We ♥ Tess

Last year, Logan and I got to go to the Marketplace offices in New York and talk to Tess Vigeland, who was then the host of Marketplace Money. She was just really super and a fun person to talk to. She had this really down-to-earth sensibility about money that was a mix between both Logan and me that was just awesome.

Tess left Marketplace, her dream job, last summer after working there for 11 years. When I had first heard about that my reaction was, “OMG, WHY?” which was pretty much the reaction everyone was having. She recently gave a talk explaining her decision to leave, and why she’s excited about moving on to the next thing, even though she’s not sure what that next thing will be yet. It is really just terrific:

Here’s where I’m supposed to tell you that the reason I left is because I was restless. I wanted to do something different. I wanted to pursue another dream or passion. I wanted to see what else the world had on offer. I was happy and fulfilled and ready for a new challenge, right?!

Well part of that is true. I was restless. I wanted to do something different. But I never wanted to leave Marketplace.

Now — given that this is a public forum, I won’t tell stories out of school about my departure. I’ll save that for my memoirs.

What I will say is I’d been unhappy for a while. Partly I was tired of the subject I covered week in and week out. There are about six stories in personal finance and I told them over and over and over again and got to the point where I wanted to reach through the radio, take listeners by the shoulders and say don’t you get it?! Don’t spend more than you save! That’s it! I told you this last week! And the week before that! Do I really I have to tell you again this week?! (I didn’t do that, of course, because… physics.)

After 11 years of working at Marketplace, Tess says the following tips are all you basically need to know:

Don’t spend more than you earn.

Contribute to your 401k at LEAST to the match.

Don’t carry a balance on your credit card.

Save for retirement before you save for the kids’ college.

Don’t listen to the clowns on CNBC.

And mamas, don’t let your babies grow up to be cowboys… unless they can find a good health plan.


And some good news from Tess — she just got a book deal. I’m looking forward to reading it one day soon.

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