the whole stock market an art project?
  • Should the cats that follow me on instagram get half votes on my haircut or double votes?
  • Why money feels like wizardry and wealth is a spell
  • How Mike’s self-value has ended up correlating to his stock value
  • If you’re an anxious person, putting your retirement portfolio on autopilot
  • Mike’s using the model of a stock market to represent a decision making engine
  • Dressing in Brooks Brothers (as the personal embodiment of capitalism) in hyper-casual Portland
  • How this project has changed Mike’s relationship to money (and it’s not really necessarily positive)
  • Your own personal rap video and what wealth really means to you
  • Why you should burn a $1 bill
Resources from this episode: Other episodes your might like

episodes iconMore Episodes

A Genuinely Messed Up Situation with An Arm And a Leg Podcast

November 28th, 2018


I’m really excited to have on reporter Dan Weissman to talk about his freshly-launched show, An Arm And a Leg podcast, which dives into the unique stories that come from the hellscape that is American health care. But …

Debt-Free and Queer ft David Auten and John Schnieder

November 21st, 2018


Are you ready for a cute, heartwarming, and thought-provoking interview this week? I hope so, because after a month of American health care on this show, I’m ready for an uplifting story. John Schneider and David Auten …

Open Enrollment is like playing Dungeons & Dragons… with a drunk dungeon master

November 7th, 2018


We have two listener questions this week for health care month: Anna wants to know how to fix an accidental over-contribution to her HSA without getting a penalty (time stamp 01:34), and Allison wants to figure out how …

The $30 Spooky Health Plan You Probably Don’t Want

October 31st, 2018


Just in time for halloween, we have an episode about some of the spookiest health insurance plans of all – “junk” health insurance plans, or “short-term” health insurance plans. The  President must’ve heard that we’re …

Save money on dental – with or without insurance

October 24th, 2018


Teeth can be expensive! Lillian breaks down some unexpected ways you can save on dental – from taking a trip to Hungary to opening a FSA account, and …

How to choose a health insurance plan during open enrollment

October 17th, 2018


Today we look at how to choose a health insurance plan – should you get a PPO, an HMO, or a HDHP? What is an HSA? And what do those acronyms mean …

Finding a Place to Live with Poor Credit

October 10th, 2018


Even if you have poor or no credit, that doesn’t mean you’re stuck living in your parent’s basement forever. Here are some strategies for finding housing  when you have poor credit, and also some strategies for …

How to Conference Travel on the Cheap

September 26th, 2018


In a short episode recorded from a Hilton hotel closet in Orlando, Lillian shares some of her tips for traveling to conferences on the cheap – from flights, alternative accommodation, to using Instacart to get food …

Creativity vs. Financial Security

September 12th, 2018


Does financial uncertainty make you more creative or does it break your creative muscles? Lillian and Will reflect on their plethora of jobs, and …

The Art of Debt ft. Cathy Byrd

September 5th, 2018


Today’s guest is not to be missed. Cathy Byrd from Fresh Art International reinvented herself as an artistic nomad after she got laid off in her mid-50’s while in debt. She paid off all her debt a few months after …

How to start index investing in your 401K + using extra money

August 29th, 2018


Kelly realized that she is doing “real investing” (picking individual stocks) and want to move into index funds instead (which is still investing!) But she’s not sure exactly how to do it. So we walk through how to …

Money and Business as a Freelancer without “Selling Out”

August 22nd, 2018


Did you wake up one day and realize you’re accidentally a business owner? When you are a freelancer, you are the business. Danny Schuman accidentally ended up being an entrepreneur, and he figured out how to sustain …

How to make financial choices without overanalyzing

August 15th, 2018


Maddie asks how to pick a bank from all the different options: credit union, online bank, local bank, multi-national – how do you choose?!

Choosing a …

The Myth of “Money Mindset”

August 1st, 2018


Lillian goes on a calm rant about the common refrain that you simply need to work on your “money mindset” to improve your financial outcome…while also talking about the value of it.

We’re a big fan of this episode’s …

How to take the home office tax deduction under new tax law

July 25th, 2018


Lillian and Will walk through the basics of the home office deduction – and how things have changed under the new tax plan for 2018! You don’t need to have an LLC or own your home to take the home office deduction, but …

Should Jessica buy a house or keep her cheap apartment?

July 19th, 2018


Jessica asks if she should buy a house or keep renting in her cheap apartment longer, and more listeners share their experiences with homeownership.

