On My Own: Doing a Personal Finance 180

I’m standing in Trader Joe's, contemplating a container of chicken broth. It’s $1.99. I put it back. After I’ve checked out, I tell my roommates, who are grocery shopping with me, that I’m going to run next door to Foods 4 Less. I’ve actually never shopped there before, but I suspect its chicken broth is cheaper—and I’m right, It’s only $1.68.

From Public University To Tony Country Club

Marian Wang at ProPublica has a telling interview with the former president of Miami University, James Garland. More commonly known as Miami of Ohio, Miami University is a public university that, according to Garland, is "public in name only." He describes the strategy they undertook to weather the economic downturn on a diminishing state budget, and the regrets he has in retrospect, despite the success of their efforts.

A Conversation with a Photographer Who Earns $50,000 a Year

Grant: I'm 28, live in Chicago, Ill. My fiancé and I just moved to a neighborhood called Logan Square last weekend. I am a photographer.

Chatting With My Parents About How (And Why) They Paid For My College Education

When I was 18, my parents sent me 600 miles away to Northwestern University for a journalism degree worth nearly $200,000. Minus $50,000 in loans and grants, they paid for the whole thing out-of-pocket. I've never understood why. So I asked them.

On My Own: Figuring Out How to Pay for College After My Parents Cut Me Off

I’m a rising sophomore at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, which has an approximate yearly price tag of around $24,800. That, along with its good reputation, was why I decided to attend Cal Poly instead of an exotic, $60K-a-year-with-no-aid-package East Coast private school I had envisioned for myself since sixth grade.

A Conversation With an Artist/Nonprofit Worker About Her Money

Margaret: I'm 29, I work in the communications department at a nonprofit, and I live in Brooklyn/work in Manhattan.

A Conversation with a 24-Year-Old Publicist Who Earns $44,000 a Year

Beverly: I'm a 24-year-old publicist working in New York City. My official title is "Senior Account Executive." I earn $44,000 a year, but that's very recent (within the past month).

We Were Poor, And College Was The Answer to All My Problems (Right?)

College was positioned as The Answer To All My Problems from a very young age.

“If You’ve Got Some Sugar For Me, Sugar Daddy, Bring It Home”

Is it more fun to work at the Atlantic and report stories like this one – about how many “sugar daddies” are putting their “sugar babies” through college – or to work here and shake our heads at the Atlantic?

In 2013, Seeking Arrangement announced that approximately 44 percent of its 2.3 million “babies” are in college. This is a trend that the website encourages—if babies register with a .edu email account, they receive a free premium membership(something the guys have to shell out as much as $1,200 for). Seeking Arrangement creates the illusion that the sexual element of these relationships isn’t forced, but organic. No one associated with the website wants to admit that what it’s doing is facilitating sex-for-money exchanges. The large number of college women on the site helps preserve this illusion, for both the daddies and the babies.

“Dating a college woman fulfills these guys’ wildest dreams. They want someone highly educated who is eager to learn,” said Parinda Wanitwat, director of the documentary Daddies Date Babies, which profiles several college sugar babies living in New York City.

In related news, “women are most attracted to men in a similar age bracket to them. On the other side of the spectrum are men, who pointedly prefer women in their 20s, even when they are quite old themselves.”

A Conversation With a Tax Accountant Who Earns $75,000 a Year

Michelle: I'm 26, a senior corporate tax accountant, and I live in Rockland County in N.Y.

Oregon’s ‘Pay it Forward, Pay it Back’ College Payment Plan

Oregon is exploring an inventive way for students to fund their educations at community colleges and four-year public universities in the state: Free tuition in exchange for paying a small percentage of their adjusted gross incomes into a special fund for, according to one proposal, a 20-year time period.