Logan, Where Have You Been?

Mike: Logan! So enquiring minds would like to know how you are doing and what you’ve been up to.

Logan: I’m glad you asked, Mike. Would it surprise you to know that I’ve had “write post for Billfold explaining why no longer posting on Billfold” on my to-do list for multiple months? I bet it would surprise you not at all. So in lieu of that, this. I took a full-time, 9:30-to-5:30ish job. I get up and go to an office and eat salad at a desk—all things that I spent the whole of my twenties avoiding! But I’m not 20 anymore. I’m 30, in three weeks. It was the right and good decision for me.

Mike: You really needed to earn more money. That was the whole point of getting this other job. It was kind of crazy that you were working a full-time restaurant job and blogging on the side and still struggling to make ends meet. It was unsustainable, plus not very remunerative.

Logan: Yeah, we’ve never talked about how much money we’ve made with the site, but it isn’t enough for two people to work full-time. Maybe it will be one day, but I needed to be making a lot more money now. Maybe there was a way I could have made it work—a more lucrative second job, I’m not sure. But by the new year, I’d decided I needed to step back and find a full-time job.

Mike: Neither of us were making enough from the site to live in the city and pay all of our obligations (we’d share those numbers if they weren’t proprietary to the network). One of the reasons for this is that we took out a loan to start the site and have been slowly paying it back. But I was able to make it work with my second job at another website and also via freelancing and consulting. And I’m taking less money now so that we can bring on Ester part-time. She has been great and will be a huge help when Meaghan needs to take a step back after she has her baby.

So I guess the thing people are wondering now is whether or not they’ll see you come back and write on the site once in a while after you get settled at your new job.

Logan: I hope so! I keep thinking of post ideas—that’ll happen after having to produce so much content for two years!—but I can’t actually write any of them because I want to keep my job. It’s why I stopped blogging during my job search, too: When I started to think about things I wanted to write in terms of potential employers reading them, it became impossible to write, for me. So that’s something I have to figure out, how to be myself again on this site while also having a job I want to keep and bosses who, if they don’t read this website, at least know it exists.

Mike: Totally—that makes sense. This is the internet, it is public, and we have our real names attached to it. And you’ve shared some stories that don’t always show you in the most positive light. Also, my other employer encourages me to pursue my own undertakings, but it makes sense if an employer is like, “If you’re going to be working, you’ve got to be working for us and not the competition” (though I’m not even sure if we even count as competition here).

Logan: Well to me it’s not even that I’d have posts up, it’s that all my posts, historically, have been about how much of a fuck-up I am, and I’m trying to Be a Professional Now. The cool thing is that now I’m a Billfold reader. Love what you’re doing with the place. Love Meaghan. Love Ester. Love the Employment Histories.

Mike: I think you and I got to a point where there was only so much from our own experience we could draw from. Ester and Meaghan are parents (or will be). Neither of us are married or have children, and so much about money has to do with those things. Remember all those Fridays when we’d sit around and figure out what we were going to chat about? We felt like we ran out of things to say to each other and that was not good at all. And the narrative was that I was good with money and you were bad with money, and even though we’re friends, it sometimes had that “man good with money, woman not-so-good with money” vibe. I think it’s good now that we have two women on staff who are good with money to switch up the narrative. I mean, Meaghan taught people about stock options, and Ester is a crazy saver.

Logan: Yes, totally. My narrative for so long was “person who screwed up and has a lot of credit card debt and no real plan to pay it off in any timely way, lol.” That got old, for me. So I made a change! A good one, so far. And I do hope to be back on the site. I still have my login.

Mike: You will always have your login! Um, I have a feeling when True Detective Season 2 rolls around, there will be some fun posts up. But also, it’ll be good to see the narrative change. I told Meaghan in a chat a few weeks ago that so many of our money problems are simply solved by earning more money. I think that will be true for you. You made some behavioral changes (getting rid of your credit cards), and the next step was the earning more money part.

Logan: Yes, I think so. And I get to start finding out soon! My first paycheck comes tomorrow.

 

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38 Comments / Post A Comment

allreb (#502)

Changing the narrative you tell about your life is tricky stuff, but I am very happy you are doing it, Logan! It sounds like good stuff is happening for you, and I hope it all goes awesomely, even though I will miss your posts around here.

appleaday (#6,367)

Congrats Logan!

grobel (#3,631)

Yay Logan but boo for me! I’m really going to miss Logan’s perspectives. Mike, Meaghan, and Ester are great writers and lovely to read but y’all are so responsible with money which is hard for me to relate to. I hope you still feature someone that makes dumb decisions sometimes :(

highjump (#39)

Nice to see you Logan! If you still feel comfortable doing it, I would love to keep seeing you join the Throw Money at Our Problems check-ins. I enjoy rooting for the people who do those (who have so kindly celebrated my successes), including you.

mcf (#5,031)

Congrats, Logan! I know my life became substantially easier once I started an office job with even a low salary. Part of one of a billion reasons that Congress needs to pass a living wage. Anyway! Good luck with getting everything on track; you can do it!

jquick (#3,730)

@TaffetaDarling Low wages are for jobs with no or low skills that just about anyone can do. Instead of waiting for legislation to earn more money, I suggest gaining skills/education …invest in yourself …to increase your earning power. Or go back to uni and study STEM.

