thI’ve taken a two-month contract job and my head, she is spinning. At 8 a.m. Monday I had my first conference with the editor and by 9 a.m. I had four assignments, all due within one week.

The articles are all based on insurance, a topic about which I know as much as any other freelance personal finance writer. Translation: I’ve spent a lot of time researching this week.

By the end of the first day I was utterly wrung out and wondering just what I’d done. The only thing that kept me going was the memories of my first day at The Chicago Tribune and the first few weeks at MSN Money. In both cases I felt completely at sea but I managed to survive, and to thrive.


read more



I figured that would get your attention. The crew at Savings.com, which recently offered a chance at a Sony portable sound system, is at it once more: This time, they’re handing out 20 of those gift cards.

I’d love it if one (or more!) of my readers could win. You can try once a day from now through 11:59 p.m. EST Sunday, Feb. 15.

read more

soundsofsony-giveawayJust in time for the 57th annual Grammy Awards, the folks at Savings.com are giving away a trio of Sony portable party systems with Bluetooth and NFC.

It would be great if all three went to readers of Surviving and Thriving. Failing that, even one winner would do.

You have until 11:59 p.m. EST Saturday, Feb. 7 to try.

read more

guardians of the galaxyI had a blast watching “Guardians of the Galaxy,” so much so that I later took my great-nephews to see it – a second viewing for all of us. That time, though, I went with an eye toward superheroic money lessons.

Hey, if I can do it for “Parsifal,” “Godzilla” and “Gotterdammerung,” surely I can do it for comic-book heroes.

8 personal finance tips from ‘Guardians of the Galaxy’” ran recently over at my day job, Money Talks News. Among them: “Classics endure,” “Good sense trumps sentiment (or should)” and “Judge performance, not appearance.”

Show me another job that lets you charge your movie ticket as a business expense. Other than movie reviewer, that is.

read more

th-1I thought that might get your attention. Expedia and Savings.com are giving away three $1,000 Visa gift cards on Thursday, July 18.

I see no reason why all three shouldn’t be won by S&T readers. Here’s how to enter:

read more