Economics

Reader question: Pay off debt or keep the cleaning service?

Today’s reader question has to do with both money and time. The reader, who works full-time and has two young daughters, explains the situation like this: “The woman who used to clean our house has moved on to a new job and now we are without. We are also in the process of paying off our debt, which was scheduled to be paid off in 18 months. I was thinking that per… read more »

How to keep the treadmill from becoming a very expensive clothes rack

Many people would like to be in better shape. Come New Year’s, gyms see an influx of new members. The problem? Many stop showing up by February 24. Likewise, exercise equipment dealers do a brisk business in December/January. But it’s practically a cliche that the treadmill will eventually become a place to hang clothes. If not that, at least it will be an… read more »

Childcare costs, or why money matters

Get Rich Slowly tackled one of my favorite topics this week: the economics of childcare. It’s not a favorite topic because it is fun. Far from it. Indeed, it’s often depressing. However, it can lead to a useful discussion of how choices need to be considered not just in the moment, but in the long term. (I’m quoted to this effect in the original post).
Here… read more »

The Baby-sitters Club, and how we figure out what people want to read

I interviewed a few people from Macmillan last week for a piece I’m writing on crowdsourcing. One of those people was Jean Feiwel, who lists on her bio that working with Ann M. Martin years ago while she was at Scholastic to create The Baby-sitters Club was “one of my proudest accomplishments.”
Since we were talking about whether publishers know what re… read more »

How do I start a business when I’ve got a bundle of kids around here?

In the post earlier this week on The Nesting Place, a few comments raised the question of how to start a business when you don’t have the cash for childcare. You hope the business will eventually bring in enough to pay for childcare, a great house, trips to Tahiti, retirement, innovative philanthropic work, etc., but it probably won’t right away. It is the… read more »