Martha Fry

Martha Fry

Martha Fry is an author, editor, and speaker who loves sharing single parenting, homeschooling, and personal finance tips. An accountant, she is a contributing writer to Wealth Magazine and a reviewer for Publisher s Weekly. She has covered Christian Entertainment for various print & on-line publications for nearly 10 years. She and her six homeschooled children love to travel.
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8/8/2009

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An accountant who loves sharing personal finance tips and contributes to Wealth Magazine.

Education/Experience

Bachelors Degree in Business Administration; former Tampa Tribune Business Manager; Faith & Values Reporter for The Tampa Tribune (2001-2005)
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  • Music Review: Beth Hazel Farris No. 1
    Beth Hazel Farris releases her debut EP No. 1 on April 15. The singer/songwriter combines lyrics full of observation and discovery with folk and bluegrass melodies that make for musical storytelling that is both heartwarming and inspiring.
  • Anthony Evans Releases Real Life, Real Worship
    Contemporary Christian singer/songwriter Anthony Evans, Jr., releases his seventh studio album, Real Life, Real Worship, on April 8. A former contestant on The Voice, Evans talks how the show has impacted his life and his music career.
  • Over 50 and Finally Losing the Weight
    Following Dr. Oz's Two-Week Rapid Weight Loss Plan, I finally was able to start shedding pounds. More importantly, my blood pressure and glucose levels have started to decrease.
  • MIKESCHAIR Releases New Album: "All or Nothing"
    MIKESCHAIR releases "All or Nothing" on April 1, and this is no April's Fools joke. The band's third studio project is its most musically diverse endeavor. The 11-track CD is a call for Christians to abandon half-hearted faith and give it "all" to God.
  • Movie Review: Ragamuffin, the True Story of Rich Mullins
    Raw and revealing, Ragamuffin: The True Story of Rich Mullins presents the life of one of contemporary Christian music's most prolific songwriters. Mullins, who died in 1997, continues to impact lives through songs like Awesome God, Creed, and Elijah.
  • The Power of Summer Camp
    Summer camps allow young people to "unplug" from technology, connect with a community, and get outdoors and be a kid again. The Christian Camp and Conference Association can help you find a camp or help you send a child to camp this summer.
  • God's Not Dead Comes to Theatres on March 21
    When your faith is tested, can you explain what you believe? That's the challenge posed to a college freshman in the new movie "God's Not Dead". Premiering on March 21, 2014, the film stars Kevin Sorbo, Shane Harper, Dean Cain, and David A.R. White.
  • Epoch Awards Slated for October 28 at Fox Theatre in Atlanta
    The Epoch Awards seeks to honor unsung heroes, individuals and organizations making a difference but without much recognition. $50,000 will be granted among six recipients at the October 28th event to be held at the Fox Theatre in Atlanta, Georgia.
  • Singer/Songwriter Aijia is Learning to Let Go
    Aijia released "Learning to Let Go" last year. She opens for Clara C on a North American tour beginning in October. Her "Joy Bomb videos are viral on the web. This is the year folks will discover this multi-talented singer/songwriter.
  • Review: TMZ Hollywood Tour
    At $55 per adult for a promised two-hour tour, the TMZ Hollywood Tour carries a hefty price tag. On our recent visit, it also carried a hefty dose of comedy, gossip, and fun, thanks in large part to our tour guide and TMZ journalist Van Lathan.
  • Review: Rise by Skillet
    Christian rock band Skillet releases Rise, its 9th studio album, on June 25. The band's first concept album is filled with solid Skillet rock anthems as well as some pop-tinged ballads, An album sure to please Panheads and win over some converts.
  • Jeanne Cooper, Star of Young and the Restless, Dies at 84
    Jeanne Cooper died today at the age of 84. She played Katherine Chancellor on the Young and the Restless for 40 years. Her son, actor Corbin Bernsen, relayed the news via social media, where he had kept her fans updated since she fell ill in early April.