How to Kick Butt at Money as a New Graduate

June 27th, 2018


Lillian & Will share their own post-graduation money mistakes and give some tips for new college graduates on dealing with student loans, …

Variable Income for the Perpetually Anxious

June 14th, 2018


Variable Income. We’ve mentioned it a lot on this show because the more variable your income, the less traditional finance advice helps you. Today we talk about how to handle variable income when you’re anxious or …

Live Episode from The Outlet PDX

June 4th, 2018


Will and Lillian dive into a meta-episode about Oh My Dollar! at Outlet PDX for the launch of the Get Your Money Together book in front of a live …

Should Eva invest in only stocks or also bonds in her 401k?

May 29th, 2018


Listener Eva asks a question about picking investments in her 401K – should she stick with just a stock index fund or also a bond index fund?

Here’s …

Bonus How to find your objective function (life purpose) ft Malcolm and Simone Collins

May 29th, 2018


This bonus episode is probably one of my favorite dense episodes that’s a departure from our normal topic: Malcolm and Simone Collins are a married …

Financial Mothers of History + Making Money as a Creator ft Jason Porath (Long cut)

May 14th, 2018


Author and illustrator Jason Porath, of the Rejected Princesses series, joins us to talk about some financially savvy women in history we might not know about, and talks about his experience making a living as a creator …

The Case Against Homeownership

May 8th, 2018


Lillian walks through a lot of the misconceptions about homeownership – including the idea that you haven’t “adulted” until you’ve insta-bragged …

What are Will & Lily’s largest purr-chases ever?

April 30th, 2018


A free form episode where Will & Lily talk about the Get Your Money Together book, when the right time is to follow up on an unpaid invoice, how …

Do you need a financial advisor? with Michael Dinich!

April 24th, 2018


Many people wonder how to figure out how to find a financial advisor without getting screwed over. Michael Dinich helps us untangle all different types of financial professionals out there.

You can find out more about …

Messy Money Mistakes ft. Jen Hemphill

April 16th, 2018


Money mistakes. We’ve all made them. Those blunders or miscalculations that end up costing you money – and maybe upset a financial stability you’ve …

Money alone doesn’t solve problems

April 9th, 2018


One of the wonderful things about modern society is that when I have have a material need, if I have some money, I can usually exchange money to help …

Should Adam’s project be a business or non-profit? + Figuring out Patreon Tiers

April 1st, 2018


We answer two listener questions: How to figure out if you should be a non-profit, LLC, or become a corporation?  and L asks how to set their patreon …

How should Allison spend her $25,000 inheritance?

March 25th, 2018


Allison writes in to ask about what to do with a “medium” inheritance, and Lillian helps explain how PHD students might not qualify to save in a Roth IRA.

Don’t forget, you can pre-order Get Your Money Together workbook …

Capitalism is immoral, but making money isn’t bad

March 19th, 2018


Inspired by Jesse Horn at the Bond conference, Lillian and Will talk about why you shouldn’t feel bad about acquiring money, just because capitalism …

Talking to your parents about money ft Eric Brotman

March 6th, 2018


Eric Brotman from Brotman Financial Group joins us to talk about how to have the hard conversations about money with your parents, and help them plan for their own retirement.

Check out Eric’s book on lowering your …

Stop Worrying about Other People’s Budgets – Relationships and Money

February 26th, 2018


We bring back a new spin on an old topic from the archives: how to make a budget based in your own values – and how to talk about money with your …

What if you defaulted on your student loans? + other listener questions

February 19th, 2018


We answer a potpourri of listener questions:

  • Where do you keep an emergency fund? A money market? (1:21 timestamp)
  • What is a CD ladder? (5:58 …

Money when Depressed

February 12th, 2018


When you’re depressed, it can be hard to get off the couch, let alone worry about your budget. Lillian shares some tips for handling your personal …

How to get life insurance when you’ve been hospitalized for mental health (and other listener q’s).

February 5th, 2018


Eva asks if she really has to adult-up and get disability insurance (yes!)

Rebecca wants to know if whole life insurance makes sense if someone can’t …

Early Retirement: It’s Simple, But Not Easy ft Deacon Hayes and Douglas Tsoi

January 29th, 2018


Early Retirement? I always thought that sounds like something only for silent velcro millionaires or tech bros – but it can be achievable without a windfall. We talk about the keys of starting with your values, …

Curbing Impulse Purchases + Regrettable Spending

January 16th, 2018


We share tactics to curb impulse purchases and regrettable spending. Also, we learn that Will owns every Animorphs book and is a sucker for odd …

Setting Non-Boring Money Goals that Don’t Suck

January 9th, 2018


Lillian and Will talk about how to set non-boring money goals that won’t set you up for new year’s resolution failure. Save more money! Spend less …

New Year’s Resolutions: Ask For More Money ft Alicia McElhaney

January 3rd, 2018


Alicia McElhaney of the She Spends newsletter joins us to talk about one of the best ways to make more money in the new year: ASK FOR IT! We talk about tips & tricks for salary negotiation, and tell stories from our …

New Year’s Resolution: Pay Less Taxes

December 27th, 2017


Listener Eva asks how she can maximize her retirement savings and minimize her taxes as a self-employed person; Lillian talks her through SEP IRAs …

Building a budget with “little wins” + how to tax-deduct your health insurance

December 19th, 2017


Lauren asks how to build a realistic budget with “little wins” and Lillian asks her to figure out what her wins and necessities are. Sara asks how she deducts the cost of her health insurance as a self-employed person. …

Are Health Savings Accounts an evil Republican tax loophole or actual magic?

