Laurie Blank

Laurie Blank is a freelance writer and licensed Realtor practicing in Minnesota and Wisconsin.

She has been writing about personal finance topics for over six years.

Laurie has been featured in publications such as The Philidelphia Inquirer, The Seattle Times and Bankrate.

Graduate looking to the horizon while smiling with big blonde curls

The Difference Between Subsidized and Unsubsidized Loans

There is a lot to know in the vast world that encompasses college student loans. Perkins, FFEL, public, private; all of these terms and more will become your friends (or enemies) as you begin accruing student loan debt balances. One

Black Car on the Road

How to Buy a Car on Craigslist

Buying a car (or selling a car) on Craigslist is no easy feat. It takes time, money and most of all: knowledge. There’s a lot of less-than-honest people out there selling cars on sites like Craigslist, and a lot of

Money that could be contributed to an FSA account

Here are the FSA Contribution Limits

Do you qualify to have a Flexible Spending Account (FSA, also called a Flexible Spending Arrangement)? If so, do you know the FSA contribution limits for the current year? Using an FSA for qualifying expenses can be one way to

Woman holding credit card typing on laptop computer FI

Paribus Review: Make Saving Easy

Update: Paribus is now part of Capital One Shopping. How many times have you made a purchase only to find the item you bought went on sale for less? It’s happened to me more times than I can count. In

Woman putting asian pear into a green grocery basket

The Average Cost of Food Per Month Might Surprise You

Every month the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) puts out a report on the cost of food. This report outlines what Americans are spending on groceries for their families and as individuals. As a foodie and a budget nerd, this

Real estate agent showing a couple a house

How Much Can Real Estate Agents Make in a Year?

Are you thinking about getting your real estate license? Do you wonder how much you could make in a year as a real estate agent?  You’ve probably heard stories of real estate agents making big bucks. Is that true? Or

United States Treasury check surrounded by US currency. Illustration for stimulus package checks expected to ease the impact of Corona Virus (Covid-19) restrictions or IRS income tax refund.

Where is My Stimulus Check From the IRS?

You’ve heard the news: Uncle Sam is sending out cash. Are you wondering, “Where is MY stimulus check?”  Here are some possibilities as to where your stimulus check might be, how you can check on it, and when you should

Hundred dollar bills stacked up on each other blue tint

Can You Contribute to a 401k and an IRA?

In recent years, more and more has been said about the importance of saving for retirement. Watching so many current retirees struggle for cash has left many Americans concerned about saving enough. According to The Economic Policy Institute, the average family

Woman questioning when she can withdraw from her 401k

What Age Should You Start Withdrawing Money from Your 401k?

The 401(k) is an attractive retirement vehicle. If you work for an employer that offers this type of retirement benefit, taking advantage of it warrants serious consideration. So, what exactly are the benefits of having a 401(k) account? And at

Couple holding hands and pink baby shoes

Maternity Leave: What You Need to Know

A new baby in the family is a wonderful event that brings with it equal amounts of joy and work. As a soon-to-be working mom, you might be wondering how maternity leave benefits you. What are the rules regarding maternity