  • Movie Review: Home Run
    Based on "thousands of true stories," Home Run hits theaters on April 19. Cory Brand is a major league ball player, but self-indulgent behaviors extract a heavy toll. As Cory faces demons familiar to many, we all learn of God's redemptive power and love.
  • American Pilot Missing Off the Coast of West Africa
    Former Mission Aviation Fellowship pilot Jerry Krause, now general manager for Sahel Aviation Service disappeared while ferrying a plane from South Africa to Mali on April 7. One week later, no debris or sign of life have been found.
  • First Person: Raising the Retirement Age Will Not Fix Social Security
    Some of the country's most successful CEOs are proposing raising the full retirement age for Social Security. Cutting costs will never create a solid fund. Social Security must raise revenue. One way is to remove the wage cap for contributions.
  • First Person: I Got Burned by a Low Insurance Quote
    With the 2% Social Security bump taking effect this year, advice is rampant on how to make the payroll hit sting less. A popular suggestion: shop for a lower insurance quote. Personal experience has proved a cheaper quote does not always mean savings.
  • My Parenting Resolutions for 2013
    Blessed with six amazing children, I have never made New Year's Resolutions. My children are adults, or well on their way to adulthood. They are accomplished and educated. In 2013, I am resolved to parent them as adults and strengthen our relationships.
  • First Person: I Still Buy Gift Cards
    Some analysts may be predicting the end of gift cards, but I continue to buy gift cards to help stretch our tight budget. Discounts and deals can make gift cards a wise financial choice.
  • First Person: Senior Citizen Discounts for Adults Over 50
    Many businesses are offering senior citizen discounts. Some are valid for customers as young as 50. This is a list of places where I use my age for financial advantage.
  • The Impact of Passion 2013
    Sixty thousand students attended Passion 2013 at the Georgia Dome from January 1 - 4, 2013. They impacted Atlanta, the nation, and the world. But it was one woman, working in the shadows of this massive event that gave me a fresh perspective.
  • Passion 2013 Opens in Atlanta
    Louie and Shelley Giglio stage Passion 2013 at Atlanta's Georgia Dome. The four-day conference focuses on challenging 18 - 25 year olds to use their lives for Jesus. For the second year, Passion has highlighted the global issue of human slavery.
  • First Person: We Shaved 8% Off Our Grocery Costs
    We have long prided ourselves as being a frugal family. When unexpected bills hit hard this year, we learned to tighten the purse strings a little tighter. Here's how we turned small savings into an 8% reduction on our overall food costs.
  • The Night I Met Jack Klugman
    Jack Klugman died at his home in California on December 24, 2012. Almost a decade ago, I met the man in an Owensboro theatre. His simple demeanor made such an impact on me, I still remember our brief encounter vividly.
  • William D. Ford: December 23, 1931
    My father, William Ford, was born 81 years ago today. Even now, nearly ten years after his earthly death, I miss him. His faith, however, lives on as I parent six of his eight grandchildren.
  • Christmas Day 2012 Dining Options in Atlanta
    Whether you're dining solo, having a romantic dinner for two, or celebrating with your entire family, the Atlanta area has plenty to choose from when it comes to Christmas Day dining.
  • No Gift-Buying This Holiday Season
    With our bank account drained from major unexpected financial expenditures, we are having to forego gift buying this holiday season. Instead, we have come up with a clever way to still have presents to open but without going into debt.
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  • Juan DeVevo: Grammy-Winning Musician and J.R.R. Tolkien Superfan
    Juan DeVevo, best known as guitarist for the Grammy-winning Christian band Casting Crowns, is also a fan of J.R.R. Tolkien. Here, he talks about why he finds the works of the "Lord of the Rings" author so compelling.
  • First Person: The Key to Year-End Charitable Giving
    Charitable giving is an essential line item of our annual budget. We do take precautions to make sure our year-end donations are beneficial to the charity and are done in a manner that creates the most advantageous financial situation for us.
