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No act of kindness is too small.

Good morning, my friends, and welcome to another week. This is J.D. Roth and you’re reading Apex Money, your source for curated stories about how to master your money — and your life. Let’s see what we have for you today…

Whatever happened to the starter home? [New York Times gift article] — “The disappearance of such affordable homes is central to the American housing crisis. The nation has a deepening shortage of housing. But, more specifically, there isn’t enough of this housing: small, no-frills homes that would give a family new to the country or a young couple with student debt a foothold to build equity. The affordable end of the market has been squeezed from every side.”

Generosity: No act of kindness is too small. [One Frugal Girl] — “Years ago, I couldn’t imagine ditching my stingy tendencies. Now I readily share my wealth. What changed? I began challenging my assumptions and finding new ways to give. Here are a few ways to give more generously if you are afraid to do so.”

How understanding the Marginal Utility of Money will make you happier. [The Happy Philosopher] — “Each additional dollar acquired becomes less valuable because it brings us a smaller bit of utility than the one before it. Each unit of time we trade for that depreciating money is more precious. How much is your time worth when you’re on your death bed? How much money would you trade for a few more days? Would you work or spend it doing something else?”

Incentives are the most powerful force in the world. [Collaborative Fund] — “You, me, everyone – is susceptible to and more influenced by than we want to admit: Incentives are the most powerful force in the world and can get people to justify or defend almost anything. When you understand how powerful incentives can be, you stop being surprised when the world lurches from one absurdity to the next.”

To finish things today, here’s a twelve-minute Brazilian animated film entitled “Way of Giants”. It’s beautiful, mysterious, and evocative — a wordless exploration of the circle of life.

And that’s it for Monday. I’ll be back tomorrow with more great stuff. See you then…