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Tag Archive | "consumerism commentary"

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Personal Finance Blog Interviews

Posted on 16 January 2010 by Tim

As you’ve probably noticed, I am a fan of personal finance blogs and podcasts. I find them interesting and motivating and the personal finance community is very supportive and down-to-earth.

Although I like to visit a variety of blogs individually, if you don’t have the time or interest I recommend checking out a few of the personal finance related blog carnivals. These are basically weekly collections of really good blog posts. I like the Carnival of Personal Finance, the Carnival of Debt Reduction and the Festival of Frugality.

Do you have personal finance, investing or money saving questions? If so, comment below and I’ll help you find answers!

I have been lucky enough to have interviewed many of the most popular blogs in this niche including:

I plan to continue interviewing personal finance bloggers. But I also want to drill down and hit on some specific topics. If you have suggestions for what you’d like to learn more about please comment below.

I also wanted to say thank you to all these bloggers for writing amazing articles and (of course) for talking with me!

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Flexo Discusses Personal Finance Tips

Posted on 11 January 2010 by Tim

If you’ve read personal finance blogs, you’ve likely heard of Consumerism Commentary. It would be hard not to. Since he writes great material, Flexo’s blog has been mentioned by BusinessWeek, Yahoo! Finance, and Kiplinger.

Flexo, founder and author, launched Consumerism Commentary back in 2003 and is also well known for starting the Carnival of Personal Finance. Recently, Flexo also launched the Plutus Awards to honor personal finance blogs.

Since creating Consumerism Commentary, Flexo has improved his net worth from less than zero to over $300,000! That’s pretty impressive. The next decade will likely be even better as the economy recovers and his blog continues to grow.

I hope you enjoy my interview with Flexo!


What are a couple things people can do right now to improve their financial situation?

At the most basic level, there are only two ways to improve a financial situation: earn more money or change your expenses. Earning more money doesn’t have as much of an effect if you haven’t optimized your spending, so I would look at that first.

Track every dollar you spend for one month. Where does the money go? If any of the spending can be removed the next month, remove it. For example, if canceling cable wouldn’t have a big effect in the enjoyment of your life, or if you value improving your financial situation over the reward you get by watching cable, cancel it. The same goes for eating out in restaurants, manicures and pedicures, and hockey games.

Once you’ve tracked your spending, you can use it to create a basic flexible spending plan. Decide how much you want to spend in each category for the next month, looking for ways to challenge yourself to spend less.

I don’t recommend living the life of a hermit or monk and extracting all enjoyment for life for the sake of saving money, but for anyone who is looking for an immediate solution to improving financial situation eliminating unnecessary expenses is the best method.

From your experience, what would you say is the most misunderstood concept or principle of personal finances?

The idea that personal finance is psychological is often misunderstood. Supposed experts in personal finance have expressed difficulty understanding how people can find themselves in debt when the concept of spending less than you earn, the key to building wealth, is built on kingergarten mathematics. Personal finance is much more than spending less than you earn. Personal finance advice needs to tackle psychology and the emotional side of the brain rather than just the rational.

What 3-5 blog posts from Consumerism Commentary are must-read for new visitors?

I would start with these:


Flexo has a Personal Finance Podcast! Download it free!

For those who don’t know, could you explain the Carnival of Personal Finance?

The Carnival of Personal Finance is a weekly event. Each Monday, a different blog serves as the host after compiling the week’s best articles about personal finance from over 100 submissions. The complilation is posted on the host’s website, containing critiques and summaries to highlight the best of the best.

Participation in the Carnival of Personal Finance is a great way for new blogs to receive exposure within the blogosphere. I created the Carnival in January 2005 when the part of the blogosphere focused on personal finance was much smaller. The Carnival helped bring attention to writing on the web about this topic and helped to expand the community into what it is today.

You’ve been blogging about personal finances since 2003, what have been the major milestones for Consumerism Commentary?

Although Consumerism Commentary has been mentioned in the press often, I was particularly proud when Money Magazine cited the website, alongside Get Rich Slowly, as the best in the blogosphere. More recently, this past year Consumerism Commentary surpassed 10,000 subscribers via RSS feed, and that’s a number I hope to keep growing.

Quite a few personal finance bloggers have gone on to write books or appear on television but you’ve kept relatively private. Will you write a book about personal finance or maybe even your blogging exploits?

I don’t have any immediate plans to write a book through the traditional agent-publisher-distributor process. I have several ideas for a series of shorter, self-published books and I hope to have the first ready by the end of the summer of 2010. The difficulty is executing everything I’d like to do in addition to my full-time day job, but expect there will be some changes in that situation this year.


Be sure to follow Flexo on Twitter – @flexo

Other Interviews with Flexo:

  • Moolanomy suggests that, “Although Consumerism Commentary may not be #1 in term of readership (among the handful of A-List Personal Finance Blogs), I believe you are the most influential one.
  • Money Crashers says, “…he tends to have some of the more fresh and original material covering personal finance.”

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Plutus Awards: First Annual Personal Finance Awards

Posted on 15 December 2009 by Tim

A blog award show for personal finance blogs is in the works and leading this endeavor is Flexo from Consumerism Commentary (One of my Top 20 Personal Finance Blogs). The awards are meant to showcase the best of the personal finance blogosphere.

Plutus Awards - Personal Finance

It’ll be tough to narrow down the field and vote on winners. But it’s going to be really fun to see who wins. Important: Nominations will begin Monday, December 21, 2009 and will continue through January. There will even be prize money (possibly more?) for category winners.

The Plutus Awards will feature categories such as “Best Savings Account,” “Best Money Management Software,” and so forth. The Plutus 2.0 Awards are an extension of awards into blogs and social media. These awards will feature categories such as “Best New Blog,” “Best Investing Blog,” “Blog of the Year,” and so forth. [More About Plutus Awards]

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