Frugal NationFrugal Nation

Big changes for Frugal Nation

Starting Monday, this site is joining forces with MSN Money Smart Spending. Here's why.

By Donna_Freedman Mar 29, 2013 12:14PM
Logo: Clouds in a blue sky (Purestock/Getty Images)Almost six years ago MSN Money hired me and editor Karen Datko to start the Smart Spending blog. Personal finance blogging was still in the toddler stage, and our goal was to be unlike any other site: five or six posts each weekday, a mix of general financial info and "use this tip to save money right now" pieces.

In 2009 I was given a biweekly personal finance column, and in February 2012 I was asked to start the Frugal Nation blog. Now things are about to change again: Beginning Monday this site will go dormant and I'll be joining -- I should say re-joining -- Smart Spending.

The more things change, the more they remain the same.

The first year-plus at Smart Spending was shaped by the major recession that knocked so many people off their financial foundations. Karen and I focused on delivering specific, practical information about saving money on food, shelter, insurance, transportation and health care.

We covered unemployment, debt repayment, credit cards, couponing, student loans, the job search, raising children, frugal entertainment and just about every other aspect of surviving an economy turned upside-down.

The strongest possible mix

Over time Smart Spending has broadened its coverage of personal finance issues like budgeting, credit scores, entrepreneurship, debt repayment, homebuying and planning for retirement. There's also an increasing emphasis on financial news and how it affects the average reader.
By combining the two sites, MSN Money will ensure the strongest possible mix of personal finance, frugality and news topics. Five days a week the site will publish: 
The PF blogosphere has changed a lot since Smart Spending began. Back then only a few writers focused on money. Now thousands jostle for attention. Smart Spending always has, and always will, run the best of the best -- a sort of Reader's Digest for the money-minded.

That means you. Not everyone wants to become a captain of industry, but you should certainly want to captain your own financial ship.

Come over to Smart Spending and learn about smart money practices, clever frugal hacks and how the news of the day affects the non-newsmakers.

I'll miss Frugal Nation, but its focus on saving money and living intentionally will continue to be heard. I'm changing my address, not my philosophy. See you next week.

More on MSN Money:

Mar 29, 2013 3:25PM
Dear Donna - I love your writing. No matter the format - I'll continue reading. Thank you.
Mar 30, 2013 7:18AM
I hope there will be plenty of YOUR writing Donna ,would not want you lost in the process....good luck!!!!
Jul 12, 2013 12:37PM

Buy American made products! The job you save may be your own!!

Aug 26, 2013 3:41AM
I don't own a cell phone... I don't drink frou-frou coffees, I rarely drink alcohol, I smoke, swear and look at women... hey, I'm normal!
Sep 17, 2013 12:10PM
Donna, your strength and energy shines through your words. Keep up the good work. You're a valuable asset to many of us.
Jul 29, 2014 3:27PM
I'm finding alternative retailers offering just as good, if not better prices on these products. is offering back to school items at what seem like better prices.
Jul 12, 2013 12:38PM
Worst comments really!! How unamerican are you!!!!!!
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Donna Freedman's Frugal Nation blog is for readers who want to live cheaply -- whether due to necessity or a lifestyle choice. It explores living sustainably and making life more meaningful at the same time.


Donna Freedman

Donna Freedman, a writer based in Anchorage, Alaska, writes the Frugal Nation blog for MSN Money. She won regional and national prizes during an 18-year newspaper career and earned a college degree in midlife without taking out student loans. Donna also writes about the frugal life for her own site, Surviving and Thriving.