Club Thrifty was founded in 2012 and is dedicated to helping people learn how to use the money they have to build a life they love. Our goal is to help you earn more, save more, and travel for less. Here is the team that makes it all happen!
Greg Johnson, Co-Founder & CEO
Greg Johnson is a recognized expert in the fields of personal finance, family travel, and credit card rewards. He is the author of two books – Zero Down Your Debt: Reclaim Your Income and Build a Life You’ll Love (co-author) and The Travel More, Spend Less Roadmap, due for release in the summer of 2020.
Since co-founding Club Thrifty in 2012, Greg has helped millions of readers seize control of their finances and travel for less. He has been featured in various national publications like Newsweek and Kiplinger’s Personal Finance and has provided writing work and expert commentary for various websites including Dough Roller, CreditCardReviews.com, and more. He can also be heard as a guest on numerous podcasts and is a former columnist at Mortuary Management Magazine.
These days, Greg and his family travel the world for about 20 weeks each year. He has visited over 40 countries, focusing mainly on the United States, Europe, and the Caribbean. Greg and his wife Holly have paid off over $50,000 in debt, and the couple credits their debt-free lifestyle for allowing them to start their own business and travel the globe.
Prior to making Club Thrifty his full-time profession, Greg worked as a licensed funeral director for over 10 years. Additionally, he formerly held an insurance license in the State of Indiana for health and life insurance. Greg graduated with honors from both Minnesota State University, Mankato and Cincinnati College of Mortuary Science where he earned two separate bachelor’s degrees.
Holly Johnson, Co-Founder
Holly Johnson is a financial expert and award-winning writer who is obsessed with frugality, budgeting, and travel. She is recognized as one of the top credit card experts in the field and is the co-founder of her own website, Club Thrifty, where she teaches people how to spend less and travel more.
After becoming debt-free, Holly’s love of all things frugal led her to the wonderful world of credit card rewards. Since beginning the hobby around 2010, Holly has used points and miles to supplement her world travels – visiting more than 40 countries and overseas territories to date. Today, she travels for about 20 weeks each year, focusing most of her travel on the Caribbean and Europe.
Holly’s success as a personal finance and travel writer is virtually unparalleled. She is a regular contributor to publications that include Business Insider, Forbes, Bankrate, Money.com, LendingTree, U.S. News and World Report Travel, CreditCards.com, The Balance, and more. She is a former contributing editor to The Simple Dollar, a former columnist at The Indianapolis Star, and former contributor to both Fodor’s Travel and Frugal Travel Guy.
In addition to her regular writing jobs, Holly’s work has also been featured in publications like The Wall Street Journal, CNN, and Fox Business. She is frequently quoted by dozens of publications for her expert finance and travel commentary and remains a sought-after guest for personal finance and travel podcasts across the country.
Holly is the co-author of Zero Down Your Debt: Reclaim Your Income and Build a Life You’ll Love. You can follow her on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest (@ClubThrifty), and LinkedIn. She is also the creator of the popular freelance writing course Earn More Writing.
Want to hire Holly for writing work? Learn how to work with Holly here.
Sandy Mickey, Executive Virtual Assistant & Editor
Sandy Mickey is a project manager and communications consultant who has 20+ years in federal, state, and local government as a park ranger and public information officer. She fell into the personal finance community in 2017 when she started a side business as a virtual assistant and freelance writer with the aim of paying off medical debt for her family.
Sandy has a B.S. in Wildlife Biology and an M.S. in Resource Communications. She specializes in translating technical and scientific language into relatable content for all ages and abilities, and excels at editing and proofreading documents for clarity, consistency, and voice.
Her work includes developing content across a broad range of spectrums from technical management plans that adhere to environmental laws to scripts for a preschool puppet show. She also manages blogs, podcasts, and websites in WordPress, Libsyn, and Umbraco and develops materials for marketing campaigns. You can find Sandy doing anything from developing infographics for Twitter to writing government policy.
Sandy enjoys being outdoors with her family and loves hiking, birdwatching, and gardening. She is also a big college basketball fan, promotes literacy in her community, and loves to travel. You can find Sandy on LinkedIn.
Evan Sachs, Editor
Evan R. Sachs is a video editor and copy editor who specializes in web publication and search engine optimization (SEO). His passion for words began at a young age, when he found himself listening to BBC cassette tapes of King Lear almost by accident. Shakespeare holds a special place in his heart to this day.
However, Evan only started his deep dive into personal finance in 2015, when he joined forces with the financial education website CentSai. He started out as a videographer, but quickly became the team’s senior copy editor, as well, spending four years in the role.
Today, Evan continues to work as CentSai’s SEO consultant, and he is incredibly excited to also be part of the editorial team at Club Thrifty. He hopes that the writers learn as much about grammar from him as he learns about finance from them. (No matter how much you already know, there’s always new information to discover!)
When he’s not editing articles, obsessing over film and video, or geeking out about SEO, Evan enjoys spoiling his cat and exploring his little corner of Harlem. You can find him on LinkedIn and Twitter (@sachs_evan).
Amy Beardsley, Writer
Amy Beardsley is a freelance writer and personal finance expert. She specializes in credit card and banking reviews, FinTech, and probate and estate planning topics. She has degrees in business administration and legal studies and a background in the legal system where she worked as a court administrator for many years.
Amy has since leveraged her education into a professional personal finance writing career, and her work has been published on Dollarsprout, Money Tips, Women Who Money, and Well Kept Wallet. She’s also an editorial assistant for Student Loan Planner. As a ghostwriter, Amy has written for financial advisors and business executives and her work has been featured on Yahoo! Finance, CNBC, Investopedia, Kiplinger, and the official blog of the Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards, Inc., at LetsMakeaPlan.org.
