Listen To The Story

My Economy tells the story of the new economic normal through the eyes of people trying to make it, because we know the only numbers that really matter are the ones in your economy.

Today’s installment features Ben Passer, a lawyer and sometimes food blogger from St. Paul, Minnesota: 

My name is Ben Passer. I graduated from law school in 2015, and since then I've been working in energy policy and law. My loans from undergrad and law school kicked in about six months after graduation. So that's been a pretty major consideration for my wife and me, and she's looking at going back to school.

We've seen what a recession looks like. We've seen, you know, what impact that has, and we want to make sure that we have some sort of cushion, some sort of safety net to kind of look forward to and not have to worry about, you know, some catastrophic event happening and not have anything to show for our years of work. So I think we're comfortable where we are, but we do have to make sure that we're chipping away at our student debt. And, you know, really kind of taking care of that situation before we can think about buying a house or anything like that. You know, we've never had to worry about anything close to living paycheck to paycheck. But it is something that we do think about a lot in order to eventually take that next step in our lives.

 I started the blog Snack Cellar almost two years ago, now and it's really just something that I do in my free time. So when I write reviews, when I'm trying the snacks and junk food that I'm sharing on social media and on the blog, it's certainly a different type of hobby, but that's kind of normal for our generation. You know, people just kind of doing these side hobbies, especially in the rise of social media. 

“I think the best compliment I can give is not to say how much your programs have taught me (a ton), but how much Marketplace has motivated me to go out and teach myself.” – Michael in Arlington, VA

As a nonprofit news organization, what matters to us is the same thing that matters to you: being a source for trustworthy, independent news that makes people smarter about business and the economy. So if Marketplace has helped you understand the economy better, make more informed financial decisions or just encouraged you to think differently, we’re asking you to give a little something back.

Become a Marketplace Investor today – in whatever amount is right for you – and keep public service journalism strong. We’re grateful for your support.

Follow Shaheen Ainpour at @ShaheenAinpour