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Paula WethingtonThe 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 digital media team members, and the Monroe on a Budget columnist.

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 those who went to college during the recession years. She has since earned her master’s degree, is living on her own and working full-time.

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 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; various social media accounts; and the public speaking appointments I have given in the Monroe, Downriver and Toledo areas.

The concept 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 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:

Awards and rankings

Monroe on a Budget is listed onĀ  Wise Bread’s top Personal Finance Bloggers, MoneyCrashers’ Top Personal Finance Blog list and Women’s Money Week Ultimate List of Women Money Bloggers.

Advertising, link and guest post policies

I do not accept requests for paid reviews, sponsored mentions, affiliate links or paid links in the editorial content.

Advertising is available on my site 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

I no longer accept guest posts as of March 27, 2013.

A shout-out for an article 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.

If we grant permission for a reprint, we expect that a credit line and link goes back to Monroe on a Budget, 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

Updated March 7, 2014.

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