  • First Person: Why I Gave Up the Daily Deal Habit
    Deeply discounted coupon sites like Groupon and Living Social seem to offer great deals. I found the deals were no longer a deal and, in fact, were wreaking havoc on our family budget.
  • A Visit to Highclere Castle, the Real Downton Abbey
    About 35 miles south of Oxford, near Newbury, England, sits Highclere Caste, the real life estate made famous as the fictional home of the Granthams on the PBS series Downton Abbey. The estate is open to tourists at various times of the year.
  • Richard "Duke" Maas Resigns as Executive Editor of the Tampa Tribune
    Richard "Duke" Maas held positions as Senior Editor for Sports, Managing Editor, and Executive Editor at The Tampa Tribune. On November 30, he ends his 12-year career at the newspaper. He will be missed.
  • The Civil Wars Cancels Tour Dates
    The Civil Wars has announced they are canceling upcoming tour dates. The Grammy-winning duo, comprised of former Christian pop artist Joy Williams and John Paul White, garnered critical acclaim and popularity with its debut album, Barton Hollow.
  • Disney Hosts Annual Candlelight Processional at EPCOT
    A stellar line-up of celebrity narrators are scheduled to perform at Walt Disney World's 2012 Candlelight Processional, a music and spoken word celebration of the birth of Jesus Christ.
  • How to Save Money with Eggshells
    Eggshells are great in compost bins, but there are many other uses for the calcium-rich shells. Some will save you money.
  • Review: Brandon Heath and the Blue Mountain Tour
    On October 9, singer/songwriter Brandon Heath released his fourth studio album, Blue Mountain. He is currently on tour with Matt Maher and The Church Sisters. The Blue Mountain Tour is an event not to be missed.
  • Kyle Sherman Releases Debut Album "Hear Me"
    Kyle Sherman proves himself with a dynamic debut album, Hear Me. Lyrically he's all Christian. Musically he's a master of soul, rock, and worship. The result is a soundtrack for personal introspection as well as corporate worship. Listen and be inspired.
  • Review: Brandon Heath's Blue Mountain
    Contemporary Christian artist Brandon Heath released his fourth studio album. Blue Mountain is a collection of songs that continues a legacy of storytelling that consistently leads Heath to the top of the charts. It's some of his best work yet.
  • Author Murray Pura Worth the Read
    Murray Pura, a Canadian author and pastor, has penned numerous novels and commentaries. Here I review the first two installments in his Snapshots of History series.
  • First Person: Dealing With the Rising Cost of Meats
    News headlines are predicting a continuing escalation in the cost of meats. Here are a few tips my family is employing to keep well fed without busting our food budget.
  • First Person: The Small Expenditures That Save Me Money
    Sometimes you need to spend money in order to save money. Here are a few examples of how small expenditures have resulted in big savings for our family.
  • Artists Share Their Hearts at Disney's Night of Joy
    A sense of Christian community filled Walt Disney World's Magic Kingdom for the 30th anniversary of Night of Joy.
  • How I Saved Money by Repurposing
    By repurposing items we already have, instead of buying new, our family has been able to redecorate without breaking our budget.
  • The Best Mexican Restaurant in the Atlanta Area
    Just off I-75 south of Atlanta, you will find one of the best Mexican restaurants in Georgia. La Hacienda's experienced wait staff, authentic dishes, and reasonable prices make it a regular stop for our family.
  • Top Reasons to Take a Group to Night of Joy
    Any group of 10 or more qualifies for discounts and perks at Walt Disney World's Annual Night of Joy. Here are the top reasons for calling out the friends and family for the 30th year of the Christian music celebration.
  • Crowds Come Out in Support of Chick-fil-A in McDonough, Georgia
    Located just 25 miles from Chick-fil-A's national headquarters, the Truett's Grill in McDonough, Georgia, saw no protesters but plenty of supporters for the company that has generously given back to area churches and schools.
  • First Person: 4 Easy Ways We Cut Our A/C Bill By $45 a Month
    With record heat hitting much of the country, I have found a few ways to keep my own air conditioning bills in check while still maintaining a comfortable temperature inside my home.
