Dollars and Sense – People and Stuff to Help You Make “Cents” of Your Finances

Dollar Signs

Although my parents provided abundant love and guidance, they didn’t teach me much about the adult world, working, and money.  Basically, “Graduate from college, get a good job, work hard and save.”  That was it.  Dad worked for IBM most of his life, and Mom was “Stay at Home,” until after my sister and I were out of high school.  Dad never actually retired, although when he did formally, he went right back to work at IBM.  He died ten years later, the year he said he was going to quit working.  🙁

Investing, budgeting, credit, debt, etc. were never taught to me.  I’ve had to learn on the go and luckily haven’t made too many errors.  Over the years, I became determined to learn more about money management and have made a point to teach those that will listen.  With that, I’ll be sharing books, podcasts, articles, tools, etc. here.  I hope that folks gain some positives and are able to better their lives and those of their loved ones.

To streamline things, there will be individual pages for books, websites, podcasts, etc.  So check out the links, as they show up.  This page will feature folks that I’ve found to be useful in my pursuit of Dollars and Sense.  If you have anybody to recommend, please let me know.


dave ramseyDave Ramsey

I started listening to Dave Ramsey a while back, gaining a ton of insight.  I don’t agree with everything that he says, but I have picked up some great ideas and have had some of mine positively reinforced.  I’ve read two of his books, Financial Peace, and The Total Money Make Over. Both have been great reads, and I highly recommend them.



Ken_FisherKen Fisher

I discovered Ken Fisher, and Fisher Investments when I realized that my former Financial Advisor was actually a Financial Sales Woman.  Disgruntled with how she had led us, I discovered Fisher Investments, contacted them, and we’ve been with them since early 2013.  Selena and I are VERY pleased with our investments’ performance, as well as Fisher’s financial advisors.

Fisher not only founded Fisher Investments but has also written several books.  I’ve already read Plan Your Prosperity, and I’m now in Debunkery.   Fisher’s The 15 Minute Retirement Plan, finally gave me a clear understanding of what I needed to do, to provide adequate retirement income.  It’s a great pamphlet.


Shannon-Headshot-2014-387x483Shannon McLay of

I discovered Shannon and through J. Money’s Rockstar Finance. Her podcasts are ALWAYS informative and entertaining.  When she teams up with Tonya (, Mrs. Frugalwoods (, and Melanie ( it’s a hoot and leaves me laughing.

“If this is your first time visiting Financially Blonde, I thought I would highlight a few posts that you would not only find helpful but would give you a better understanding about me. I started this blog in late 2013 when I started my financial planning company, The Financial Gym. My company is focused on working with individuals in their 20s and 30s and our goal is to help them get and stay financially fit. My blog is an extension of my business and most of my blogs are either inspired by either mine or my client’s journeys to financial fitness.”


TonyaTonya of Budget and the Beach

I don’t remember how I came across Tonya and  I think that I discovered Tonya during one of Shannon McLay’s podcasts.  Anyway, I’ve enjoyed Tonya on Shannon’s show, as well as following her Tweets and checking out her blog.  Tonya definitely has great info!

“Starting this blog was the best decision I ever made. Not only has it kept me accountable regarding my finances, but I’ve also met the most wonderful people through this community, and even attended my first Financial Bloggers Conference in 2013. I also learned how to make income from my blog, which is an added bonus.”


Brian Brian of

I found through a tweet by Tonya of  Brian shares how his family got into debt and the strides they made to pay of $109,000.00 in debt.  Yep, I bet we can all learn something from Brian, his website, and posts.

“I started this blog to share my experience with my family’s debt. As I find ways to help eliminate it I want to share that information in hopes to help someone else in a similar situation. We started our Debt Discipline journey in June of 2010 when we hit rock bottom with over $109,000 worth of debt. At that time I had to come to grips with the fact that we could not afford a family vacation and we had maxed out our all of our credit cards. We were living well beyond our means.”



Melanie of

Melanie was one of the guests on one of Shannon McClay’s ( podcasts.  She teamed up with Tonya of, Mrs. Frugalwoods of, and Shannon, and it was a very funny show.  I did learn from it, though, so it was a win-win situation.

“My name is Melanie and I started this blog in January 2013 to keep myself accountable in the debt payoff process. I paid off a total of $81,000 in student loan debt. I borrowed $23,000 for my undergraduate degree and $58,000 for my graduate degree. After paying the minimum toward my loans for five years, I graduated in May 2011 with $68,000 left. I paid off $68,000 in four and a half years, $30k of that in 2015, after doubling my income.”


DCDavid Carlson of Young Adult Money

I first learned of David Carlson from one of Shannon McClay’s Martinis and Your Money podcasts. Shannon was interviewing David about his book, Hustle Away Debt – Eliminate Your Debt By Making More Money and I was so intrigued by what I heard that I immediately ordered the book, which is AWESOME by the way.  I highly recommend that you check out his website. He’s got some great info.

“David and his wife graduated with around $100,000 in student loans. They first focused on increasing income at their 9-5 and cutting expenses, but eventually moved on to side hustles. Side hustle income has more than offset their monthly student loan payment (over $1,000) the past three years.”