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Podcast 59: Microsaving, Donna Freedman

This article was written by in Podcast. 7 comments.


Today’s guest on the Consumerism Commentary Podcast is Donna Freedman, personal finance columnist at MSN Money (read Donna’s articles here) and author of her own blog, Surviving and Thriving.

Flexo and Tom Dziubek discuss microsaving, small changes you can make that over time improve your financial condition, as well as general tips for building emergency funds, finding coupons, and earning income.

Consumerism Commentary Podcast #59
Microsaving, Donna Freedman
Production/Segment: S03E07 / 78

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Table of contents

[00:00] Introduction from Tom Dziubek
[00:29] Interview with Donna Freedman
[00:52] Donna’s background
[04:11] Emergency funds
[08:49] Microsaving
[11:44] Picking up coins
[14:45] Groupon
[15:51] Clipping coupons
[16:51] Frugality tips that may not be worth the effort
[19:09] Online surveys
[22:06] Mystery shopping
[24:29] Other saving tips
[27:48] End

We always welcome feedback from listeners. If you have any comments for this episode or for any other, or if you have suggestions for future episodes, please leave us comments here or email us at podcast at this domain name.

Updated February 6, 2012 and originally published June 6, 2010. If you enjoyed this article, subscribe to the RSS feed or receive daily emails. Follow @ConsumerismComm on Twitter and visit our Facebook page for more updates.

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About the author

Luke Landes, also known as Flexo, is the founder of Consumerism Commentary. He has been blogging and writing for the internet since 1995 and has been building online communities since 1991. Find out more about him and follow Luke Landes on Twitter. View all articles by .

{ 7 comments… read them below or add one }

avatar Financial Samurai

Great interview guys! Awesome to hear your story Donna and survive through your ordeals and make the most of it!

I have to imagine things are financially much better now that your child is an adult now, and you’ve had such a long time stable career as a writer?

If you’re reading this, what are your thoughts on earning a living as a writer for a major media publication? Is it highly competitive to get a role as a staff writer, or freelancer?

Best,

Sam

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avatar Donna Freedman

First, I forgot to say “thank you” to Flexo and Tom for making me part of the podcast revolution. I really appreciate it.
Sam: My daughter was always an adult; she was almost 26 when I finally left my marriage. But yes, my finances are more stable, for several reasons.
1. I was able to pay off my divorce-related debt that first year and have never carried debt since.
2. I have started retirement accounts to augment what I earned in 18 years of newspapering.
3. I’ve been able to keep my expenses low.
Please note that I *am* a freelancer or, more specifically a “vendor” for MSN Money. I am not on staff but then again, neither are Liz Pulliam Weston, MP Dunleavey or anyone else. We are writers/vendors who sell them a product — I have my own little paragraph factory in North Seattle. ;-)
And yes, it is highly competitive — just as getting freelance work anywhere else is highly competitive. It’s my impression that editors for both print and Internet are buying less and less.
It seems that you can get all the work you want writing guest posts for other blogs but you probably won’t get paid for it. You do it for the exposure. I have had guest posts up at Get Rich Slowly and Wise Bread in the past couple of weeks, and it was great to reach such wide audiences — but I did it for free because it’s a good way (probably the best way) to get noticed.
You may be one of the lucky ones and start your own whispering campaign that works. But most people, I think, will go the guest-post route — and that’s not easy, either, given how many of us monkeys are out there pounding away on typewriters. We haven’t reproduced the works of Shakespeare yet, but we hope to do something meaningful.
By the way, your site is one that I’d already bookmarked. Thanks for your comment here.

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avatar Financial Samurai

Fantastic color Donna! Appreciate it. Good you are based in Washington, as you don’t have to pay state tax!

In fact, you could conceivably do your job from anywhere in the world yes? I’d love to do that one day.

Best,

Sam

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avatar Donna Freedman

Sam: In fact, I am writing this from Anchorage, Alaska, where I’m house-sitting and visiting family and friends. This fall I want to go see my dad in New Jersey and maybe take a side trip to see a friend in Charleston, SC, and in early December I plan to go to (and write about) the Talkeetna Bachelors Auction and Wilderness Woman Competition in Talkeetna, Alaska.
So I’m saving those frequent flier miles and also looking for more house-sitting jobs in other cities I want to visit. The Talkeetna trip will be nearly free because a friend gave me an airline “buddy pass” — as long as I’m prepared to be a little flexible, I’ll have a seriously discounted flight. Of course, the planes going to Alaska in the winter aren’t exactly jammed, if you know what I mean.
Having a portable job is a tremendous gift, one I never thought I’d have — especially in midlife.

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avatar Financial Samurai

Sounds like a good job to me! I traveled for 14 years growing up, living in countless cities. Now I’ve been in one for the past 10 years (SF), and I’m wondering again. I love Hawaii and California! I definitely will follow in your traveling footsteps in the future, just not now.

Hopefully I can build my site (s) big enough so that there will be some other opportunities in the future. I’ve given myself 8 years, so one down, 7 to go!

Cheers, Sam

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avatar jan

I just went to iTunes to download this pod (#59) and it doesn’t listed. I only see 50 of them #77 through 126.

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avatar Luke Landes ♦127,371 (Platinum)

iTunes only keeps the last 50 episodes. Use the download link in the post and import the mp3 into iTunes.

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