  • First Person: Financial Planning for Single Parents
    Financial planning for single parents is often a battle between today's needs and tomorrow's security. Still, trusts and wills are inexpensive financial planning tools that are essential for today's single parent.
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  • First Person: Convention Travel at a Discount
    Conventions provide continuing education, networking opportunities, and professional inspiration, but the costs can often be daunting. These discounts allowed my daughter to enjoy the Association for Psychological Science convention in Chicago.
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  • First Person: Are Cash Back Programs Worth the Effort?
    Unsure as to whether rebate and reward programs were really garnering me any significant savings, I decided to track my actual payments for a three month period.
  • Review: Pat Boone Sings a Tribute to the Ink Spots, Featuring Take 6
    Legendary entertainer Pat Boone collaborates with award-winning a cappella sensation Take 6 to pay tribute to R & B pioneers the Ink Spots.
  • How I Financed My Online Education
    Higher education is expensive, and an online degree program is no exception. Here are the ways I was able to finance my pursuit of an online degree.
  • Why I Pursued a Degree Online
    After several failed attempts to attend brick and mortar universities, I earned my bachelor's degree through an online institution. Here are my reasons for choosing an online school over a more traditional university system.
  • The Top 10 Benefits of an Online Degree Program
    As a single mother with five children still at home, I had all but given up on my wish of getting a college degree. Then, I found an online university that made it easy. In a short period of time, my dream became a reality.
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  • Remembering Major Warren Hamilton Lewis
    Warren Hamilton Lewis is better known as the older brother of C.S. Lewis, but Warnie was an author himself. He was also a diarist and, without his journals, we would know far less of the man who gave us Narnia.
  • Easter Sunday in Oxford
    Away from my own family and home church, I find a place of worship while in Oxford, England, on Easter Sunday.
  • Death on the Installment Plan
    Living in the house where Lewis wrote the radio talks which would be compiled into the book, Mere Christianity, I have experienced God's glory. Today, I experienced His grace as He continues to chisel away at the parts of my life that need to die.
  • First Person: Our European Vacation on a Budget
    With a little planning, our family was able to take a European vacation and still stay within our limited budget.
  • Listening to C.S. Lewis
    Last night I discovered one salvaged recording of one of C.S.Lewis' radio broadcasts from the 1940s. I am listening to it while writing in his dining room, as I am briefly allowed to live in his home, The Kilns.
  • The AGA Saga
    One of my first points of business upon arriving at The Kilns, C.S. Lewis' long-time home, was stocking up on groceries. My attempts to cook that food, I would soon learn, would be challenged by the King of the Kitchen - the AGA. .
  • Leaving for Narnia
    Tomorrow I leave for Narnia. Not the fictional land created by C.S. Lewis but to The Kilns, the long-time home of the author who was inspired to write the Chronicles, Mere Christianity, The Screwtape Letters, and other works while he resided here.
  • First Person: Tips for Eliminating Debt
    No matter how much debt you have, the balance is not insurmountable. Consider these tips for getting rid of those pesky obligations.
  • Guide to Estimating Your Retirement Budget
    One key to a smooth retirement is planning a livable budget. Here's how I calculated mine.
  • Why I Am Content Being Single
    While I am not opposed to marriage and would, in fact, like to be married again one day. I still find happiness in my current position as a Christian single.
  • First Person: I Trimmed $1,100 Off My Car Insurance Premiums
    Automobile insurance is a necessary evil, but I have found a few ways to cut my annual premiums without cutting coverage.
  • How a Family of Six Stays Within a $300 Annual Entertainment Budget
    Many of our former fun activities have had to be cut from the family budget, but we have found a few ways to stay entertained without breaking the bank.
  • Commonly Overlooked Tax Benefits
    Every year I am surprised at the number of clients who overlook substantial tax advantages. Here are some of the most common ones that I see.
