I’m so pleased to be joining you as a new blogger here at the Equifax Finance Blog. I hope you’ll follow me as I write about family money. We’ll cover a lot of ground here: better budgeting, saving money, savvy spending, teaching kids about money, and much more.
I’m here because the topic of family finances is both a personal passion and a professional specialty for me. I’ve written about family money for almost 15 years, for websites like Bankrate.com and magazines like Parenting, Parents, Reader’s Digest, and Real Simple. For me, writing about money has always been a natural fit.
My dad, a tax specialist, taught me early on that being careful with money gives you choices and opportunities. It allows you to do things that are important to you, like get an education, buy your own home, travel, and so on. He also helped me handle my own money quite independently as a teen, and he gave me a chance to make a few little mistakes with debt so I wouldn’t make bigger mistakes with it as an adult.
Early in my career, I worked as a writer/editor for a major bank. At first, I worried that the work might be dull as dust. (I was a writer looking for “creative” challenges, after all.) Fortunately, I was dead wrong. I found myself surrounded by some of the smartest people I’d ever met—economists, investment bankers, small-business advocates, and attorneys. Better yet, they were all endlessly willing to answer my often-amateur questions.
If I was confused about a choice in my 401(k), Peggy the investment specialist was just a few cubicles away. When my husband and I bought our first house, Dan, an in-house mortgage banker, personally walked us through the whole process.
When my husband and I became parents, I left my bank job to become a freelance writer. I worked fewer hours so I could spend time with our two young daughters (now 14 and 10). As a result, our income dropped substantially, and we had to get learn to live quite frugally—very quickly.
Our money issues suddenly became very day-to-day pragmatic: How could we cut our grocery budget and still eat healthfully? Should we cut back on our retirement savings and start a college fund? How (and when) should we start teaching our own kids to be money-savvy? As my husband and I started asking those questions, I began writing articles on those very topics for scads of national publications. Why not research and write about the issues I, myself, was curious about?
Those are also the kinds of money issues we’ll explore here in the Equifax Finance Blog’s Family Money section. Sometimes you want answers to big questions about your credit, retirement, or insurance. You can find that info here, to be sure. Other times, though, you may need advice about ongoing, day-to-day money issues and family expenditures. That’s what I’ll cover here. I hope you’ll join me to learn more.