Not many people know this about me, but I am in love with Coinstar. My relationship with spare change is one of the reasons I’m into business, people, so bear with me.
My affection for the big green machine is partly about the actual mechanics, since that lever with the handle and the holes is kind of fun and the feeling I get watching the computer count my old change is a little like the way I feel when I’m sitting in front of the nickel slots in Vegas.
What I love about it the process is that it makes me feel deeply responsible for taking otherwise worthless pennies (which are costly to make which is why some people like this guy want the Mint to stop making them) and making them valuable. I am a proud penny pincher. Some people say stingy, I say frugal.
Before I sound too much like a child of the Great Depression—maybe it’s too late for that—I didn’t become a Scrooge McDuck because I wanted to buy a set of rims for my Matrix. Money for women and feminists, to me, is the bottom line. The more secure we are as women financially, the more free we can be to do important work in the world, whatever it looks like.
I like money less for what it is than what money can do. This is how I became a part-time business nerd, obsessed with how to be more productive, efficient, and lucrative, and it’s the reason I’ll be guest blogging in the coming weeks on the intersection of all things related to lady business—women, money, work, and the economy.
I have resisted scratching this itch in my brain for approximately 20 years. I like the business world, but I’m a creative type. I spent a summer interning at Goldman Sachs during college with that very sentence playing on repeat in my head.
Here’s a short career bio: As a little girl, I wanted to be a fashion designer, then a professor, then a romance novelist. I grew up to be a newspaper reporter who became a librarian who has become a writer, entrepreneur, and journalism lecturer.
In my free time, I read books. I wish they were juicy books like The Hunger Games, but…no. The books I love, the ones I humblebrag about reading? Self-help books. Usually about business. That’s right: Suze Orman, Jonathan Fields, Chris Guillebeau—if they’ve got details on how to save money, how to be an efficient creative person, and how to be more productive all at the same time, I am on their virtual team. (Chris Guillebeau just published a book this week called The $100 Start Up.)
Which brings me to another point. The business/corporate world, save for Sheryl Sandberg and Carly Fiorina, remains incredibly male and unfriendly to women and working mothers. You’d think with all the strides women have made in business during the “mancession/masculinity crisis” there’d be a few more women at the table. I know they’re out there. I want to write about what their lives are like. I’m curious about about gender pay parity, what its real world implications are and what popular culture makes, generally, of the growing ranks of female breadwinners.
My only caveat: I like math, but I don’t often attempt to do it in public. There will be some of that here. I apologize in advance if it gets ugly. Other than that, I’m excited to be guest blogging for Bitch readers. During the years I’ve been writing for the magazine (I was one half of the duo that produced “Eat, Pray, Spend” and more recently, “Target Market”) and y’all have been some of my favorite readers in the blogosphere and in real life. Looking forward to hearing your thoughts about Lady Business and anything else.