Hi. My name is Kathy Kristof and I write about money.
That’s not because I particularly care about money. I’m not storing a pile of gold bars in the basement; nor do I pine for the day when I can buy 5-carat diamonds, a Lamborghini and a 9-bedroom house in the Hamptons.
I write about money because freedom is incredibly important to me. And until you get a handle on your money, you are a slave to others, be they bosses, creditors or the people who pay your bills. In fact, you’re probably so busy earning enough to keep a roof over your head and food on the table that you haven’t stopped to ask yourself when you last read your child a story; or called your best friend; or took the time to walk in the park, talk to new people, and just appreciate the beauty of the world. When you are a slave to money, you lose all perspective about what is important in life, which, of course, is not money.
I write about money because money is a tool. If you know how to use it, it can make you free. Calm. Secure. Comfortable. It can buy you a place to live, enough food to eat, the ability to spend time with your friends and family. Having your money under control can reduce your stress; allow you to be charitable; and it can give you the time to be a better friend, spouse and/or parent.
You know the expression “if money was not an issue….”? I write about money because I want money to never be the issue that stops you from living the life you want.
This web site is divided into three sections: Money, Garden, and Food. In my mind, they’re all related. The money section will help you figure out how much you – you personally – need for necessities; retirement; school; and whatever else matters to you. The gardening and food sections are about living well and on a budget – from ways to feed your family tasty, healthy food on the cheap to ways to calm your soul. It’s my take on how to live a rich life.
For now, our only other contributors are freelancers, Jessica Stamm and Rory Reily. Stamm is a registered dietitian in Los Angeles, who earned her chops helping dieters at the Biggest Loser Resort in Malibu. She analyzes the recipes for health and calories; and makes suggestions of ways to eat smarter. (Jessica’s nutrition blog can be found here.) Reily is my tech guru and web designer, who makes things run and look nice. If you need tech and website help, find Rory here.
I hope you like the site. I would love your feedback either way. Please let me know what you like and hate; things you’d like to know about; tips on how you handle your money and life; and questions you might need answered. Thanks for reading.
Oh, you want to know more than philosophy, like my credentials?
I’m an award-winning financial writer, who spent 18 years at the Los Angeles Times and now write for CBS News, Kiplinger’s Personal Finance Magazine, Inc. and Reuters, among others. Among the awards I’m proudest of are the Betty Furness Consumer Media Service Award from the Consumer Federation of America and the CACE Award for Excellence in Consumer Education presented by the California Alliance for Consumer Education. I’ve also won a John Hancock business writing award and played a small role in Pulitzer Prize winning coverage of Los Angeles fires and earthquakes.
I’ve written three books — Kathy Kristof’s Complete Book of Dollars and Sense (1997, MacMillan Publishing); Taming the Tuition Tiger (2002, Bloomberg); and Investing 101 (2000 & updated and expanded in 2008; Bloomberg Press).
However my real claim to fame is that I was once a Jeopardy question: “Kathy Kristof replaced what famous syndicated personal finance writer who died in 1991?” Correct answer: “Who was Sylvia Porter.”