Lauren Weber was formerly a staff reporter at Reuters and Newsday. She has also written for the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, American Banker,and other publications. A former resident at Yaddo, Lauren graduated from Wesleyan University and was a Knight-Bagehot fellow, a fellowship that invites 10 business journalists each year to study finance and economics at Columbia's Graduate School of Business.
Weber grew up with a father whose creative and eccentric ways of saving money included rationing household toilet paper and developing a gas-saving method of driving in which light pedal taps substituted for full braking.
What does it mean to be cheap? When is it mature to stow money away and when is it miserly, even Scrooge-like? And how might Americans navigate the economic downturn in an era when everything seems disposable and when credit has felt dangerously unlimited?