I'm catching up, rather belatedly, on some nice emails from readers:
Gretchen at The Happiness Project has written an interesting article about the relationship between money and happiness-- it's well worth reading.
And Molly sent a link to another NY Times story I enjoyed this week, about some young New Yorkers who are trying to "stay afloat" in the big city-- literally, by living on a houseboat for $800 a month!
This isn't a link, but I wanted to quote from an email I got from a reader named Mara. She doesn't live in NYC but has been visiting a lot:
I still feel a bit embarrassed when I go to visit -- I'm not into fashion, shopping, or other signs of conspicuous consumption -- but every time I go, I see a little more ofMara is right-- NYC can sometimes seem daunting, as if it's populated only by rich, beautiful people who all wear the latest fashions. But like anywhere else, there are plenty of "normal" people here who are just trying to make ends meet and have a little fun-- it's good to remember that !
the diversity of the city. Not every woman is carrying a designer handbag and wearing all kinds of bling. There are a lot of cute, regular people just walking or taking the subway from one place to another, going about their lives. It's inspiring to read about other women who are thriving in such an interesting, complex city under such competitive conditions! Thank you so much for sharing their stories.
I'd also like to very belatedly thank a reader named Adina for sending me a link to a YouTube video about getting out of debt. Unfortunately it had been taken down by the time I tried to watch it! But the other nice thing about Adina's message was the quote in her email signature:
"I think you should learn, of course, and some days you must learn a great deal. But you should also have days when you allow what is already in you to swell up inside of you until it touches everything. And you can feel it inside you. If you never take time out to let that happen, then you just accumulate facts, and they begin to rattle around inside of you. You can make noise with them, but never really feel anything with them. It's hollow."This is wise advice and of course I thought about how it might relate to money in particular-- it doesn't do any good to accumulate information about finance if you don't stop to assess your own assets and how you're using them, and likewise, you can't just keep earning and saving and storing up money without stopping to think about why you value it, and to let yourself enjoy some of it.
Thank you to everyone who takes the time to leave comments and email me their thoughts and questions and stories. (I'm still accepting submissions for the New York Stories series, by the way! Since people seem to really be enjoying it, I think I'll just continue with it as a regular feature.) Have a good weekend, everyone!