By Michelle Maki

When I first watched “The Avengers,” I leaned over and asked my friends, “How much do you think it would cost to rebuild the whole city after they’re done?” As a journalism major, I ask too many questions — some about Marvel movies, but others about issues that impact a community. The way people live is hugely affected by money and the economy, which motivates me to keep asking, learning and writing about it. Last week, I wrote a story about how many hours of work it takes, on average, just to pay rent. In Phoenix, it’s almost 60 hours — bout 7.5 work days — per month. To me, a number as simple as that puts money and time into perspective.

Michelle Maki is a student at Arizona State University.