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Washington Post’s Nationally Syndicated Personal Finance Columnist to Speak at W&L

Michelle Singletary likes sayings.

This Czech proverb, for example: “Nothing seems expensive on credit.”

Or this one from journalist Earl Wilson: “This would be a much better world if more married couples were as deeply in love as they are in debt.”

Or this one from China: “Diligence is the basis of wealth, and thrift the source of riches.”

Do you see a theme here? You should, Singletary is the Washington Post’s nationally syndicated personal finance columnist and she’s obsessed with money. Not just how you get it, but how you manage it, control it, master it and use it wisely.

Singletary brings her obsession to Washington and Lee University on Tuesday, Oct. 14, when she’ll speak in the Stackhouse Theater of the John W. Elrod University Commons. Her subject is “Borrowed Out and Flat Broke: What Now for America?” Her talk, beginning at 4:30 p.m., is free and open to the public.

A book signing will follow Singletary’s talk. It will be just outside the Stackhouse Theater in the University Commons.

Singletary began her Post column, “Color of Money,” in 1997. Since then, she has also published two books on personal finance, “7 Money Mantras for a Richer Life: How to Live Well with the Money You Have” (2003), and “Your Money and Your Man: How You and Prince Charming Can Spend Well and Live Rich” (2006).

Two years ago, she launched a national TV show, “Singletary Says,” on TV One. The half-hour program features Singletary visiting people in their homes and helping them with their financial problems. She also regularly dispenses financial advice on the National Public Radio program “Day To Day.”

“I was born to be thrifty,” Singletary has written. “It’s in my genetic code. I can’t pass a penny without picking it up.” Singletary credits her grandmother – or “Big Mama” as she’s called in Singletary’s columns – with teaching her the value of money and each year she holds a “Penny Pincher of the Year” contest in her grandmother’s honor. “She was my role model for frugality,” Singletary writes.

In addition to her Post column, which is carried by more than 120 newspapers around the country, Singletary holds a live online chat on the Post’s web site and has an electronic newsletter that reaches more than 150,000 subscribers.

Not surprisingly, Singletary is in demand as a personal finance guru and conducts financial workshops for several organizations including the National Football League, which sends its incoming freshman players to her during their annual Rookie Symposium.

Singletary joined the Post in 1992. Before becoming a columnist, she covered local and national banking. In 1994, she helped cover the election of Nelson Mandela in South Africa. Before arriving at the Post, Singletary was a business reporter for the Baltimore Evening Sun, where she also covered police, religion, politics and zoning.

She is a graduate of the University of Maryland at College Park, and Johns Hopkins University, where she earned a master’s degree in business and management.

Singletary’s visit is made possible by a grant from the Donald W. Reynolds Foundation, a national philanthropic organization founded in 1954 by the late media entrepreneur for whom it is named. Headquartered in Las Vegas, Nev., the Reynolds Foundation is one of the largest private foundations in the United States.