thSick of sharing the bathroom, and maybe even a bedroom? Understandable. But the solo life can cost you. The chance to walk around in your underpants and watch whatever you want on Netflix means paying up to 44 percent more for the single life.

That’s why I suggested this as a topic for Money Talks News: “Done with roommates? 48 ways to afford living solo.” Some of those 48 tactics are fairly easy things like researching the rental market, watching for move-in specials and entertaining at home vs. making every occasion an expensive one.

Others are simple, but not easy.


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thA couple of weeks back the doorbell rang but no one was there when DF answered. That is, he didn’t see anyone until he looked down. The solid part of the storm door had blocked his view of a small, sturdy youngster.

“I’m Orion, and I’m meeting my neighbors,” the boy announced.

Seems he was ringing doorbells up and down our cul-de-sac. Orion and DF chatted for a few minutes. Their conversation brought me up to the front of the house to listen in.

Orion is almost four years old and proud owner of the scooter lying at the foot of our driveway. He hoped we would come over and say “hi” to his mom some time.

Then he hopped on his scooter and kick-glided away, no doubt in search of more neighbors.

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Winter salsa.

thYears ago a co-worker of DF’s – and a newcomer to the state – was puzzled by all the references to a “Mexican holiday” in December. Finally she asked him a most Emily Litella-like question: “What’s all this about ‘winter salsa’?”

This so charmed DF that he brought corn chips and salsa to work in honor of the misheard word. He continued to do so annually because who doesn’t need a little bit of spice in the waning days of the year?

On Sunday, winter solstice, the light came back. Or, rather, it stopped going away. We gained five seconds worth of sunshine on Monday and by gum we enjoyed all five.

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thI’m attending the Financial Blogger Conference in St. Louis next week, then staying a little while to hang out with my daughter. Saying “hello” to any readers who happen to live/work in the area would be great fun, too.

To a reader named Marsha: I’m so sorry I accidentally deleted your e-mail. Yes, I would like to have coffee and a chat, and I hope it could be on Monday morning, Oct. 21.

Is anybody else available for a cup and a jaw that day?

The place where I’m staying is near the St. Louis Bread Company, 116 N. 6th St. How early would be too early and how late would be too late in terms of people’s work/life schedules?

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Cold is relative.

th-1As in, my relatives are never cold. Specifically, my great-nephews are never cold. I was visiting them on a 10-below-zero night when a friend called to say that Jupiter was quite visible in the night sky.

The boys stampeded out the front door – in their PJs – and stayed out there for at least five minutes, looking. At least they put on their boots.

I used to be that kind of badass. But I find I’ve lost my happy thoughts after 11 years Outside – which is how Alaskans describe Everyplace That Isn’t Alaska. (It gets the upper-case even in the newspapers.)

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