About Monroe on a Budget
The Monroe on a Budget author
I work at The Monroe News in Monroe, Mich., where I am one of the social page reporters, one of the digital media team members, and the Monroe on a Budget columnist. Before coming to The Monroe News in early 2000, I had worked at two Gannett newspapers in northwest Ohio.
My journalism degree was earned in 1988 from University of South Carolina.
My husband has worked as a radio announcer and as an autoworker.
My daughter was among the generation who was in college during the recession years. She has since earned her master’s degree, and is planning her wedding.
The stories of our budget-minded situations 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 situation, regardless of the circumstances.
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; an active social media presence; and public speaking appointments I have given in the Monroe, Downriver and Toledo areas.
The focus is is 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 demographic was 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 like to see some of what I write about, go to my best of the blog page.
Press and media mentions
Mainstream or digital media interviews can be arranged on a case-by-case basis. Here are some of the multiple regional, digital and national news mentions:
- Feature interview in February 2014 for Mint.com.
- Marketplace Money feature in summer 2013 about summer reading recommendations on personal finance topics; and in February 2014 about the cost of winter.
- Guest spots on Rebecca Regnier’s syndicated TV show Full Plate, including back to school feature in August 2013 and Christmas shopping feature in November 2013.
- I was a recurring guest on WMIM My 98.3 in Monroe from summer 2011 to fall 2012 with topics that ranged from the cost of Halloween candy to supermarket coupon policies.
- News media mentions in the Toledo market have included FoxToledo, The Blade, Dot Newspaper, and Toledo Free Press.
- I’ve been featured on MSN’s Smart Spending, Thrift Culture Now, and Almost Frugal.
- I also have been an occasional contributor to The Carnival of Personal Finance and the Festival of Frugality.
Awards and rankings
I was awarded a Green Apple personal finance education award from Monroe Bank & Trust in fall 2014.
Guest posts are not accepted
Please do not send any offers or pitches for guest posts. They will be refused, per a policy and explanation I posted on March 27, 2013.
If you wish to submit your commercial content or links for my blog, it will be considered an advertising query and replied to accordingly. See next paragraph:
Advertising is available in the form of banner and spot ads that can include embedded links. For details, contact Monroe Publishing’s new media manager Rob Gorczyca at email@example.com. I do have a section on my blog roll where I will list Monroe on a Budget sponsors during the terms of their contract with Monroe Publishing.
I do not accept requests for paid reviews, sponsored mentions, affiliate links or paid backlinks in my content.
I’m available as a public speaker on topics relating to family finances or frugal living for meetings or events throughout Monroe County MI, including the adjacent Downriver and Toledo metro areas.
Most speaking requests have been on grocery shopping and couponing techniques; but I’ve also spoken about how to manage back-to-school expenses and finding college scholarships for the students in your family. If another topic gets your attention from my weekly newspaper column, let me know.
As the host, you’ll get a location set up and take care of photocopying any handouts that you want to provide to your audience. I’ll send you the presentation in both Word and PowerPoint shortly before the event so you can do that. I can speak with or without a slide s
I’ll send you the presentation in both Word and PowerPoint shortly before the event so you can do that. I can speak with or without a slide show depending on room logistics, but I will want a table for show and tell displays. Libraries are encouraged to set up a display of books and media from their collections on money-saving topics.
Reviews and mentions
Most of the book reports are handled via media review copies as is customary for newspaper columnists. Some of the books I’ve reviewed were my own copies, 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
Please pay attention when I tag posts for my readers who live in specific cities. There have been 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 will wish to edit an article before it is posted elsewhere so that the content is applicable to a national audience.
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
My discussions on the holidays have always included both secular and religious customs, which reflects Monroe’s heritage, follkore and traditions. You, as the reader, would then follow up on the ideas that are relevant and meaningful to your family.
It is also fair to point out that many holiday customs that are now observed in southeast Michigan are either directly handed down from one of our faith traditions (such as the French-Catholic custom of muskrat dinners), or have been tweaked in recent years as families and churches view traditionally secular celebrations in a fresh way (such as trunk or treats).
My email is firstname.lastname@example.org, my phone number is (734) 240-5745. I prefer email contact over phone calls for initial contacts; as my office hours do vary during the week.
Updated Jan. 28, 2015.