December 12th, 2017


Listener health insurance questions answered: Are Health Savings Accounts an evil republican tax loophole for rich people or actually useful? How do …

Mistakes not to make with health insurance ft Jack Hopper (long cut)

December 4th, 2017


There’s so many confusing terms when you’re looking for health insurance: OOP, HMO, deductible, co-insurance, co-pays – how do you untangle them? How do you not go broke buying health insurance? Jack Hopper of Take …

Is Dan money laundering? Should Alice cash out a 401K to avoid credit card debt?

November 27th, 2017


We answer rapid fire questions: Should Alice liquidate a 401K to avoid credit card debt? Can Charlotte use her spouse’s income on a credit card …

How to reduce your budget + recognize emotional spending

November 21st, 2017


We answer listener questions about budgeting. Tamás asks how to reduce his budget when he can’t figure out what’s too high, and Sara asks how to recognize emotional spending & help curb it.

(We’re back on a Monday …

Oregon is making retirement plans a requirement for everyone ft. Joel Metlan

November 10th, 2017


Oregon is trying to start a retirement planning revolution- every single business in Oregon will be required to offer a retirement plan of some sort …

Kids & Money ft. Kim Dubois Harrison

October 23rd, 2017


Listener Riah asks how much she should save up to have kids, and special guest Kim Dubois Harrison, discusses parenting choices about money, …

Financial Traps of Multi-level Marketing ft. Alden Wicker

October 16th, 2017


Journalist Alden Wicker, author of “Multilevel-marketing companies like LuLaRoe are forcing people into debt and psychological crisis” for …

Don’t Panic! Buying your first home ft. Katie Bovitz

October 9th, 2017


We have a special guest Katie Bovitz from the Portland Housing Center to talk about considerations for buying & financing your first home. (Let …

We’re Back from Break!

October 9th, 2017


A short episode just to say hello after Fall Break to give an update on Lillian’s travels. Oh My Dollar! is launching a cat-themed purr-sonal finance …

Demystifying Your Social Security ft Jon Rork

September 4th, 2017


We’re back from our week break with an episode on Social Security featuring economist Jon Rork. Will it be around in 25 years? How does it work? …

How to Improve a Bad Credit Score

August 22nd, 2017


Lillian walks through the three things you can do to improve a bad (or nonexistent) credit score, and why it might not matter.

What to do when you get a windfall

August 15th, 2017


We talk about what to when you unexpectedly come into “extra” money – how to allocate it, and listener stories about how they used their windfalls.

How much $$ to keep in your bank account + going back to grad school

August 7th, 2017


A live show from the Oh My Dollar! and XRAY in the morning crew, Lillian answers two listener questions: Alan wants to know how much to keep in his …

You can buy anything you want, but not everything

July 31st, 2017


We discuss some great splurge ideas, and how to plan for them, include Lillian’s big trip from Dublin > Shanghai by train, and Will’s fantasy of …

How to get money out of retirement early

July 25th, 2017


It’s totally possible to get to retirement money early! Lillian walks you through the legal ways to get money without paying crazy penalties. Plus – …

Untangling COBRA and premiums

July 18th, 2017


What should you do about health care when you leave your job? Why does COBRA cost so much and why does it sound so scary? And how to figure out …

Your Backup Plan for Living (Life Insurance)

July 11th, 2017


We talk about life insurance policies – and what the difference between term and whole life insurance policies are. And what being “self-insured” …

How to Plan for All Your Darn Friends Getting Married

July 4th, 2017


If you’re in your 20’s or 30’s, you’re might be getting invited to weddings. Possibly lots of them. Just attending a wedding, let alone standing up in one, costs money! How do you make a budget for that?

The Worst Case Scenario (Life + Long-Term Disability Insurance)

June 27th, 2017


Lillian walks you through two types of insurance most folks should have, but no one wants to think about: life and disability insurance! We also …

Premiums, Deductibles, and other insurance terms

June 19th, 2017


Will and Lillian break down a bunch of different insurance terms and tell you about what kind of insurance you need to get – and how it might actually help you out (did you know renter’s insurance might cover your …

The Power of Batch Cooking ft. Emily Corso

June 13th, 2017


Professional cage fighter, personal trainer, batch-cooking enthusiast and all-around badass Emily Corso joins us to discuss ways to make cooking …

Meal Planning (the secret weapon) ft. Nicole Dieker

June 6th, 2017


Nicole Dieker from the wonderful website The Billfold joins us to talk about the most awesome way to reduce your stress and lower your grocery budget …

What kind of employee are you? 1099 or W2?

