On Forgiving Is Not Forgetting: On Letting Go Of Debts

You're talking about two very different things here. You start off with stories about women choosing to make alternative arrangements with the fathers of their children -- arrangements they were able to make because they weren't in precarious financial positions themselves. But then you conflate those stories with those involving the state's decisions as to how fathers should be punished for falling behind on child support. Both are very interesting stories, but they don't overlap! At least not in the way you're trying to make them overlap here. In fact, with the way you've structured the piece you're sort of implying that if only Walter Scott's ex-wife had made a different arrangement with him, he wouldn't have been in fear of going back to jail, etc etc. I know you don't mean to suggest that, and I agree with the overall points, but I almost see them as belonging in two separate articles. Although, now that I think about it, one thing that I'm picking up on are the socioeconomic gaps between the men in the first part of the article (who live out of the country and take their kids on amazing vacations) and those in the second (who make little to nothing and keep getting thrown in jail).

Posted on April 20, 2015 at 4:20 pm 3

On Former NBA Player Josh Childress Explains Why Athletes Go Broke

"NBA rookies, like anyone else starting a new job, also have to pay to—as Childress puts it—”represent myself like a professional.” It’s no longer appropriate to carry around worn-out bags, for example. Everything has to look new and high-quality, which means spending high-quality prices." This does not really capture the specifics of NBA players' situations. They actually have a dress code. So in some ways it's like starting a new job, but it's also a pretty strict requirement. Certainly it's up to the players to decide how much to spend on a given item, but it's worth noting that the line about representing himself professionally is not a matter of intuiting what people expect of him, but rather of knowing it word-for-word.

Posted on April 20, 2015 at 12:25 pm 1

On An Interview With a Wealthy Retiree About His Taxes

@Vib G Yor Yeah I get that some questions aren't relevant to the post and series. But to your second paragraph and point about capital gains, all of that IS totally relevant to the post and series. I think this is the first person profiled whose income comes from capital gains, and yet it goes unremarked upon. That's all I mean -- there were opportunities to point out that he does pay lower taxes and ask questions about that, especially given the theme of the series. Again, it doesn't need to be confrontational; avoiding discussion of it is weirder, to me.

Posted on March 24, 2015 at 11:46 am 0

On An Interview With a Wealthy Retiree About His Taxes

Where to start with this. Well, for one: I think that if you're going to include this interview as part of the Tax Month series, which makes a lot of sense, it strikes me as a missed opportunity to not ask why his tax rate is so, so low (like not even 30% of his adjusted income when it should be closer to 33% at the very least, though admittedly I'm not the best at this sort of math so I'm totally open to having this explained to me). I'd be curious to know how he feels to be paying a similar rate to someone making around 40k a year. I mean I knew what I was getting when he said "Having a high tax bill is always good news for me, because it means I had high income," and while I don't need him to say that he loves to pay taxes because it's the right thing to do, I do want the person interviewing him to ask more probing questions. Maybe that's not fair, but I'm always curious to know if people as rich as him feel like they're paying their fair share, especially when they have so many ways to get out of even paying the bare minimum of that. And that doesn't have to be a confrontational question! But this interview just kinda reads like the interviewer was so impressed by the high numbers that every question is some version of "What's that like?" Also, I appreciate the last line about him not feeling qualified to give readers of this site advice. Especially when it's not at all clear how he made his money and why he was able to retire at such a young age. If it's family money I certainly don't know what advice he could give a Billfold reader about making or managing money (although I've been surprised how many readers of this site talk about inheritances). I don't know why I'm so annoyed! But reading this article felt like walking in on the end of a conversation after missing relevant details, so I'm left feeling like "wait, what?"

Posted on March 24, 2015 at 11:07 am 0

On On Wanting to Be a Millionaire

@Vib G Yor This is fascinating. I want you to write an article about it!

Posted on February 9, 2015 at 7:53 pm 0

On Cheap v. Frugal

@Ester Bloom Nah, Goofus always seemed way more fun (and way less smug) than Gallant. Cheap just sounds like a huge pill.

Posted on February 6, 2015 at 12:44 pm 0

On Running a Business I Didn't Want

This really is so interesting. I'm also curious about the emotional side of things. Like, did you feel like you were doing what your dad wanted by hanging in there for as long as you had? Did it make you understand your dad better in a way you hadn't before? I have tons more of the same type of question, because in my own mind I'd wonder if he'd be proud, or maybe a little sad that it represented such a drastic change of career course (or some combination of the two) and whether I'd done "right" by him (whatever that even means).

Posted on February 3, 2015 at 4:25 pm 0

On A Human and Her Glass of Whisky Attempt to Buy Multi-city Plane Tickets

@jfruh Is it too late? I want you to see your sister in DC. I feel like 6 months from now you'll remember the time you had with her more than you'll remember the exact amount you saved on a flight. And, yeah, setting foot in NYC means setting your money on fire, so I truly believe you'll come out ahead by shortening your stay.

Posted on January 9, 2015 at 11:07 am 0

On The Cost of Getting My Stolen Computer Back

My Gen X is showing, but I really wanted this story to end with you taking the Singles DVD.

Posted on January 6, 2015 at 1:59 pm 2

On Happy New Year! Here Are Some Pointless Or Obvious Savings Tips!

@jmdj I had a moment like that with Eshakti the other day. I had a coupon and there was a sale, but after spending so much of the day visiting the page and navigating away from it, I realized that I was forcing the issue for the sake of "saving" and finally closed the tab. It was kind of liberating to come to that realization though, and I need to remember it throughout the year.

Posted on January 5, 2015 at 11:20 am 0