NGPF Podcast: Michelle Singletary of the Washington Post reflects on her 30 year career as a personal finance columnist

Aug 27, 2021
Personal Finance

 During her 30 year career at the Washington Post, Michelle Singletary has helped millions of readers more effectively manage their finances. Michelle has used her platform as personal finance columnist to explain government programs in this age of pandemic, hold agencies to account for sloppy implementation of policy and describe finances in a way that people can understand. I know that you will enjoy this conversation with this incredible advocate. 


  • 0:00~1:40 Introduction
  • 1:40~2:52 Writing about personal finance
  • 2:52~5:43 Favorite column
  • 5:43~9:32 Lesson on saving from Big Momma
  • 9:32~12:58 Intersection of race and finance
  • 12:58~15:47 Experience as a columnist at the Washington Post
  • 15:47~16:15 A word from NGPF
  • 16:15~17:46 Making concepts consumable
  • 17:46~23:28 Behind the scenes look on writing with consumers in mind
  • 23:28~27:25 Don’t trust and verify -- looking out for scams
  • 27:27~30:50 Trading individual stocks on apps versus investing in index funds
  • 30:50~39:43 Message for students
  • 39:43~40:50 Conclusion



  • "It is a privilege to be able to write for The Post and this position, so I try to write columns that help people understand policy, economics, debt, credit, investing from the perspective of that person [that might need help understanding]."

About the Authors

Tim Ranzetta

Tim's saving habits started at seven when a neighbor with a broken hip gave him a dog walking job. Her recovery, which took almost a year, resulted in Tim getting to know the bank tellers quite well (and accumulating a savings account balance of over $300!). His recent entrepreneurial adventures have included driving a shredding truck, analyzing executive compensation packages for Fortune 500 companies and helping families make better college financing decisions. After volunteering in 2010 to create and teach a personal finance program at Eastside College Prep in East Palo Alto, Tim saw firsthand the impact of an engaging and activity-based curriculum, which inspired him to start a new non-profit, Next Gen Personal Finance.

Ren Makino

Ren has been working part-time at NGPF since 2014, interning through high school and college. With his knowledge growing alongside NGPF, after graduating from college in 2020, he joined the team to work full time with a focus on teacher onboarding. He is also the editor of the NGPF podcast and makes sure it is accessible to teachers on iTunes, Stitcher, and Google Play Music. During his free time, he likes to try out coffees from different roasters across the world and try out new brewing methods, even though personal finance gurus tend to caution against buying a cup of joe.