Unclutterer now appearing on Women and Co.

Last month, I started writing articles for the financial advice website Women and Co. I’m not one of their regular bloggers (they have a full-time staff), but someone who will have featured articles from time-to-time on their site’s homepage. The focus of my writing is to provide tips on how being organized and uncluttered may help to improve your money management.

Once the technical aspects are settled, we’ll put a widget in the middle column of our homepage linking to my articles as they appear on the Women and Co. site. In the meantime, these are the articles I’ve written so far:

How to Create Emergency Binders
In this piece, I provide directions for making two binders — a Basic Emergency Binder and a Worst-Case Scenario Emergency Binder. There are checklists for what to include so your loved ones can find all the important documents and information needed to help you and your family in all types of emergency situations.

Make Some Extra Spending Money: De-Clutter Your Home
Without much effort, you can likely find some cash in your clutter — and not just an unexpected $5 in the pocket of your old coat. In this article, I provide detailed steps for how and where to sell your clutter.

How to Pack a Cooler (and Save Money) for Your Next Road Trip
If wanderlust has set in and you’re looking to hit the open road, this post may help you save some money when you head out of your driveway. Even though gas prices are high, it doesn’t mean you have to skip out on some of the treats that make road trips fun.

10 Comments for “Unclutterer now appearing on Women and Co.”

  1. posted by Another Deb on

    Great topics! Congratulations on being invited to share your expertise with this group. I am looking forward to the articles on this topic.

    On a side note, my sister and her DH recently paid $25.00 on a flight to Hawaii to bring a folding cooler full of dried and packaged food with them. They figure it saved them about $200.00 in meal expenses and since they were at a vacation proprty in a remote location, they didn’t have to use adventure time for elaborate shopping or dining activities!

  2. posted by Viv on

    Thanks for telling us about the articles. Great ideas!

    A friend of mine was recently divorced and didn’t think she could hold onto her house. She cleaned out two basement bedrooms of old clothes and junk and rented them out with the attached family room and bathroom to college students. It was four full loads to the dump plus a garage sale to get it clean. With the garage sale money she put in a microwave and small fridge to augment the bar sink, so the renters rarely need to share her kitchen.

  3. posted by Marguerite on

    One more helpful file to sugges: In NZ, when we go away for an extended period (say, a month overseas to visit family and friends) it is commonly done to find a ‘houseminder’ to come and live in the house during our absence. This means that the pets can stay at home in their own environment, the mail gets collected regularly, the lights go on and off, there are cars moving in and out of the driveway — in short — the house and property look lived in, not abandoned. Far safer.

    For the sake of the houseminder(s) it is only fair to prepare an ’emergency information’ binder, similar to but not as comprehensive as the two that Erin suggests. In my version, for example, I include details of near friends/neighbours who can be contacted for assistance (with their prior permission, of course), the contact details of our handyman, our lawnmowing person, the insurance company (for house and vehicles), the vet, the plumber, the electrician, and so on. I also include our travel details and how/where we can be contacted while away, as well as the names and details of next of kin (just in case).

    So far, we’ve been lucky. No houseminder has needed to use the file, but it sure does give us peace of mind while we are away, knowing that we have equipped the houseminder to deal with things in the same way and with the same service providers that we would have used if we were at home.

  4. posted by Kristin on

    Erin, everyone is entitled to make a living, including bloggers and you deserve credit for building your brand. However, to post a link to Women and Co. without disclosing that it is a site funded and operated by Citibank is offensive. You have consistently and knowledgably posted about how people need to unclutter their financial lives and not pay exorbinant interest rates to banks on credit cards. So to not disclose that you are being paid by Citibank to post to a website operated by them is disingenuous to your readers. Shame on you.

    Let’s see if you have the guts to post this comment and whatever response you have to it. I am really disappointed in you. You offer a lot of terrific advice and have developed a lot of loyal followers, but maybe you’ve crossed a line?