May 30th, 2017


We dive into the legal differences between independent contractor + W2 (regular) employee – and how it affects your finances and your legal …

Sticking to your budget despite peer pressure + the secret to saving money

May 23rd, 2017


We give some tips on dealing with peer pressure from coworkers and friends about spending money when you’re on a budget – and how to figure out where to trim your budget (the fact is that you probably already know what …

There is no good or bad debt + how you put pre-tax money in an IRA

May 16th, 2017


Lillian goes on an educational rant about the concepts of “good debt and bad debt” and she answers the perplexing question of how you actually get money into a pre-tax IRA.

Social worker pays off $18,000 of debt! + What Kind of Benefits to Negotiate For

May 8th, 2017


How American expats can avoid paying US taxes (it’s not easy); what sort of benefits you should look for in a job offer;
And Kelsey calls in to …

How to quit your job and be freelance (Listener Questions)

May 1st, 2017


Listener questions: What’s a Roth 401K and who should use it?… What should I financially prepare for if I want to go freelance?… When does it make …

Kick Butt With Your Tax Refund + 1099 tax strategies

April 17th, 2017


You’ve got a tax refund! Now what should you do with it? Lillian & Will also cover strategies for reducing your taxes when your income comes in …

Credit Hacks + Lillian’s Booze Spending Report

April 10th, 2017


A water cooler episode where we discuss some tips on raising your credit score (if you need/want to) and how much money Lillian has saved by quitting …

How to go through adult life “permanently in debt”

April 3rd, 2017


Listener Lola asks about how to plan for her future when she has six figures of college debt she’ll never be able to pay off. Lillian asks her to …

The Government Will Pay You to Save For Retirement

March 28th, 2017


Lillian compares compound interest to bunnies, explains how she saved for retirement even when making $800/month – and the wonders of the Saver’s Credit – which gives you money back to save for retirement!

If you’d like …

Budgeting Rule #1: You Do You

March 19th, 2017


From the radio vaults, we bring you a short episode about the #1 most important thing in your budget: your values. You can’t avoid looking at your …

Why Budgeting is the Root of All Awesome

March 15th, 2017


Budgeting- many people think budget is a scary word – that it implies extreme frugality, being broke, or some sort of deprivation. But most folks …

Staying Motivated in the “Hard Middle” of Big Goals

March 5th, 2017



Sometimes the most frustrating part of money is that building wealth is a marathon, not a sprint. We talk about the “hard middle” of working towards a big goal- where you’re making progress but it seems slow, and the …

A Great Credit Score Does Not Mean You Have It Together

February 27th, 2017


Many people think that if they’ve achieved a great credit score, they’re done, they have it all figured out and they’re financially well. That’s simply not true – a credit score is not a measure of financial well being. …

Making a living as a performing artist without getting famous

February 20th, 2017


Special guest John Vergin joins us for an episode of what a 40-year career of hustle as a working performing artist looks like without getting …

Everything you need to save for retirement in 30 minutes (if you’re under 40)

February 13th, 2017


Everything you need to know about saving for retirement in your 20’s and 30’s


Lillian answers all the questions you’ve been too scared or too lazy to ask about investing for retirement. She covers 401ks & IRAs, …

Tales of Financial Procrastination

February 6th, 2017


You know those nagging little financial tasks? The ones you procrastinate on? We talk about conquering those tasks that cost you money (including Lillian’s current procrastination on her money) – and hear a bunch of …

Your Trump Health Insurance Questions Answered

January 30th, 2017


A top money concern for many under the new administration is health insurance. Our special guest Ben Mcewan, helps answer your questions about health insurance in the Age of Trump: will the marketplace plans go away? …

#3 New Year’s Resolutions & Picking a Rewards Card

January 17th, 2017


Lillian talks about some New Year’s resolutions to set for your money, and how to make them easier PLUS she discusses how to choose a rewards credit …

Planning for Known Unknowns

January 13th, 2017


Today we talk about those things that might be emergencies – but are expected emergencies – and how to prepare for them. And how you can avoid using your emergency fund (if you have one yet!) on things you can …

Budgeting on a variable income

December 26th, 2016


In our first episode of Oh My Dollar! Lillian talks about living off last month’s income and answers questions from from Lucy (Portland, OR) a comic …

Loading ...

Download the RadioPublic app for
 FREE and never miss an episode.

Get it on Google PlayDownload on the App Store