Aconite (#6,401)

@jquick
You’ve been saying the same damn thing about STEM for aeons of time. Go home, jquick, you’re drunk.

The Mole (#2,633)

Can you share what you’re doing in this new office, at all?

@The Mole I’m doing internet and digital stuff for a trade publication!

DebtOrAlive (#5,233)

I guess I always saw your narrative as “person who screwed up and has a lot of credit card debt and voluntarily put her (financial) mess all the way out there on the Interwebz and created a space where’s it OK to not have your shit together and to try and succeed at getting it together but also sometimes fail but nonetheless do it without shame (well maybe a little shame because hey we’re human and self-shame happens)”

But I guess your version is cool too.

@DebtOrAlive Yeah I saw Logan’s story in a much more positive way too! And you did have a plan to pay it off!

That being said, I welcome any and all future Logan contributions to the Billfold, I’ve missed you!

@DebtOrAlive Your version actually sounds truer to me, and truer to how I wanted to be. Or want to be? Am. And I still think it’s okay to not have your shit together, even as I am trying to get mine a little bit more together. But I’m never going to be a Mike.

Allison (#4,509)

@DebtOrAlive the lack of performative self recrimination over every unperfect decision made was HUGE to see and read. I do hope that we can get that sort of perspective again!

samburger (#5,489)

@Allison THIS so hard.

@Logan Sachon Um me neither, and neither will any of us really. Mike is an aberration. (Though a delightful one.) (Hi Mike!)

HelloTheFuture (#5,275)

Congratulations! Your next step sounds awesome.

j a y (#3,935)

Congrats, I had hoped it was something like that!

antheridia (#2,995)

Reading this post made me think about the “behind the scenes” work that goes into the Billfold. Could you please do a post about that sometime? Like, discuss how you choose articles, and what sort of work happens in the back to produce the site, and whether you guys get together in an office, and what that office looks like? Who has a novelty mug? Who doesn’t do the dishes? Inquiring minds need to know!

Hava (#2,239)

Yay for Logan! I’m so happy to hear that you’ve found something that is more lucrative and will still give you some personal satisfaction(I hope!). I’m always thrilled to see a Logan post no matter how infrequent it might be.

Stina (#686)

So happy for you Logan. I’m glad that you have made a move which you feel good about.

However does this mean you are excused from the “Throwing Money at our Problems” check-in? No it does not.

sarahsayssoo (#4,237)

Congrats Logan! I’m so happy for you. Your honesty in this space has been very important to me as I have been working to make changes in my own life so I hope (selfishly) that you will continue to write some but either way I am so thrilled you have found a new job that you are enjoying

madrassoup (#929)

I was so, so happy to see this post. But then I was sad to read through it and see that Logan doesn’t give herself or necessarily even get enough credit for her WRITING. My appreciation for what Logan brought to this site was not really about her yin to Dang’s yang (which sounds pervy but it’s staying in). I mean that was part of it, especially given how good a sport she was and how it allowed this site to be a space where people could be honest about and try to fix their own financial mistakes.

But, real talk: Logan, you are a beautiful writer and have such a distinctive voice. I always knew – even when you weren’t writing about yourself – when I was reading a Logan post, from the titles to the turns of phrase to the tags. I think that is such a rarity on the web and, often, on this site.

And I think there is something totally fascinating and worthy of exploration about the fact that we live in a world where being a talented writer isn’t enough. It doesn’t pay the bills, and therefore it requires funneling that writerly talent into other areas. Meanwhile, more and more it seems like being able to afford to be a writer is now the primary qualification for being a writer. I think that would be an interesting Billfold topic. (And I have to say that I vehemently disagree with Mike’s notion that “so much about money has to do with” being married or a parent. And I say that as a married person!)

I mean, sure, practically speaking. But I never thought that this website was content with practicalities as its raison d’être. “Rental Histories” is a genius approach to narrating life histories (whether they end with marriage or babies or not). And “My Last $100 Bucks” has always been interesting precisely because it provides such diverse “day in the life” snapshots — imagine if you had to be in a certain demographic to contribute. (Can you imagine? “My half of Sushi: $20.” “My half of cable: $50.” “My half of baby’s college fund: $30.” How dreadful!) I’m not saying Logan pioneered those series (I don’t know if she did), but those are things that made the Billfold, and Logan’s voice on the Billfold, special. Moreso, I think, than her “character” as the Goofus to Mike’s Gallant.

I see I had a lot of feelings! But my point is that there was SO MUCH MORE to Logan’s presence on this site than her financial personality.

Clara (#3,450)

@madrassoup This exactly. Logan has a distinct style: wryly ironic, a tad edgy, gently sardonic–I can’t describe it exactly, but I miss it. Wish you could do a regular weekly feature here.

elVollbrechto (#4,347)

@madrassoup Agreed, to all of the above.