  5. posted by Erin Doland on

    @Kristin — I’m actually writing for Federated Media, which provides the content to Women and Co. My agreement is with Federated Media, not Citibank, and that is why some of these posts have also appeared on other sites (like the Huffington Post, which Federated Media also supplies content to). In my opinion, to say that I’m working for Citibank would be more misleading than to claim I am. Feel welcome to feel shame and disappointment toward me, but I’m not really sure why you care about my business relationship with Federated Media (http://www.federatedmedia.net/). If you have a beef with Federated, you should know they have relationships with some of the most popular sites out there — Pioneer Woman, Dooce, Huffington Post, etc.

    My advice about credit cards, by the way, is to not have them. I’ve mentioned this philosophy numerous times on the site and people typically respond by saying I’m crazy. I don’t have any personal credit cards. I don’t know what types of interest rates people pay, since I don’t pay interest rates on credit cards. The best way to avoid being ripped off by a credit card company is to not have credit cards. In my opinion, the only line of credit someone should have is maybe for a house, car, and school … although, if you can afford those things without credit, that is fantastic, too. A truly simple life is one where you are indebted to no one and spend less than you earn.

    And, not that any of this is your business, but the editor I’m writing for at Federated is the exact same person who hired me to write for Real Simple. So, in my mind, it’s the exact same writing gig. It feels like the same writing gig. It’s fun to work with her again.

  6. posted by mediumfromholland on

    Dear Kristin,I respect your opinion. I know it’s a bit off topig, but what do you think about this: I’ve decided to send huge amounts of my savings and income (and that’s an understatement) to families in Africa through Western Union (in Africa it’s also, and even more crisis..!).
    I paid over 2,000 euro’s for the charges of the money transfers. Is that fair? Should I or should I not make use of a money transfer service because of the super high transfer charges, especially when it’s meant to help people out of financial problems they will otherwise never ever in their lives overcome?
    I don’t think it’s fair at all. But I still use that money transfer service, because of the obvious goal.

  7. posted by Kristin on

    Erin, thanks for responding to my comment so promptly and I apologize for my offensive tone, something which was unnecessary. I think the larger issue is that when we read journalism, potential conflicts of interest are disclosed. The blogging community is a new medium and I make no pretense of knowing what bloggers and others perceive the rules are which should apply. So I am curious about what you feel that you need to disclose when about your sponsors. I understand that you have a current relationship with Federated Media and that they support other sites. With that being said, I don’t think that the fact that your relationship is with Federated Media absolves you from disclosing that Federated has relationships with Citibank and Real Simple. You post links on your blog as though these are neutral, helpful sites. I suspect that Federated and you are earning money whenever your readers link through to them. That’s fair, but isn’t transparency the name of the game?

    By the way, I completely agree with you about credit cards and we never carry balances in our house, but until the banks were forced to start sending statements a short while ago showing that if you just paid the minimum payment at the specified rate of interest, you would be paying for forever, the average person did not understand that calculation and was under water for forever.

  8. posted by Erin Doland on

    @Kristin — I’m not really sure what you’re wanting me to say, so how about this: Explain to me exactly what I’ve written in one of these three articles that appears to be heavily influenced and changed by Federated Media having Citibank as a client. What part of my message has been altered or compromised from what you normally read on this site? What have I written about emergency binders, selling clutter, or packing a cooler for a road trip that leads you to believe I have become a mindless automaton for the banking industry? I’m a concerete person and work much better with specific examples. Just let me know how my message has been compromised in these posts and I can address those issues individually. I’m not offended by your comments, I’m just confused as to what it is about the content of these three posts that gives you the impression I have improper and nefarious intentions. To me, the message in these posts is consistent with everything I’ve been writing for the past five years. If it’s not, please let me know where I have gone astray.

  9. posted by Sinea Pies on

    Erin, I just read your post about Emergency Binders. This is all so important. My mom and my mother-in-law both passed away last year following incapacitating illnesses. My dad, normally a very together man, lost his ability to plan and make decisions from the deep stress of losing mom. They all had done OK at keeping their records but there are easier ways to help your loved ones handle things for you in the difficult situations of life. Bravo! Emergency binders…and keeping them current…are the way to do it!

  10. posted by Virginia on

    For the cooler – one thing we’ve always done (learned from parents) is freeze bottled water. The frozen water bottles usually last for several days, they fit nicely in the cooler and help keep the middle cold and you can drink them too.

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