money opener
Image: Jack Black

Ever since 1843, when William Overton cut Asa Lovejoy in on his 640-acre land grab—for a quarter!— Portland’s attitude about money has been considered, shall we say, nonchalant at best. Portlanders are scrimpers, not splurgers. They care more about balancing work life with family life than about acquiring the material riches afforded by the rat race. (Right?) And unlike those brazen, Botoxed Angelinos down south, Portlanders don’t like to talk about money. That would just be too gauche.

Well. Call us gauche. Because we’ve gone and posed all those forbidden questions—like “How much money do you make?” And “What did you buy with your millions?” And “So how does it feel to be flat broke?”

To our great surprise, in spite of Portland’s rep as a city given to monetary modesty, people talked. From lottery millionaires to a drag queen with a penchant for vodka martinis and a family who made a pact to buy nothing new for an entire year (not even vacuum bags), the people in these pages prove that Portland’s attitudes towards money are as diverse as the city itself. Lucky for you, now that we’ve gotten all the juicy answers, all you have to do is take a look.