Return of the “Good Guy Discount”

I never walk into a store anticipating I’d ask for a discount, but I have become much more aware that many people are amenable to giving you one in the right circumstances.

The Real Cost of Prescription Drugs

Last night, I left the office around 8:30 so I could make it to a pharmacy before it closed and pick up some prescriptions. The young woman behind the counter asked me for my name, and then her eyes got wide for a few seconds before she said:

“Your copays are insane!”

Latina Working for the Grey Lady Tells All

Magic Words That Will Save You $$$

How Ira Glass Does Money (For His Show, and For Himself)

The Cost of Things: Supporting Podcasts, Radio, & Friends

A Conversation With Anna Sale About ‘Death, Sex & Money’

Death, Sex & Money is a new podcast by WNYC’s Anna Sale and you should probably be listening to it. As the name suggests, its raison d’etre is discussing those taboo topics that are frequently on our minds but seldom in our conversations (just like The Billfold!). The first three episodes address topics often addressed here, like realizing you can no longer afford to live in New York, pursuing a creative career despite financial hardships and long odds, and, of course, having a former Republican Senator intervene in your love life. (That last one was featured on This American Life.)

Anna was good enough to take some time to talk with me about the podcast, taboos, shame, and the challenges of adulthood.

Modern-Day Jean Valjean Set Free

Cornealious “Mike” Anderson, a Missouri man sentenced to 13 years in prison in 1999 for his part in a robbery, instead spent 14 years as a free man with a new lease on life. He didn’t run or hide; after his conviction, he waited for police to show up and haul him off to prison — only, because of a clerical error, they never did. At least, not until July of this year, when Anderson came home from his job to find cops outside his house.

The $750,000 Story

Did you listen to last week’s This American Life episode about how acetaminophen kills about 150 Americans every year due to accidental overdoses? The story, among many other things, showed the long, difficult, and frustrating process of getting warning labels onto acetaminophen bottles. The story, which took two years to report, was done by an investigative unit at ProPublica. Today, The Atlantic reports how much it cost to report the story: $750,000, which is an extraordinary amount of money dedicated to one story. That money went to pay: “reporters, news applications and web developers, editors, video production, social media and PR, travel, legal review, half of the public opinion poll etc.” The cost of producing the This American Life episode was a separate matter. Was it worth it? Peter Osnos writes: “…what price do you suppose a parent with a young, feverish child might put on these disclosures?”

This American Life’s Segment on Give Directly

This American Life teamed up with Planet Money who sent reporters David Kestenbaum and Jacob Goldstein to Kenya to see whether or not GiveDirectly actually works. Spoiler alert: Some people used the money to make their lives better and start businesses, while others misused the money given to them.