About Monroe on a Budget
The author of Monroe on a Budget is Paula Wethington of Monroe, Mich. I have 25 years experience reporting in southeast Michigan and northwest Ohio. I work at The Monroe News in Monroe, Mich., where I am one of the social page reporters, one of the social media team members and the Monroe on a Budget reporter.
My journalism degree was earned in 1988 from University of South Carolina.
My husband has worked in radio and as an autoworker.
My daughter was among those who went to college and graduate school during the recession years. As of summer 2013, she is living at home and job hunting.
My family has had to get by on tight budgets at times. The backstories include my single / divorced parent days, and what happened after my husband lost his job. But most of the Monroe on a Budget chatter focuses on what my readers can do to get through their own tight financial circumstances.
The target audience
Monroe on a Budget is a family finance blog for Monroe County, Mich., which is in the metro Detroit area.
It launched in January 2007 as part of the BlogsMonroe network hosted by The Monroe News. Monroe on a Budget is now a multimedia project with a weekly newspaper column; a monthly parenting column; several social media spinoff accounts; and the public speaking appointments I have given in the Monroe, Downriver and Toledo areas.
The concept is on how families can stretch household budgets and find the resources to take care of everyday expenses. This includes groceries, college expenses, back to school and housing costs. The original target audience was the working and middle-class families in the median income brackets of $45,000 to $70,000 for Monroe County, Mich. I’ve since expanded the conversations to include content aimed at the working poor and food stamp families.
Here are some of the southeast Michigan economic statistics that I use as reference material.
If you’d to see some of what I write about, go to my best of the blog page.
Press and media mentions
Monroe on a Budget has received multiple regional and national news and social media mentions.
I was quoted in summer 2013 by Marketplace Money in a feature about summer reading recommendations on personal finance topics.
I was a guest on Rebecca Regnier’s syndicated TV show Full Plate in August 2013 with a conversation on back to school expenses.
I was a recurring guest on WMIM My 98.3 in Monroe between summer 2011 and fall 2012 with topics that ranged from the cost of Halloween candy to coupon policies for supermarkets in the Monroe and Toledo areas.
Awards and rankings
Advertising, link and guest post policies
Advertising is available on my site in the form of banner ads, and embedded links can be arranged on the ad spots. For size dimensions and advertising quotes for banner ads on this site, or our other online projects, contact Monroe Publishing’s new media manager Rob Gorczyca at email@example.com.
In keeping with journalism guidelines, I do not mix advertising and news content. That means advertising will not be allowed in the context of paid reviews, sponsored mentions, affiliate links or paid embedded links in the content.
I no longer accept guest posts as of March 27, 2013. I understand search engine optimization and the value that even one link from my site to someone else’s site can bring. It was increasingly obvious that the majority of unsolicited guest post pitches had the underlying goal of placing paid commercial links into my news feed to leverage SEO to their sites. That tactic is not welcome on my site, given the fact I don’t allow paid links in my own content.
I also had vastly different expectations of “quality content” as compared to the link seekers.
If I like an article that someone else has posted on his or her own site, I give them a shout-out and a link to tell my readers that someone has written something interesting and they should go read it. Do be aware that a shout-out is generally via my social media accounts rather than on the blog.
Reviews and mentions
The book reports are handled via media review copies as is customary for newspaper columnists. But in keeping with social media guidelines, I disclosed whatever happens to the books I accept for review. Most are donated afterward to the Monroe County Library System. Some of the books I’ve reviewed were free downloads or library copies in the first place.
The shopping cart pictures are of the purchases I make for my own family.
Links and reprint requests
Links to Monroe on a Budget are appreciated; however, please pay attention when I tag posts for my readers who live in specific cities. There were problems when national sites linked to public service announcements not meant for people beyond a designated area.
If you wish to reprint or repost an entire article, I expect that you contact me in advance so my editor or I can review your request. In some cases, I may want to edit an article so that it’s more easily understood by a national audience rather than my local readers.
If we grant permission for a reprint, we expect that a credit line and link goes back to Monroe on a Budget, www.monroeonabudget.com. This blog is under copyright of Monroe Publishing Co.
Holiday and religious references
If you would like to me to speak about frugal holiday ideas, be aware that such a program would include both the religious and secular perspectives as appropriate to the season. This is in keeping with the topics I write about on the blog.
The reason for that is I encourage observing cultural, ethnic, religious and historical traditions during holidays and special occasions. These traditions often cost a lot less, and can be far more memorable, than modern celebrations that can wreak havoc on tight budgets.
It is also fair to point out that many holiday customs that are now observed in Monroe County are either directly handed down from one of our faith traditions (such as muskrat dinners), or have been tweaked in recent years as families and churches view traditionally secular customs in a fresh way (such as trunk or treats).
My perspective is: You pick which holiday traditions are relevant and meaningful to your family. But I explain how to follow the locally popular ones on a budget.
- Contact me / social media links – I love digital media! Here’s where you will find my official social media accounts.
Updated Sept. 4, 2013.