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What are you willing to sacrifice for certainty?

Today is Tuesday, my friends. I’m J.D., and this is Apex Money. Let’s take a look at the stories I’ve gathered for today.

What’s the price of a childhood turned into content? [Cosmopolitan] — “Being the child of an influencer, Vanessa tells me, was the equivalent of having a full-time job—and then some. She remembers late nights in which the family recorded and rerecorded videos until her mother considered them perfect and days when creating content for the blog stretched into her homeschooling time. If she expressed her unease, she was told the family needed her.”

What are you willing to sacrifice for certainty? [Money with Katie] — “You know what happens when you pay down the debt faster—you save 2.75% in interest on each dollar of principal paid down. The stock market guarantees no such thing. You could make a contribution to an investment account and lose 10% that year, or make 30%. While we mostly know the average return is somewhere in the 7% per year ballpark, it involves more of a leap of faith than debt paydown.”

Achievement society is burning us out; we need to play more. [Psyche] — “We still experience the joy of play in adulthood, but only in moments that are few and far between. And even when we do play, it is seen as unserious or frivolous. In adulthood, play is taken to be nothing more than a short respite from work, a sojourn that helps us pass the time between periods of intense productivity. But…it is possible for our work to become play.”

Today’s video feature is a blast from the past! Here’s a look at Christmas shopping online in 1996.

True story: I’ve done a ton of soul-searching over the past couple of years, and one of my ultimate realizations is that I want this level of internet. I don’t want an always-on, high-speed connection in my pocket. That’s how I (and everyone else) get sucked into doomscrolling. When the internet operated like this, I had to be deliberate and considered in my online actions.

Okay, that’s it for now. I’m off to my watercolor class. (It’s play!) I’ll see you all tomorrow.