- When Planet Money host Amanda Aronczyk was hit by a car as a child, she got $15,000 from her insurance company.
- The money was put into an account that she couldn't touch until she was 18.
- "If I had been 25, I might have made some better decisions" with those funds, she says.
When Amanda Aronczyk was eleven years old and living in Toronto, she was hit by a car. The Planet Money host, now 47, sustained some pretty significant injuries in the accident.
"It sucked," she says. "I broke my leg and sprained my ankle, needed surgery, and wore a full length leg cast for ages."
She did, however, come into some money from her insurance company: $15,000. The amount was put into an account that she couldn't access until she was 18. When the funds did become available to her, she made some very 18-year-old decisions.
"I was responsible with some of it," she says. But with the rest, she made some mistakes.
Aronczyk spent a summer in Chicago and enrolled in a film class at the Art Institute in Chicago, which she still thinks of as a good investment.
She also bought a lot of beer. "I bought some kegs of beers for my friends," she says. "That was the first thing I did, like 'party's on me. I just came into a load of cash.'"
The kicker is she didn't consume any of it: "I don't drink beer. I bought it 100% for my friends."
Video by Mariam Abdallah
Looking back, she doesn't regret having some fun with the money, but she does wish she had put a bit away. "I should have been wise and invested 30% of it," she says. "I should have been clever about it."
After all, the most important factor of investing is time. If she invested $4,500 about 30 years ago, she could have more than $35,000, assuming a 7% interest rate.
"If I had been 25, I might have made some better decisions," she says. "I might have thought of something other than buying beer for everybody that made me popular for five seconds."
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