Amy is the founder of EarlyMorningMoney.com, where she shares personal finance strategies to simplify money management and help families win with money. She is a leader in her community and volunteers as a Girl Scout leader. She also teaches a 12-week job readiness class every year where she helps adults get “unstuck” by equipping them with the skills they need to master the interview and find meaningful work. When she’s not busy writing about money or perfecting her budget spreadsheet, Amy enjoys quiet mornings with coffee, traveling, and spending time with her husband and daughter.
Robyn Franceen Evans, Writer
Robyn Franceen Evans is a professional writer with a 20+-year background in creating diverse content. An award-winning author and writer, Robyn is a newcomer to the personal finance and lifestyle arena. Since branching out as a freelancer in 2012, she’s written for everyone from top-rated lawyers to startup CEOs. Robyn is a self-propelled personal finance and health enthusiast who enjoys writing about subjects that improve the financial, emotional, and physical health of her readers.
After earning a B.A. in Mass Communications from Towson University, a liberal arts college in Maryland, Robyn began her journalism career with The Baltimore Sun as a freelancer. She went on to be a features writer for The Carroll County Times in 1999, where she won an award for excellence in feature writing from the MDDC Press Association. Recently, her book, One Hope at a Time: The Prisoner of Hope Letters was selected as a top-ten finalist in a global author contest.
Robyn has been writing for most of her life. Her mother recalls stories about city lights and rabbits who could talk from Robyn’s toddler years. How fitting that she’s spent a lifetime dedicated to storytelling, no matter the subject. Her professional career in corporate America allowed her to write for state governments, DoD clients, human services agencies, and even toy train manufacturers.
She uses her skills as a former technical writer to break down complex subject matter and convey it simply. While many of her projects involve ghostwriting, some of her work can be seen on Wealthy Single Mommy, a personal finance and lifestyle site named “Best of the Web” by Parents magazine, and run by award-winning business journalist, Emma Johnson.
Robyn launched her own blog, butterflysister.com in 2019. The blog is a go-to resource for women seeking transformation of body, soul, and mind.
Lee Huffman, Writer
Lee Huffman spent 18 years as a financial planner and corporate finance manager before quitting his corporate job to write full-time in 2018.
Lee has been writing about early retirement, credit cards, travel, insurance, and other personal finance topics since 2012. He enjoys showing people how to travel more, spend less, and live better through the power of travel rewards. When Lee is not getting his passport stamped around the world, he’s researching methods to earn more miles and points towards his next vacation.
His writing can be found on many popular travel and credit card websites such as The Points Guy, CompareCards.com, and ChooseFI.com. You can follow Lee’s travels at BaldThoughts.com or listen to his weekly travel podcast at WeTravelThere.com.
Sandra Parsons, Writer
Sandra Parsons is a professional freelance writer and personal finance expert who writes about all things money — budgeting, saving, investing, credit, and debt management. Her work has been featured on sites like MoneyTips, Credit Knocks, Women Who Money, and CreditCards.org. She adores travel (preferably paid for with credit card rewards), and routinely reviews sightseeing passes and travel insurance solutions.
Before focusing on her writing career, Sandra spent five years working in banking, learning the ins and outs of bank accounts, credit cards, personal loans, mortgages, and investment products. More importantly, she witnessed first-hand the powerful impact that sound (or poor) financial decisions have on people’s lives. She was amazed to discover that regular people with modest incomes could build impressive net worths with the right habits. With that realization, something clicked, and she began the process of transforming her money habits, and ultimately, her life.
Sandra is a lifelong learner. She holds master’s degrees in employment relations and psychology. Although she swears she’s finished with post-secondary education, she pursues personal and professional development opportunities wherever she can.
When Sandra isn’t creating content for clients, she’s practicing yoga, reading, or spending time with her family. She lives in Eastern Canada with her wonderful husband and precious little boy.
Kevin Payne, Writer
Kevin Payne is a freelance writer specializing in credit cards, student loans, personal finance, and travel.
He is a regular contributor to Student Loan Planner, FinanceBuzz, and Millennial Money. His work has also been seen on sites such as Forbes and Credit Karma. Kevin is the budget and family travel expert behind FamilyMoneyAdventure.com.
Kevin lives in Cleveland, Ohio, with his wife and four kids. His spare time is spent coaching basketball and planning family vacations.
Kate Underwood, Writer
Kate Underwood is a personal finance fanatic and freelance writer. Just a few years ago, she held a solid job but had little idea of where her money was going each month. Now, largely thanks to the personal finance blogging community, she’s transformed from someone who barely paid attention to her finances into someone who knows the power of financial literacy to change lives. It’s her passion to help others make strides in managing their money.
Kate has written about digging out from under student loan debt, mastering beginners’ investing guidelines, strategies for saving money, budgeting tricks, frugal travel, and lucrative side hustles. She taught English and French to teenagers for fifteen years before diving full-time into writing and editing personal finance content for sites like Club Thrifty.
Writing at her own blog, Changing Our Default, Kate shares her own journey of career pivots and mindset shifts. She explores the psychology of changing deeply-ingrained habits and highlights stories of others who inspire with their ability to make changes. Financial changes are the cornerstone of the content there, because a continually growing knowledge of personal finance can be truly empowering.
Whether you dream of traveling the country in your own RV for a year-long stint, starting your own business, or establishing a non-profit organization that aligns with your passion, Kate loves that making smarter financial decisions can get you there. She hopes to continue spreading financial literacy to more people through writing.
For more information about Club Thrifty, check out our About Us page here.