Issue #73: My Monthly Budget and 3 Tips for Saving
Let's talk about money.
Morning Person is a weekly newsletter packed with obsessively-curated recommendations and ideas—let’s get to it!
📚 The Survivalists by Kashana Cauley: Aretha, an ambitious Black lawyer, has been single for years, and is about to give up on dating altogether, when she clicks with Aaron, the owner of a coffee company who shares a Brooklyn brownstone with two gun-toting doomsday preppers. It’s an odd—or, perfect?—platform for examining questions around what constitutes success, and the politics of survival amid a dying world. It’s also richly funny (“People their age didn’t just go around owning entire houses in Brooklyn unless they were royalty or had gotten millions of people addicted to opioids.”) and empathetic as Aretha regards the roommates with a refreshing curiosity that shines a light on her own decisions.
P.S. Aubrey Gordon who hosts the podcast “Maintenance Phase” just released her new book about debunking common anti-fat myths. I don’t think I plan on reading Harry’s memoir, but have heard great things about this novel.
🎧 The goop Pursuit on Audible: Last week, goop launched a four-part series of 90-minute episodes that delve into the pursuit of beauty, exploring your authentic self, sexual pleasure, and healing from trauma. Before you write this off as another pseudoscience goop-y endeavor, I was impressed by the experts selected to curate and run each episode, including Penda N'diaye and Dr. Thema Bryant PhD. If you start with one, begin with the episode on “Leaning into Pleasure.” If you prefer to not support Amazon (the series is on Audible) or goop, the podcast “Good for U?” explores wellness in the context of Capitalism, and I’ve heard great things about The Gospel of Wellness by Rina Raphael. Gabor Maté, who is interviewed in the episode on trauma, also has a new book that is high on my list, The Myth of Normal.
📺 “Break Point” on Netflix: I am not a watcher of the sports and know close to nothing about tennis, but was enraptured by this five-part documentary following the biggest players in the sport. It has the same appeal as any account of extreme athletes (‘The Dawn Wall,’ “The Last Dance,” ‘The Alpinist,’ ‘Meru’) with the “day in the life” voyeurism of a celebrity documentary (‘Five Foot Two’). I especially loved the episode on newcomer and world #2, Paola Badosa.
P.S. This email is a long one, so you may have to hit “Expand” if reading it in Gmail!
It’s awkward to talk about money. Most of us were raised to avoid the topic entirely since it tends to invite unhelpful comparison and because our relationship to money—how we spend it, how we make it, how much we make, and the ways in which we choose to spend and save—reveals a lot about us. There is no way to openly talk about money without revealing our dreams and values, and insecurities around achieving them. At the same time, and maybe because of those reasons, this post has been my most-requested since I began writing Morning Person. I sat down to write it countless times, feeling weirdly naked each time I broached the topic, but also eager to break down those barriers—especially when my financial situation changed drastically at the end of last year.
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