Organics for the Win: Why I Still Buy Organic Produce

“Organics, ” said the headline, “not really very much better for you.” And a million mothers wept. Organics not proven “healthier” Indeed, according to a survey of a number of research studies — one of those “studies of studies, ” as I think of them — there are very few proven health benefits to consuming […]

Are you better off than you were four years ago?

Both current Presidential candidates are bandying about this question, with differing answers: “Are you better off than four years ago?” An illuminating interview with an economic journalist on Terri Gross’ Fresh Air program answered that the nation was better off as a whole, whereas many individuals were worse off. Thanks to a trick of wording: […]

Is Analog Better than Digital in Your Estate?

I am going to my parents’ house this weekend, and my favorite part of the visit is always standing in front of my moms’ bookshelves, gazing at all those lovely books that will one day surely be handed down to me and my siblings. I don’t know if many of them are valuable, but there […]

Dream Job vs. Reality Job

“I’ve got to get home for a phone call, ” said my friend. I’ll call her Melanie. We’d been having an editorial meeting for the preview issue of the parenting literary magazine that we’re launching. The dream job As projects go, this was a dream for all of us; we’d raised a bunch of money […]

Investing Locally

I was sitting in front of my friend Katie’s house, leaving her a note about the new business we’re starting together with some other mothers we know; a literary magazine for parents. She lives in the prettiest part of the neighborhood where I grew up. I turned and saw a woman whose face looked tired, […]

How to Sell

I will teach you how to sell! Yes, I’m borrowing that phrasing from another personal finance blogger. But as I’ve been working on a Kickstarter campaign for an offline project — which will, I dearly hope, have been successfully funded by the time you read this post — and working 12 hours a day plus […]

How Much Does She Spend? Why Comparing Yourself to Others Is a Mistake

I spend too much time thinking about how other people spend money. (But! I’m a personal finance writer!) When someone mentions how hard it is to be a working mother in a two-income family, I think, but that’s a path you chose, working out in my head how possible it might be for that family […]

Teach Your Kids One Thing

If you could teach your kids one thing about money, what would it be? Wait to spend money My almost 10-year-old and his youngest brother, almost five, have impulse control issues. Both have been diagnosed with separate but complementary behavioral disorders, which translate to: it’s hard for me to delay gratification. Because I spend huge […]

When to Invest in Individual Stocks

In the wake of the Facebook IPO, many of my finance geek friends were decrying the event (and the attendant media kerfuffle) as terrible for individual investors. The problem, went the argument, was that “knowing” Facebook as we all do, and hoping some of the riches of the company’s founders would rub off on us, […]

When to Use Income Based Repayment

I paid off the tiny amount of undergraduate student loans I took out quickly — within a few years of graduating. And then I went to business school, where we all mutually assume we’ll make crazy money afterward, so who cares about a few student loans? And at first, I was on plan, and started […]