I learned how to budget in the second grade, and my first budgeting lessons came from my parents and a set of mason jars: 10 percent for savings, 10 percent for God, the rest for fun. Put it in the jar, give it to the church and the rest to Delia*s.
I’ve been putting off writing this article. I’ve been putting off writing anything, really: I quit my salaried job and went full-time freelance with the idea that I’d work a few hourly jobs fact-checking, researching and editing from home, which would clear up time to write.
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.