Welcome to Finances for Families! While we live on a budget and work hard for our money, we aren’t debt free and extreme frugality is not in our repertoire. We do, however, appreciate a good deal, try to be crafty with our spending, save responsibly, and most importantly, try to squeeze the most out of this journey. All families are different and our writers and their experiences reflect those differences. We aim to help families of all shapes and sizes find the (tricky) balance between being fiscally responsible and building wealth and security for the future while still enjoying activities and adventures right now!
To Learn More About Us Read Our Big Reveal.
Cara lives in the snow-covered mountains of Park City, Utah, with her family. She loves to plan her next adventure using miles & points, hike in the backcountry, eat ethnic food, be crafty with finances, purge the basement and force her kids to practice the piano. Originally from Southern California, she moved to the Rocky Mountains for college and never left. Cara has a B.A. and M.A. from Brigham Young University and currently owns her own consulting business serving a wide range of clients and organizations. The inspiration to create Finances For Families came from her voracious consumption of money management sites and the realization there was a glaring gap between personal finance websites aimed at millennials and soon-to-be retirees, and an over emphasis on the extreme—saving/frugality/couponing/points collecting. She hopes to create a community of readers, writers, contributors and friends who can together learn how to best manage their finances to benefit their family.
Gordon is a civil engineer who works on planning and designing public infrastructure systems that make everyone’s lives more secure and comfortable. Originally from Portland, Oregon, Gordon migrated to Utah for college where he ended up discovering the wonderful town of Park City and decided to make it home. He loves to ski and enjoy all of the other outdoor focused activities that make living in the mountains so much fun. Gordon first met Cara in middle school but didn’t really get to know her until the end of high school and was immediately hooked. He has been trying to keep up with her ever since and supports her many endeavors, including this blog, by contributing his thoughts and ideas and always telling her to go for it!
Paige is a psychologist with a professional history of supporting children and adolescents with learning difficulties, trauma backgrounds and mental health concerns. She lives in Sydney, Australia with her family. Originally from Southern California, she went to college in Montana before backpacking around parts of Australasia and falling in love with Oz. She loves Mexican food (guacamole and tacos), reading (embarrassingly, Young Adult Fiction), CrossFit (NOT burpees), and the beach (even sharks). She hopes to help build a positive online community where people can learn how to be confident with saving (and spending) their money.
Britt, MPC, is the founder of Write Bold, a marketing consulting firm that assists small businesses with content strategy and project management. A professional strategist, writer, and editor with over 15 years of experience, Britt has done extensive work with clients in the financial industry.
Social Media Strategist
Yonessy is a wife and mother of two. She runs a tight ship when it comes to budgeting and finances. She does her research and knows how to get the best bang for your buck on most family needs. She likes to share her knowledge with others; in hopes of helping them enjoy all the good in life, while saving a little here and a little there.
Mike is a web developer who specializes in custom WordPress websites and online marketing. He’s passionate about using his skills to build thriving, financially-sustainable businesses, and loves the rush of finding a long-awaited “wish list” item at a bargain price. Mike and his wife are stay-at-home parents to a curious and energetic toddler, and reside between Idaho and Utah.
Staff Writer – Pets, All Boys
Erika is a veterinary technician living in Northern Virginia. She and her husband have a dog, a cat, and three loud, rambunctious boys who keep them busy running them from one activity to the next. Erika has always been an animal lover- bringing home strays and injured wildlife as a child to now fostering pregnant mama cats and their kittens for the animal shelter and raising puppies for Guiding Eyes for the Blind. Erika received a Bachelor’s degree in Veterinary Technology from Brigham Young University and currently practices in a small animal veterinary hospital. In her spare time, Erika enjoys volunteering with their family dog Fergus, a trained therapy dog, helping at her children’s schools, DIY projects, hiking, baking, amateur photography, lunching with friends and catching up on the latest Netflix shows. Always trying to squeeze the most out of a dollar, Erika is always looking for the best deals and ways to save a little bit of cash.
Staff Writer – Large Families, Adoption
Laurie is a mom to six kiddos ranging from “learning to drive” down to “learning to tie shoes”. She and her husband have been married for 20 years and enjoy the adventures their big family creates in Park City, Utah. Five years ago their lives were changed forever when their family grew through international adoption. Because of that, Laurie uses her moments between the needs of her family to volunteer for a major non-profit organization that advocates for impoverished and orphaned children. She enjoys traveling internationally for humanitarian purposes with this organization and uses her BA in Communications and Journalism to give hope to kids stuck in a dark place in their lives.
Staff Writer – Teens/Young Adults, Travel, Children with additional needs
Ashley lives outside of Philadelphia with her husband (Alfred), her 13-year-old son (William), two Cavalier King Charles Spaniels (Port and Starboard), and her ridiculous Persian cat (Bluebell). Her two adult children swoop in periodically, to ruffle the peace, from Vietnam, where Sarah is teaching, and Grenada, where Christian is in medical school. Having lived abroad for almost twenty years, she now contents herself with reading, travelling (whenever time and funds allow), gardening, tennis, and “semi-homeschooling.”
Staff Writer – International, Large Families, Small Business Owner
Natalie is married to her university sweet heart and together have five sons aged between 5-15 years old. During her spare time she is a primary school teacher and with her husband owns a CrossFit gym on the Northern Beaches of Sydney. She enjoys ocean swimming, eating her way through Sydney’s culinary melting pot and having mini adventures with her family in Australia and around the world.
Staff Writer – Librarian
Kirsten is the Youth Services Librarian for the Summit County Library system. Her days are jam packed with Pajama Story Times, Baby Rhyme Times, Whiz Kid’s Junior Book Club Meetings, crafternoons, book clubs, poring over book reviews, and pitching books to kids and parents at the library. When Kirsten isn’t at the library, she likes to read (surprise!), mostly Young Adult Literature, on her back deck, with her feet up. She loves the beach, skiing, walking the dog, jigsaw puzzles, art museums, knitting projects and Taco Tuesdays. Kirsten earned a Bachelor’s Degree in English and Humanities and a Master’s Degree in Humanities, both from Brigham Young University. She and her husband, David, have four grown children, one son-in-law and an aging Australian Shepherd—all of whom love to read. Well, except the dog.
Staff Writer – Military, Young Children
Noralee is a SAHM of 2 (almost three) active children under the age of 3, proud military spouse of a Navy man, Speech-Language Pathologist, Latter-day Saint and professional photographer. She has lived in 5 states in the last 8 years, survived 2 deployments and continues to look forward to the next adventure. When she isn’t chasing after her little ones, washing sticky faces or finding a lost toy, she enjoys taking a long overdue nap, reading a good book, cooking, painting, and pedicures.