Editor’s Choice: Best Of The SALT Blog 2013

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best of the salt blog 2013Well, this is it, reader(s). We’ve reached the end of another year.

You may be spending this time thinking about the big stories of the past 12 months, like the arrival of new baby royalty (and actual royals having a kid too!). But not me. I’m spending this time thinking about everything we’ve accomplished in 2013 on the SALT™ Blog—and I couldn’t be prouder.


This past year, we published close to 1,000 new posts (989 heading into today; if only I had kept up with the tweet of the day—we could have made it!). As anyone who pulls together a “best of” list will tell you, choices are highly subjective. I’m happy with everything we put out there, even Shane’s terrible NCAA tournament bracket. (Only “terrible” in the sense that it had New Mexico winning the championship.)

So, I pulled together this list the same way I did last year, highlighting my favorite post from each of our contributors. Hopefully, you enjoyed them as well, and they’ll help you discover even more content on this site that you’ll love. Enjoy! And see you in 2014!

3 Things Top-Tier Law Students Get Wrong About Money (Aaron Weber)

Aaron speaks with a financial aid officer for a top-tier law school about the needs of the students in attendance. This post shows that really smart people aren’t immune from making stupid financial mistakes. (Insert your own “lawyers smart?” joke.)

3 Steps To Build Confidence As A First-Time Job Hunter (Amanda Abella)

Amanda’s a life coach for a reason: she knows how to jazz you up. This was one of our most read posts of the year, and it’s clear why. Times are tough out there for job-hunters; get a shot of confidence in your own skills from Amanda.

How To Deal With Worst-Case Scenarios When Moving (Anna Marden)

Anna joined our team at the beginning of the year to write about food  … so, of course, I chose one of her non-food-related posts. Those were delicious as well (especially this Whole Foods one), but I loved Anna’s personal story of everything that’s gone wrong for her while moving, from rain to roaches.

Loan Forgiveness Is All About Where You Work—Not What You Do (Ashley Norwood)

This was a big year for SALT regarding student loan forgiveness, especially with our eBook “60+ Ways To Get Rid Of Your Student Debt (Without Repaying It).” Ashley busted a key myth as part of that conversation; namely, that you don’t have to do a public-service “job” to be eligible for forgiveness.

5 Community College Rumors That Just Aren’t True (Brigit Bauma)

Similar to Anna, Brigit came on board to write about one thing (clothing), but my favorite post is on a different topic. (Also, similar to Anna, I’ll give a shout-out to Brigit’s DIY T-shirt post as a great article of on clothing.) Brigit wrote a wonderfully honest series about her time spent at community college, with this one, which dispelled some common rumors, a high point.

My MBA Is Going To “Cost” Me Over $200,000 (Bridget Casey)

In her first year on the blog, we tracked Bridget’s journey to pay off her student debt. She succeeded … only to borrow more money to go back to school. (It was literally her next post after paying it all off!) Here, she breaks down how much this decision will cost her, in loans and lost wages.

I Graduated From College, Not From Being A Mommy’s Girl (Carmen Guzmán)

Our former intern delivered one of the most touching posts we had of the year, an ode to the challenges of being far away from her family (located in Puerto Rico), for her and them. I’m getting a little misty just thinking about it. (Hopefully, that’s due to my impending fatherhood.)

Welcome To The Real World: Lessons I Learned After College (Diane Melville)

With her scholarship and community college transfer posts, Diane probably delivered more helpful information than anyone on the blog this year. Still, I can’t help but select some different wisdom that she dropped on all of us.

Thank Goodness For Savings Accounts (Evelyn Ngugi)

It’s one thing for us to tell you that you need an emergency fund (that was so last year). It’s something entirely more effective when Evelyn illustrates why—thanks to some unfortunate car trouble she experienced earlier in the year.

Why Your Budget’s “Stepchild” Deserves Your Love (Jonathan Sparling)

Our newest contributor, Jonathan may have had few posts to choose from, but he made up for it with my favorite metaphor of the past 12 months, referring to the “other” category in your budget as its stereotypically ignored “stepchild.”

The Red Doesn’t Go Away (Even If You Go Study Abroad) (Mike Restiano)

I loved Mike’s entire series about his year spent studying abroad in London, and not just because of its fantastic “Downton Mikey” name. We also got illuminating posts like this one, in which Mike has to make a very “grown-up” decision about whether to accept an internship in New York City. An unpaid internship.

Don’t Say “Bye Bye Bye” To Your Old Professional Contacts [VIDEO] (Ryan Lane)

This whole process is already like picking favorites among my children, so I’m not even really sure how to describe picking a favorite among my own posts. I’ll go with this one. If it was good enough for NSYNC to endorse (and a retweet counts as an endorsement, right?), it belongs here.

How To Stay Money Savvy During A Zombie Apocalypse [COMIC] and Honestly, What’s Your Financial Fear? (SALT Blog Staff)

Yay, teamwork! My favorite collaborative posts from within our blog staff this year. I still appreciate our team getting “real” with this burning question, and this comic rocks. (Special thanks to Donna Martinez, Jeff May, Betsy Mayotte, Piglet, Brendan Furey, and all the other unsung members that make up our editorial team.)

Is Taking Time Off From College A Good Or Bad Idea? (Sarah Barker)

Perhaps the perfect example of why it pays off to listen to your parents sometimes, kids: their advice may be based on their own experiences. Sarah Barker’s was when her son decided to take some time off from school. That didn’t necessarily make her like her son’s choice, though, at least initially.

My Parents Aren’t Helping Me Pay For College, Now What? (Sasha Laferte)

A lot of what we try to do is make tough financial topics approachable. That “tough” content could be that way because it’s complex, or it could be that way because it’s hard to talk about. This post from Sasha falls into both categories, but she was happy to write about her situation. Hopefully, students facing similar challenges benefited from it.

Have You Checked If Your Student Loans Can Be Forgiven? (Sean Engelking)

Well, have you? Sean’s trying to help!

Why I Decided Not To Postpone My Loan Payments (Even Though I’m Unemployed) (Shane McNichol)

Shane wrote tons of fun posts for us this past year, but I have to go with a serious one as my favorite. Because, even though his 30 Rock retrospective was Tracy Jordan-crazy good, it paled in comparison to Shane putting the lessons he learned with SALT to good use. I’m so proud.

How I Plan To Repay My Grad School Costs In 1 Year (Susie Boretti)

In her first post, Susie Boretti made it clear that she wasn’t afraid of challenges. She made that even clearer in this post by sharing this bold personal goal with the world. Even better? She’s on track to meet it.

Did you have a favorite post from the past year? Is there something you’d like to see us do more of in 2014? Let us know in the comments! 

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  1. Shane McNichol January 7, 2014 / 12:27 pm

    I still contend that New Mexico was robbed. LONG LIVE JAM SCORE.

    • Ryan Lane January 7, 2014 / 4:49 pm

      May the JAM join the BCS forever in infamy.

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