Tag Archives: blogger interview

Bargaineering to a Richer Life

jim bargaineering interview

One of my goals for My Financial Reviews is to highlight personal finance blogs and sites that I think can help you with your finances. This week Jim from Bargaineering shared his tips on having a richer life. Meeting Jim in person, I can tell you is absolutely a gentlemen and he loves to help others. I was so happy that he wanted to join the blogger series

When and why did you start Bargineering?jim bargaineering interview

I started Bargaineering in the beginning of 2005 because I had just started working and really becoming more serious about managing my finances properly. I also had a lot of free time because my future wife, then girlfriend, had moved to New Jersey and I didn’t have much to do at night so I thought I’d start a blog. 🙂

It’s been a fun journey, I’ve met a lot of people over the years and I’d like to think my finances are better for it.

Over the years, Bargineering has cover so many topics on finances. Have you noticed a change in how personal finances is being presented now versus years ago?

I think it’s been presented pretty much the same way over the years, the only difference is that there is a lot more of it. The beauty of personal finance blogging, as opposed to what you read in newspapers or magazines, is the breadth of experiences.

When I started, I was writing as a young professional who just started working. Five Cent Nickel had a family with four kids. Now that I have a family, I’ve started to write more of what I saw on Five Cent Nickel years ago. With so many voices, there are so many perspectives that you can find anything.

Do you think financial companies like banks, brokerages, and insurance companies are getting better with their products and services?

I think companies are always improving, the apps today are great. You can do all sorts of banking online now, you have Credit Karma giving you free Transunion scores, and all the Mints and data aggregators really help people manage their money better.

How do you handle your own finances? What system do you employ with: budgets, investing, and career?

I just track my net worth on a monthly basis, I don’t budget, and I actually have started working with a financial adviser to help with some of the bigger picture items, like term life insurance, estate planning, and the like.

What’s the biggest financial mistake you’ve ever made? What did you learn from it?

It wasn’t that big of a mistake but when I purchased our first house, I let the process drive me rather than the other way around. I used whatever title company the lender recommended, I used their inspectors, I didn’t ask for things because I thought the seller would back out of the deal, and I basically was too passive. I learned that it’s my money and I should control the process of spending it.

What are your goals this year and beyond with Bargaineering?

I’d like to do what I’ve always done with it, grow it, have fun, and meet new people in the process. 🙂

Thanks again to Jim for taking time  for this interview! Check him out on Bargaineering and please read these great posts:

If you want to chat with Jim he’s also on Twitter.


Cheapism Interview

cheapism reviews

cheapism reviewsAs 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.


Cheapism 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.”


Please check out Cheapism to get more information about the community. They’re also on Twitterand Facebook.