Contributor Profiles

Andrea Travillian

Andrea Travillian has loved personal finance from an early age; her first stock purchase was in 6th grade! Deciding to make a career of it she got her BBA and MBA in finance. She currently covers personal finance topics including investing, debt and money emotions on her site, Take a Smart Step. Read her articles to...

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Ann Brenoff

Ann Brenoff wrote the nationally syndicated Hot Property column for the Los Angeles Times, where she worked for 18 years and won a shared Pulitzer Prize. She is a lead blogger and editor for several AOL websites and writes regularly for the Huffington Post and other venues about celebrity real estate. She is working on a book about Malibu, Calif.,...

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Anna Bleker

I'm Anna Bleker, the multimedia intern at I help create illustrations and interactive features to accompany editorial stories. I also hog all of the Monster energy drinks in the break room. I'm physically dependent.

As a rhetoric major at the University of Texas at Austin, I've interned at a lifestyle magazine and small marketing company and freelanced countless design gigs...

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Aundraya Ruse

I'm a reporter at, and it's my first job with a desk and my own phone line extension number -- though no one calls me on it. I hold a B.A. in English from Texas Tech University, and I've got the student loan debt to prove it.

Writing for is giving me the opportunity to extend my own knowledge...

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Bobbi Dempsey

Bobbi Dempsey is a freelance writer and contributor to She has covered personal finance topics and other subjects for numerous other publications and websites including The New York Times, Family Circle, Forbes and more. She is the author of a dozen nonfiction books on topics ranging from poker to real estate investing. Her website is and she is...

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Connie Prater

My official title is senior writer at In fact, I consider myself a savvy consumer, a mom, a penny-pincher/tightwad and an above average Scrabble player.

I have been a reporter and editor for print and online news organizations for more than 25 years. I was on the team of Miami Herald journalists that won the 1999 Pulitzer Prize for investigative...

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Cynthia Drake

I'm a freelance writer based in Michigan who grew up hearing lots of savings mantras, such as, "Watch the pennies, and the dollars take care of themselves," from my dad, who grew up in an era when people were distrustful of the newly emerging credit card companies. In addition to inheriting his love of a good bargain, I took his...

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Daniel Ray

I'm Daniel P. Ray,'s editor in chief, and I've been writing and editing consumer-oriented stories about personal finance -- especially debt-related issues -- for about 16 years. Before joining in July, 2007, I was an editor at, including six years as editor in chief.

I started out, fresh out of the University of Missouri, as a cub reporter...

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Emily Crone

I'm the former editorial assistant at, and no, I don't like coffee (it's a family name). Upon finishing college, I was horrified to learn how little my friends and I knew about credit and personal finance. It seems our dear parents forgot to mention a few things, so I have made it my mission to help those in the...

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Fred Williams

Want to toughen your defenses against overspending? Try working as a debt collector. For me, a three-month stint as a collector during 2008 sealed my resolve never to get in over my head. Listening to the hardships of binge borrowers is great aversion therapy.

The collection job was a brief detour from my career as a business journalist. I started at...

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Geoff Whitmore

Geoff Whitmore is lead traveler/writer at, a blog dedicated to educating its readers on reward travel, travel tips, and cost-saving travel techniques. The blog particularly focuses on new travelers (or as they like to call them, "Noobs"), and it teaches its readers how to save BIG. All the while, the site maintains a humorous writing style that is both...

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Jamie Gonzalez

My relationship with credit cards has always been low-key and until very recently, I had only one credit card to my name – the same one I got when I opened my first bank account at 18. After three years with, though, I’ve improved that relationship (and my credit score).

I began my journalism career at Texas State University-San...

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Jay MacDonald

Jay MacDonald is a professional writer and frequent contributor to His off-the-beaten-path feature stories explore the religious, astrological, psychological, aromatic and hygienic aspects of credit cards as well as their cultural significance in film, fashion and popular song. His one-on-one interviews include TV personalities, bestselling authors, a championship boxer, a hip-hop mogul, an etiquette expert, a secret agent and...

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Jean Chatzky

Jean Chatzky, the financial editor for NBC's "TODAY" show, is an award-winning personal finance journalist, AARP's personal finance ambassador, and the host of "Cash Call with Jean Chatzky" on RLTV. She is a best-selling author, and her eighth book, "Money Rules," hit the stands in March 2012 to terrific reviews.

Jean believes knowing how to manage our money is one of...

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Jeannie Assimos

After years of researching, writing and reporting about Hollywood's failed relationships, Jeannie ventured into the land of successful romances at eHarmony, and hasn't looked back since! On board since early 2008, she absorbs everything she can about daters' turn-ons, turnoffs, likes and dislikes -- and shares her observations on the eHarmony Advice site. Besides stories about true love, Jeannie adores...

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Jenny Hoff

Jenny Hoff is a freelance broadcast and print journalist based in Austin, Texas, who has more than 15 years' experience. Her live reports have appeared on CNN, MSNBC, Deutsche Welle and numerous NBC and ABC affiliates. She has written for international publications, and writes a blog on budget travel. She has degrees in journalism and political science from the University...

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Jeremy Simon

A Texas transplant enjoying live music, barbecue and everything else Austin has to offer, I spent most of my formative years in the Northeast. I graduated with an English degree from Vassar College, before taking a job with Thomson Financial in New York City, where I wrote about stock markets from the same building where Bud Fox worked in "Wall...

