Our favorite money stories of the year



Myles Ma

Myles Ma

Senior Reporter

Myles Ma is a senior reporter at Policygenius, where he covers personal finance and insurance and writes the Easy Money newsletter. His expertise has been featured in The Washington Post, PBS, CNBC, CBS News, USA Today, HuffPost, Salon, Inc. Magazine, MarketWatch, and elsewhere.

Published December 23, 2019 | 2 min read

Policygenius content follows strict guidelines for editorial accuracy and integrity. Learn about our editorial standards and how we make money.

News article image

Writing about money is cool because you pretty much write about anything. This year at Policygenius we've published stories about Keanu Reeves, "Super Smash Bros." and "Survivor." Personal finance lessons can be found everywhere. Here are some of our favorite stories we've published this year, and a few great stories outside the confines of Policygenius dot com.

When work is play: A look at the financial lives of professional gamers

Alexander Lee's feature on the money struggles and triumphs of young men who play "Super Smash Bros." for a living showed how precarious turning your hobby into your job can be.

Years before the Kardashians, he made reality TV his job

Some people save and invest their way to $1 million. Rupert Boneham took a different route, turning "Survivor" stardom into pay dirt.

Which Keanu Reeves character would struggle the most to get insurance?

Not everyone wants to read about insurance, but they should. But, everyone loves Keanu Reeves. If we have to write a silly article in which we consider whether Neo from "The Matrix" would qualify for life insurance to get people to read about financial protection, guess what: We're going to do it.

The strange ways low-stakes gamblers think about money

Gambling might seem irresponsible, but Matt Hongoltz-Hetling's look at a night at a poker room in New Hampshire revealed the financial discipline it takes to survive as a small-stakes card player.

And now, a few we didn't write, but really loved:

12 people talk honestly about how they paid off their debt, BuzzFeed

"How I paid off my debt" stories are ubiquitous in personal finance journalism, but we loved the variety, depth and honesty of these accounts.

The middle-class crunch: a look at 4 family budgets, New York Times

Pairing these families' money stories with detailed budget breakdowns shows the trade-offs middle-class families must make as the face growing housing, health and education costs.

The bizarre story of the LA dad who exposed the college admissions scandal, Los Angeles Times

The college admissions cheating scandal, in which rich people went to extreme and illegal lengths to get their kids into college, was weird enough. The Los Angeles Times got the story of the man who tipped off the authorities.

The hidden cost of GoFundMe health care, New Yorker

Few things illustrate the holes in our health care system better than our reliance on crowdfunding to fill those gaps.

Inside TurboTax’s 20-year fight to stop Americans from filing their taxes for free, ProPublica

Ever wonder why filing taxes never gets easier even as technology advances? A ProPublica investigation shows how good old fashioned Washington lobbying keeps taxes complicated.

What were your favorite money stories of 2019? Tell us in the comments below.

Image: Hugo Barbosa