As a member of the personal finance community, I’m amazed at how many people are a part of it. Unfortunately that often means that I can’t always keep up with everyone. It’s a shame because there are some wonderful bloggers with their stories and advice on handling finances responsibly and with fun.
To counteract that and get the word out on other bloggers, I’ve started the money blogger series. It’s my hope that you’ll discover some new voices in the series.
This week’s interview is from Kara at Cheapism where she’s an associate editor. I met her at the financial Blogger conference last month in Chicago. We first met up for breakfast with Donna Freedman and many other female bloggers. We kept bumping into each other during sessions and networking event. She mentioned her site and I thought it would be great to have a Sunday Blogger interview.
What’s the objective of Cheapism?
We help frugal consumers find the best available products in the low-price range. We make our recommendations based on analysis of the “must-have” features in each category and a close reading of user and expert reviews. We hope to demonstrate that sticking to a budget doesn’t have to mean sacrificing quality.
How long have you’ve been blogging?
Cheapism was launched in 2009, when frugality was emerging as the new norm in the wake of the recent recession.
You must have some favorite items and services that you’ve reviewed on Cheapism, which are they and why (2 or 3 items)?
I’m in the middle of planning a wedding, and I love that retailers like Nordstrom and J. Crew have started offering cheap wedding dresses.
Also, sooner or later I’m going to break down and buy one of the cameras in our guide to cheap DSLRs. I have a little Canon point-and-shoot that takes far better photos than it has any right to, but I covet the zoom lens and superior image quality you get with a digital SLR.
On a more personal note – How do you handle your own finances? Do you have a formal budget or a more informal system?
I don’t have a formal budget, but I do keep track of my spending at Mint.com, which I know you use as well.
What’s the biggest financial mistake you’ve ever made? What did you learn from it?
The biggest mistakes we’ve made here at Cheapism seem to be real-estate-related. Our managing editor warns against buying a house without a thorough inspection. She did so, only to find that the bathrooms leaked. Our founder regrets not buying in New York’s Chelsea neighborhood when he first moved to the city and a townhouse was going for $600,000. No doubt the price tag now would be seven or eight figures.
What are your goals over the next year with Cheapism?
We’ve been branching out into more hands-on research, most recently on where to find the bestcheap kids clothes for back to school. We already cover more than 150 categories and we aim to bring that number up to 220. We’re working to grow our blog and develop a more active social media presence, continuing to share our great content with the “frugalsphere.”