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Julie Sherrier

I clearly remember my first credit card. I was working as an editorial assistant in New York, making a pitiful entry-level salary. I could barely afford food and rent, and desperately needed a wardrobe update. So, I applied for an American Express card. Thus began my relationship with credit and debt (and shoes).

I am managing editor at I've worked...

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Kalen Smith

Guest blogger Kalen Smith holds an MBA in finance. He discusses financial topics such as investing, credit cards and economic policy on the Money Crashers personal finance blog.

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Karen Queen

I still remember the embarrassment. It was 1983 and I was working as a cub reporter fresh out of the University of North Carolina and making little more than minimum wage. First I needed $170 -- my weekly salary -- in dental work. Next, I needed new tires for $175. I had no savings and no options. I charmed (OK...

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Kelly Dilworth

I'm a former staff reporter at I began my career in journalism at The Atlantic in 2007, then detoured into nonfiction book publishing for several years. I returned to journalism in 2010 and since then have written about everything from 20-somethings with Herculean credit scores to the Federal Reserve's monetary policy decisions. I hold a degree in liberal arts...

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Kristie Aronow

It was May of 2010, mere weeks before I graduated from the University of Missouri with a degree in journalism, and I found myself in Banana Republic’s dressing room growing dizzy from sticker shock. I needed a suit for job interviews, and at least a week’s worth of work attire. So, as I approached checkout, I made peace with the...

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Lisa Bertagnoli

Lisa Bertagnoli is a freelance journalist who lives and works in Chicago. She is a frequent contributor to Crain's Chicago Business, and in 2006, wrote "Scarlett Rules," a lighthearted life-lessons book based on her heroine, Scarlett O'Hara. Lisa holds bachelor's degrees in history and journalism, and a master's degree in linguistics. Before launching her freelance career, Lisa was managing editor...

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Martin Merzer

Martin Merzer covers a wide variety of topics for

A major media journalist for more than 35 years, Merzer has written for many big city newspapers, wire services and other publications. Among his areas of specialty: reporting, analyzing and writing about financial affairs and business news.

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Matt Schulz Senior Industry Analyst Matt Schulz has spent much of the last decade helping people make smart decisions about their money, especially credit cards. A keen observer of the payments and credit card industry, he has been quoted in or had his work appear in major media outlets such as, MarketWatch, U.S. News and World Report and Huffington Post....

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Melody Warnick

Melody Warnick is a Virginia-based freelance writer whose work has been published in Woman's Day, Redbook, Better Homes and Gardens and other magazines. Her website is, and she will be happy if never has to see the inside of the driver's license office again.

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Peter Fullam

Peter Fullam is a Webster, New York-based freelance writer and former reporter and copy editor for newspapers in California and Indiana. He contributed Page One stories in an effort that won a Pulitzer Prize for general local reporting for the editorial staff of The News-Sentinel in Fort Wayne, Indiana. He also won the Society of Professional Journalists' best non-deadline business...

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Philip Taylor

Philip Taylor is the founder of PT Money: Personal Finance. Taylor's hope for the blog is that it could be a place where people can learn and share their thoughts, ideas, and best tips regarding personal finance with the primary topics being making money, saving money, and spending money wisely. He is also the creator of the Financial Blogger Conference....

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Rob Berger

Guest blogger Rob Berger is the founder of the popular personal finance blog, the Dough Roller.

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Ryland Barton

I'm a writer, Web editor, and SEO professional for In my free-time I'm an Ultimate Frisbee captain, blues singer and Shakespeare aficionado.

I've worked for KUT News, the Texas Observer and, the University of Texas' digital media initiative. My reporting has covered a wide range of topics from forced relocations in rural China to armadillo leprosy in Texas.

Originally from...

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Sally Herigstad

Sally Herigstad answers questions about credit every week for Herigstad is a certified public accountant, author and speaker. She also writes regularly for MSN Money,, and, and has been a guest on Martha Stewart radio and other programs.

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Sienna Kossman

My first interactions with credit cards occurred while working as a retail sales associate, pitching time-sensitive card perks to every customer who came through the checkout line. At the time, my 16-year-old self viewed credit only as an elusive gateway to overspending. Today, after many years of working odd jobs and completing a college degree, I hold a few lines...

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Susan Ladika

Susan Ladika is a freelance writer and frequent contributor to

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Tony Mecia

Tony Mecia is a freelance business writer based in Charlotte, N.C. In addition to his articles for, Tony writes for a variety of trade and general-interest publications and companies. As a reporter and editor with the Charlotte Observer, he won "Best in Business" awards from the Society of American Business Editors and Writers for his coverage of the airline...

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Tyler Metzger

One note. That's all it takes. One note. One note and my plastic is running fast, smooth through the machine and one moment later I have the record in my hand and one moment later it is blasting and one moment later nothing matters.

Like that my credit card use began. I am kind of a music junkie and live to...

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Yasmin Ghahremani

By day, I'm a managing editor at In my spare time, I'm a credit card points scavenger.

Credit cards are all about rewards for me. I don't allow myself to carry a monthly balance, but bonus sign-up points and a dedication to plastic-fueled spending have helped finance my budget globetrotting habit far more than I care to admit. (Yes, I'm...

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