A Round-up of Recent Perspectives on MLK’s Ideas about Money
Personal finance is not the first topic that comes to mind when you ponder the legacy of Martin Luther King, Jr. But the great thinker, orator, man of God, and activist had quite a lot to say about the subject — and how it relates to the larger forces at work in American and global society.
My 2021 Bottom Line Is Not Much Different from the One in 2020
In January of last year, I shared exuberantly about my cool new job and the seemingly limitless future. Ending that month with consumer debt of $18,265 and overall debt creeping up toward $500,000, I saw no possibility except improvement.
One year and a hellscape of endlessly tedious days, blown holidays, political terrors, and public suffering later, I am starting this year much better off than many people, yet not much better or worse than I was last February.
Way more action, way less judging
Let’s face it: Now is no time to go about firming your resolve. If you are reading this and you are not under constant daily stress, woo-hoo for you, but chances are you’re one of us: FUBAR seven ways from Sunday, unsure who you are anymore, caught up in a daily routine that is most notable for its banality within the bizarre continuation of a global pandemic and the near-miss of a full-blown Constitutional crisis in the US that now gives way to hopeful signs amid a slow, simmering brew of grievance, mistrust, and…
This past month, at the closing of one of the strangest years any of us has ever lived through, I was still trying so hard to get an inkling, to grasp even the vaguest sense of the whole year: what it was for me and my family financially (the subject of this blog), and what it was for us broadly, beyond money into our community and…
Doing okay in a very not-okay way
Happy Halfway through the Holidays and Almost Through 2020! What have we learned?
My own circumstances improved as the world we knew collapsed
Remember when we used to write letters to our future selves? Warning, giving advice, reflecting on the adventure that lay ahead?
This letter is not that.
This letter is written in reverse. It’s from your future self, two years more or less from the day a roof leak led you to start blogging your financial despair and recovery. Maybe there is a warning here. The warning might be: Life comes at you fast. Or Be careful what you wish for.
What have I learned, this me of the…
So I embarked on this crazy project a few years ago, to read every book in my house (still at it).
The first book took me two weeks to finish.
The next one took about a week.
The third one, I devoured in three days. I started filling notebooks and underlining quotes and scribbling ideas in the margins. Just like my mom used to do.
Beautiful as they were, these books I was reading back then were not what you would call pleasure books. They led not to escape but to confrontation. I’m not knocking escape, mind you. …
Here is all I know about the day my mother left:
I wasn’t alive. For as long as I could remember, the family had told hilarious stories of hijinks and mayhem that did not involve me. They always went something like this:
Older sister: Mom, Dad, remember that time when we had all those jars of pennies, and we counted the pennies, and there were so many that we had enough for all four of us go to Six Flags together? Mom: Of course! Dad: That was so fun! Older brother: Haha, yeah! Me: When was that? I don’t remember…
During COVID-19, I think about my mother every day. She was essential. She would have been there for other people.
NOTE: My mother passed away many years ago, but not a day of the pandemic goes by that my heart does not go out to nurses, and their families.
My mother was a nurse, and it defined her life. She fought her parents to become one, put herself through school without their money. They believed nursing was beneath her. All those bedpans. All that blood and stink. …
When “Back to School” is not what you dreamed of, at least your books can be
I can’t get around the sadness of this back-to-school season, let alone the ongoing fear and occasional fits of rage. Why are we here now? Some of us are grounded; others of us forced to risk our lives to put food on the table and put our kids at risk for school. What…
I’m a 50-something bohemian with a mountain of debt and regrets. Can I dig out before it’s all over? I brake for poets.