Gordon, redux

A few months ago, I did a post about buying Jasper (my 3-year-old) a toy Gordon train in the book store. He and I were having a nice morning together, he asked for the train, and I bought it. Then I wallowed in a whole debate about whether I was “spoiling” him. Then I started asking why I was so worried about spoiling, given the size of the expenditure co… read more »

Advice Column: Time for a new opportunity?

A while ago, I received a letter from a woman who was considering ramping up her professional life.
“In an effort to keep a healthy balance of work and family, I have spent the past several years working or volunteering with organizations that need my skills as a non-profit development professional, but doing so only while my children (ages 10 and 14) ar… read more »

How to make the most of your weekend

I am working on a feature for a magazine on “how to make the most of your weekend.” It’s not exactly a new topic, but always a good one to think about.
Why? Most of us don’t do weekends well. As I argue in Chapter 8 of 168 Hours, many of us don’t treat our leisure time with respect. We assume we don’t have any of it, or we think it s… read more »

What you should know about income

We all know that some occupations pay more than others. Banking pays more than poetry. Petroleum engineering pays more than dance. But what about more similar occupations? How do they stack up per hour?
It turns out we know the answer to this in pretty rich detail. I’ve spent some time over the past few days perusing the Bureau of Labor Statistics’… read more »

Extreme Couponing… (Plus, the Renegade Writer)

Watching reality TV, one always risks turning over some new rock of humanity. But even so, I was a bit flabbergasted by Extreme Couponing on TLC. I watched the pilot episode a few weeks ago, and recently saw that, based on ratings, TLC ordered up a whole 12-episode series.
In the pilot, four coupon enthusiasts took a camera crew shopping and explained their t… read more »