Alpha Consumer Returns, Send Money Questions

Budgeting, navigating insurance, and other pressing financial issues.

By SHARE

I am now back from maternity leave, which means the Alpha Consumer blog will return with regular postings about navigating the world of personal finance. While I was away, my financial life was turned upside down by changes in my personal life. First, I had a baby, which means that instead of spending money on dinners out and the occasional weekend getaway, I am now directing virtually all of my spare change toward diapers, toys, and baby clothes. (Not to mention daycare, which deserves its own blog post.)

Second, I bought a house. Our one-bedroom apartment got a little too crowded for three people, so after a lot of searching, we settled on a townhouse on the outskirts of the city. That means I wrote my first mortgage check, and at the settlement table, I was able to put some of my previous research on minimizing closing costs to use.

These changes have given me a ton of ideas for personal finance topics, on everything from how to minimize homeowners insurance to developing a baby-friendly budget to getting on a do-not call list that really works.

As I delve into these topics and more, I’d love to hear from you: What money challenges are you facing today? Do you have questions about the world of money that I can investigate for you? Have you fallen victim to a scam that you want to warn others about? And, just as importantly, what spending choices are working for you? Maybe splurging on weekend movies cheers you up or strengthens your relationship, or budgeting for a monthly massage is worth packing lunches all workweek.

Please tell me what’s on your mind. I look forward to hearing from you and exploring the world of personal finance together! E-mail me at alphaconsumer@usnews.com.