Donna Freedman is an award-winning journalist who writes the Frugal Cool daily blog for MSN Money and blogs at DonnaFreedman.com .
Donna has lived the frugal life. She has been a college dropout, a single mom, a newspaper reporter in Chicago and Alaska, and a late-in-life university student. She has also picked tomatoes, worked on a chicken farm, managed an apartment building, inspected and packed bottles in a glass factory, babysat, cleaned houses, mystery-shopped, set type, and sold doughnuts, movie tickets, fresh Jersey produce and, when things got bad, her own blood.
While getting divorced she went back to school and helped to support a disabled adult daughter by working a handful of part-time jobs.
Donna has freelanced for numerous magazines and newspapers. Her work has won awards from organizations such as the Society of Professional Journalists, the Women's Sports Foundation, the Association for Women in Communications and the Society of American Travel Writers. A resident of Seattle, she is the mother of
one daughter, Abigail Perry – who’s also a writer. Go figure.
Building an emergency fund is an essential part of financial security. One constant is that you will face unexpected expenses throughout your adult life and many Americans are unprepared to face them. According to a 2015 study by The Pew Charitable Trusts, 60% of Americans experienced a “financial shock” in the past 12 months and the average cost was $2,000. If you don’t have at least that amount in an easy-to-access emergency fund, you could…
Grocery prices got you down? Fight back by building your own food bank, i.e., a pantry full of staples you bought at rock-bottom prices. This is not emergency food, mind you, to be saved for the next hurricane or other disaster. The point is to eat from this pantry all along, replenishing when prices are best. The practice saves you money in…
According to the U.S. government, all citizens should have enough supplies to survive for at least three days in an emergency. Depending on where you live, “emergency” could mean tornado, earthquake, blackout, flood, wildfire, hurricane, ice storm or zombie apocalypse. How ready do you feel? It is possible to put together an emergency kit without breaking the bank. In fact, you may…