Skip to content

What makes housing so expensive?

Top o’ the mornin’ to ya, my friends. Welcome to another day of Apex Money. I’m J.D. Roth, and here are the stories I’ve collected for you today.

Masterpost: How to increase your income. [Bitches Get Riches] — “Today I want to round up our best and brightest advice not on reducing your spending or saving your money… but on how to increase your income. Get that bread. Make it rain. Get us the lettuce. Stack them stacks. Bring home the motherfucking bacon.”

What makes housing so expensive? [Construction Physics] — “Because of the enormous costs of housing, it’s worth understanding where, specifically, those costs come from, and what sort of interventions would be needed to reduce these costs. Discussions of housing policy often focus on issues of zoning, regulation, and other supply restrictions which manifest as increased land prices, but for most American housing, the largest cost comes from building the physical structure itself.”

Where you should put your money (and when). [Of Dollars and Data] — “One of the biggest problems people have when it comes to money is figuring out what to do with it and when. Should you save up an emergency fund or pay off your debt first? Should you max out your 401(k) or invest more into your taxable brokerage account? Is it better to pay off your home early or invest your excess savings in stocks? While there is no right answer to these questions, having a financial philosophy to rely upon when thinking about them is essential.”

If you’ve been paying attention, you probably know by now that my recent foray into the world art has led me to become obsessed by something strange: pigments. I’m fascinated by how pigments are created and used.

Later this summer, I’ll take a few art workshops on the Oregon Coast, including two that are specifically about pigments. The first teaches participants how to make their own watercolors from foraged minerals. The second involves foraging for materials (including pigments, I’m assuming) to make inks.

Anyhow, here’s a five-minute video from Tom Scott in which he explores The Forbes Pigment Collection at the Harvard Art Museums. So fun (for me).

(At the four-minute mark, this video mentions YinMin Blue, the new blue pigment that was discovered just two miles from where I’m sitting at this very moment!)

I’m not kidding: One of my current financial weakspots is pigments. When I find a new one (to me), I usually buy it. WHY? I don’t know. I guess just because it’s fun.

Okay, that’s it for Thursday Come back tomorrow for more!