The Cost of Repurposing a Garden

Here’s a breakdown of everything I’ve spent in landscaping, excluding plants.

What I Learned as an Artist Model

I’d never expected to embrace any kind of nudity, still less be paid for it.

Why I Didn’t Legally Change My Name

Just to file a petition for a name change costs $435 in the California court system.

In Praise of Pumpkinmas

What’s Pumpkinmas, you ask? Pumpkinmas is a pumpkin-themed autumnal gathering. A celebration in which all invitees bring a pumpkin or a pumpkin-themed dish.

When Your Friends Share Their Streaming Accounts, Do You Need to Buy Your Own?

Guest access on my friend’s Netflix and HBO accounts already gives me more programming than I could watch in my lifetime.

Roadside Redemption: Earning Money By Picking Up Bottles and Cans

I gave myself another financial challenge: for a month I would pick up every single nickel deposit I saw littering the street.

All About the Hamiltons: My $10-a-Day Spending Challenge

Every day, for a month, I’d give myself ten dollars of discretionary money. At the end of the day, whatever money remained unspent would roll over to the next.

The Cost of a Roman Holiday

Mostly I travel two ways: by armchair and by stomach.

Making Plans for My Money (and My Body) After I Die

The following is to be read upon my death — and also, I hope, well before.

Staying Put and Staying Broke

Why I don’t plan on leaving Berkeley.

When You Don’t Know What’s Coming, Plan Anyway

As the year rounds out, I’m realizing the lengths I go to just so I can avoid being caught out unawares. 

When Your Gig Economy “Employer” Gets Sued

For the second time as a gig economy worker, I have been notified that I am now a member of a class action lawsuit.

What to Do When a Roommate Underpays on the Rent

Or, “how to divide rent costs among six roommates living in differently sized rooms.”

The Cost of Learning That Your Gig Economy Job Counts as a Business

I owe business tax and late payment fees for my work as a bike messenger.

The Cost of Not Going Home for Christmas

And the benefits.

My Index-Card Cookbook

Everything I need to make dinner is available at a glance.

How Much Money Did My Garden Save Me?

An end-of-season roundup.

How a $12 T-Shirt Got Me Evicted

And how I slowly rebuilt my credit score.

Did My New Year’s Resolution Kill a Business?

I was sitting at a café in downtown Berkeley when I found out that one of my favorite bookstores was closing. What’s odd is that my mother — 2,800 miles away in upstate New York — was the one to give me the news.

Here’s What a Garden Can Save You

It is and it isn’t what you think it is.

Saved by the Penny Jar

Doing what it takes to pay taxes.

When All Your Hopes Fit in a Teapot

Sometimes an impulse buy is about something more.

Who Gives to Charity?

Why Do We Have to Tip?

Tip the Messenger