Man, what is it about turning 30, though? Such a game-changer. I never thought I’d own a house ever-ever, let alone before I turned 30, or have a retirement account–did both; so many things that I THOUGHT I’d have figured out by now (where to build my life, location-wise, and with whom, and how)I’m still very much sorting out.

@madrassoup Yup. And Logan, I am so happy for you and wish you all the best. But I hope that you will find a way to continue writing about the things you personally care about – your interview series with homeless people was some of the best stuff I’d read in a long time, from anyone, and I hope you can carve out space to continue doing things like that.

Good luck with the new job!

LDW (#4,492)

@madrassoup Here, here! Logan’s long form pieces are the ones I’ve missed the most and I do hope that you have time to write a few when you get more acclimated to your new job.

There are a lot of people writing about debt and broke-ness out there, but this site has created its own aesthetic surrounding writing about money that I find at once relate-able and enjoyable to read. Logan, you’ve been essential to that aesthetic and I think we all owe you a debt of gratitude.

Mike Dang (#2)

Thanks for the thoughtful comments! About the married parent thing, I just wanted to clarify that what I meant was that Logan and I felt like we ran out of things to say to each other about money after about two years of doing weekly chats, even when there were so many other topics relating to money (like marriage and having kids) we could have talked about but couldn’t because we had no experience with it. Having women on our staff who can speak to those experiences really expanded what this site could talk about (Meaghan’s personal stories about dealing with her obstetrician and the ACA were fascinating, for example, as was Ester’s discussion with Meaghan about how she came to the decision to give her daughter to her brother in case anything ever happened to her or her husband).

And Logan and her wonderful writing will still continue to show up here! I hung out with her last night after this went up and after she settles a bit and gets her bank account healthy she’ll definitely be doing more. This certainly isn’t the last Mike/Logan chat. (Semi-related, we’ve always loved the interviews with the homeless and will continue to do more in that vein—I’ve been working with one of our writers, Sharon, who did that interview with the person who aged out of foster care, and she will be interviewing an undocumented immigrant next.)

Also, if you feel like you’re a “Logan” and want to see more of that kind of perspective here, consider writing for us. Or if you don’t want to write something and would like to do a “Conversation With” one of us instead, fee free to email me or Meaghan or Ester. We’d love to have you.

elVollbrechto (#4,347)

Aghhhhhh I haven’t even read this yet, just so excited to see Logan’s name again! Okay. Reading now.

EvanDeSimone (#2,101)

You will definitely be missed. Thanks for being brave enough to share as much as you did and good luck with your new endeavors.

LookUponMyWorks (#2,616)

Just seconding what others have said – I always enjoyed your contributions and admired your plans (and your actions!) to pay off your debt.

Good luck with your new endeavors. If you feel like writing again for the Billfold, I for one would read it happily.

Cash 4 Cats (#6,089)

Logan, I’m financially more like you than Mike and have definitely missed reading posts (and consistently on-point alt texts) from your perspective. But I’m so so happy to hear about all the new endeavors. Good luck with everything, you’re the best!

theballgirl (#1,546)

Congrats on the new job Logan! Echoing others: Your honesty about your money/life adventures was refreshing and authentic. Even though my day-to-day is probably closer to Meaghan/Ester (mom w/pt job), I relate(d) more to you in a lot of ways. Best of luck to you!

scn231 (#1,705)

Logan, I also really like your class analysis and feminist orientation, both of which can be seen as a bit more “serious” topics, so maybe when you get settled in your other job, you can focus on some new areas, because I have a feeling you have more to say (not that I didn’t also love hearing about credit card debt :). Also, I am generally rooting for this site to become more and more critical of income disparities, and eventually become the fomenting ground for the financial revolution in America. So, you know, to the extent this is a place for content feedback from readers, that is mine!

MeghanNesmith (#5,767)

Perpetually Missing Logan.

EmilyAnomaly (#4,238)

Congratulations on your new job Logan! I hope you are able to contribute again in the future!

amaeve (#5,095)

Though I don’t comment often, this is absolutely one of my favorite websites and while I do like the new people, I really miss having a voice I could relate to, which is what drew me in in the first place. When everyone is talking about saving for retirement I just feel like I’m going to have a panic attack. (I mean, it’s a legitimate topic, just so incredibly far from my reality.)

boringbunny (#3,260)

I miss Logan too! I still remember her advice to that reader who wanted to a find a new job. It was perfect.

MC (#6,082)

Yay Logan! I’m so glad to hear that you’re making the great decision to take care of yourself with the new job, and so glad to hear that you’ll till be posting her from time to time.

I’m not much for commenting, but I’ve struggled with anxiety and depression for a long time; I’ve been in survival mode so long that paying off debt / saving for retirement didn’t seem like possible goals to me. When I got any extra money I spent it right away.

I’ve really enjoyed Billfold posts that address where mental health issues and finances overlap, not to mention the economic structural inequities that make it hard to pull yourself out of debt no matter what your situation.

Thanks Billfold!

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