About The No-Spend Zone

You may like the club life and spend a hefty percentage of your paycheck entertaining yourself. You may at least admit to coveting the iPhone or the Xbox 360.

But just because you're under 30 doesn't mean you aren't interested in an economic tune-up. After all, if you save and don't fritter away your pay, then you'll have money for the things that really matter.

The No-Spend Zone bloggers come at personal finance in a new and edgier way whether they're cutting college expenses, trying to live within their means -- or not -- or attempting to make smart investments.

Are there personal finance issues you'd like to see our bloggers cover? Send your ideas to editor Terence Shepherd at tshepherd@MiamiHerald.com.

About the bloggers

Ali Bair graduated from Miami's Miami Design & Architeture Sr. High School and is now a student at Cornell University in Ithaca, N.Y. This summer she got a semester ahead by studying in Argentina, Uruguay and Brazil. But traveling through South America didn't leave much time for a summer job and she's staring down a depleted savings account. With a year and a half to go in her five-year architecture program, she's headed to New York City in the fall and then Rome for a spring semester abroad. Starting the new academic year in a city that's much more expensive than Ithaca is going to be all about making the most with what she's got. She'll be working at the Cornell Studio in New York and her minimal income must cover books, architecture supplies, food, metro-card, and entertainment. She has a scholarship and her parents handle the rest of her tuition and her rent. Everything else is covered by Ali and that means keeping on a tighter than tight budget.

Amanda Conwellgraduated from Florida State University in 2006 with a degree in Book Reading (aka English Literature). She has a budding career as a crazy cat lady and enjoys spending exorbitant amounts of money on her nerd hobbies (comics and World of Warcraft are a must). She had built up a pretty solid savings account from her job with her local police department, but recently she's become a first-time homeowner! Can Amanda maintain her lifestyle of frivolous spending with a $100,000 home loan hanging over her head?

Kevin Mahadeo is a South Floridian who graduated from the University of Florida in 2006 and moved to New York the following year to chase his dream of a career in the comic book industry. He went to work for Wizard Magazine but lost his job during company-wide layoffs. Now he is desperately searching for a new job while picking up freelance gigs, still hoping to maintain ties to the industry he loves. Will he be able to keep up with the financial difficulties of living underemployed? But even more importantly, will he be able to continue his geek-heavy lifestyle filled with comics, movies and video games?

Nirvi Shah is a lifelong Floridian who likes to think she knows what she's doing with her money. She's a University of Florida graduate who managed to earn a degree but took just a single class at the business school. But she prides herself on being a savvy shopper and unyielding haggler. She aspires to be fashionable, well-fed and well-read, but also likes to keep a roof over her head. Considering she bought said roof during the housing boom, all other goals besides that last one are irrelevant.

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