Category: Economics

Personal finance for writers, or how to avoid winding up too broke to find $400

Financial insecurity is a reality for many people. Various survey questions over the years have tried to gauge its prevalence. The Federal Reserve began asking a question not long ago: how would you find $400 in an emergency? It turns out that 47 percent of Americans would have to take out a loan or sell something, or else do not think they could find $400 at all.… read more »

Do kids make you more productive?

Several alert readers sent me KJ Dell’Antonia’s Motherlode post on a study finding that academic economists with 2+ children were more productive than those without kids. There was a productivity hit when the kids were little, but overall productivity, as measured in journal publications, stayed elevated despite those dips. Women with kids, incid… read more »

“And then there were the wife bonuses”

If one party in a relationship earns a paycheck, and the other doesn’t, how should financial decisions be made? When should either party need to consult the other, and when is that not necessary? There are answers in the real world, and then there are answers, according to a recent essay in the New York Times, in the rarefied world of the Upper East Side of Manh… read more »

Money lesson 3: Money is a tool to build the life you want

I come from a long line of frugal people. Family lore says that, as a kid, I was asked what “expensive” meant. I said “it costs a lot of money.” I was asked what “cheap” meant. The answer? “We can buy it!” In general, being thrifty is a good thing. But one of my major money discoveries — money lesson three during this week of money lessons for my ki… read more »

My writing life: playing the long game

I’m working on my taxes this week. As usual, this triggers reflections on my finances, and hence my career. I had business income from 20 different sources this year. I do think it’s important to have multiple sources of income, though 20 starts to seem scattered. In my defense, some of this is the result of building a speaking career. It might be more effic… read more »