How A Person With a Five-Figure Income Buys an Apartment in New York City

When The New York Times ran a story in late June on income-restricted housing, I almost didn’t read it. After a six-month apartment search on a New-York-poor budget, I was something of an expert on the ins and outs of different types of buildings. But I had just curled up with a mug of coffee at my parents’ suburban kitchen table, their print Times arrayed before me.

How Much The Borrowers Owe Us

We moved in nine months ago, and The Borrowers have already constructed a nice little nest out of some of our stuff. Here’s what we’ve lost in our apartment:

I Bought a House When I Was 21

When I tell people that I own my house, and that I bought it when I was 21, they always want to know how could she afford it? I can see in their faces that they're wondering if I'm a trust fund baby, if my rich boyfriend bought it with me, or if I secretly make money doing something tawdry. Nobody ever asks me that question, but if they did, I think they'd be disappointed in the answer. My secret: I just saved my money.

Too Much House or Not Enough

I found this post on house sizes by country via Radiolab, and it asks: How much space is enough? That depends of course on how big your family is and what you do (my parents knocked down walls and built additions to their house because they needed space to dance). I live in a small studio apartment, which I think is perfectly at the moment, so I agree with what the author of the post, Lindsay Wilson says here: "In my mind if you have decent ceiling heights, good windows, clever storage and not too much stuff a little space can go a long way."

It’s Heating Season In New York City

I spent all night freezing my ass off and debating whether I should get out of bed to put on a sweatshirt, which means it must be late October in my rented apartment!

When Your Dad Lives in a Dumpster (Voluntarily)

Jeffrey Wilson is an environmental science professor and a divorced dad who is living life like it's one big experiment and writing about it for xoJane.

I Spent $3,500 on Shredded Newspapers to Insulate My Home

Still feeling the financial pinch from the house purchase 10 months earlier, I had to make my first capital improvement: attic insulation. Exciting, huh? It wasn't exactly a homeowner’s dream project.

“Now Tell Me Where You Keep Your Valuables”

From Erika Hall's essay "The Roast in the Fridge," on her mother, eminent domain, feminism, and being an outspoken woman.

Do You Have Any Mortgage Questions?

I received an email from Liz, a licensed loan originator and self-proclaimed mortgage person, who suggested that readers here may be interested in an "Ask a Mortgage Person"-type column. Perhaps! Send your mortgage questions to understand.mortgage@gmail.com and we'll see how this goes!

One Way to Afford Living in an Expensive City: Live in an Abandoned Office

London is one of the most expensive cities in the world to live in, but if you're looking for some cheap rent, you could consider applying to become a "guardian" of an abandoned office building. Nicole Vloeimans, an NGO worker, pays $635 a month to live in one, according to The Wall Street Journal.