  • First Person: I Quit With Five Years of Living Expenses Saved Up
    Back in 2003, I started thinking about early retirement. By October 2005, I had reached my savings and budget goals to make it a reality and turned in my resignation.
  • Nominees for 43rd Annual GMA Dove Awards Announced in Atlanta
    Gospel music's version of the Grammys announced nominees for the 2012 GMA Dove Awards at the Georgia Terrace Hotel in Atlanta. Included were perennial favorites Casting Crowns and Chris Tomlin, along with new artists Kari Jobe and Jamie-Grace.
  • Transitioning to Retirement: Guide for Boomers
    How I transitioned into an early retirement.
  • 8 Components for a Secure Financial Future
    Address these eight key aspects of financial planning to secure your financial future.
  • First Person: 6 Years, No Health Insurance
    I have been without insurance for more than six years. Here are a few tips on how I get healthcare without a policy.
  • First Person: I'm Taking College Classes for More Than Just College Credit
    Taking even one college class can garner you more than academic rewards. College student status can get you big discounts.
  • First Person: My American Dream, Circa 2012
    The American Dream has changed for some as unemployment and foreclosures have increased, but I believe that the American Dream still exists. For my family, it has come to be associated with the intangibles in our lives rather than with tangible items.
  • My Encounter with God at Passion 2012
    Arriving late at the Passion 2012 Conference was a disappointing experience for me. I was missing the last ever David Crowder*Band concert. Disappointment soon turned to awe when God showed up.
  • First Person: How I Fixed My Fixed Expenses
    Fixed expenses are usually the same every month, but I have found a few ways to reduce even the fixed expenses in my monthly budget.
  • Atlanta Hosts Passion 2012
    Nearly 45,000 college-aged students and chaperones come in Atlanta for four days for Passion 2012, an evangelical Christian conference featuring Francis Chan, John Piper, Louie Giglio, and Chris Tomlin.
  • Leap Year Provides One More Disney Day
    2012 is a Leap year. In honor of the 366th day, Disney has introduced the One More Disney Day promotion. On February 29 both the Magic Kingdom in Florida and California's Disneyland will be open for 24 consecutive hours.
  • First Person: Year-End Tax Planning
    December is the time to start assessing tax-planning strategies and making any last-minute changes to ensure the lowest tax liability.
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  • First Person: How I'm Avoiding New Bank Fees
    Banks are looking to raise revenue by implementing new fee structures. There are still ways, however, to get free banking services and avoid those annoying service charges.
  • First Person: Our Cost of Living Is Actually Less Than It Was 10 Years Ago
    Comparing our household expenditures from a decade ago to now, we discovered some interesting facts. Despite an overall increase in the cost of living, we have actually reduced what we spend on certain items and expenses over what we paid ten years ago.
  • Five Questions to Ask your Financial Planner
    Five important questions to ask a financial planner to ensure that his advice and expertise matches up with your financial needs and goals.
  • Benefits of Indexed Annuities
    Low risk investments are often tied to low returns. However, If security is more important than growth, indexed annuities may be a viable choice. Just make sure you know the risks as well as the rewards.
  • First Person: The Dos and Don'ts of Debt Settlement Offers
    While debt settlement is not a preferred method of getting out of debt, desperate times may call for desperate measures. One step short of bankruptcy, know the ins and outs of a settlement arrangement before agreeing to one.
  • First Person: Reducing Our Dependency on Cash
    In order to increase our ability to obtain goods and services when money is tight, my family has taken to implementing strategies that reduce our dependency on cash.
  • First Person: How My Family is Preparing for a Recession
    Recessions are usually not evident until after the country is well into one. My family has taken some definitive steps to protect our lifestyle should a recession hit.
  • First Person: Truly Frugal Decorating
    A poor financial climate is no reason not to enjoy your living space. With these free or low-cost decorating tips, any house can become an inviting home.
  • First Person: Why the Rising Price of Gas Will Not Change Our Vacation Plans
    With gas prices predicted to be on the rise for the near future, we have had to employ a little creativity and alot of ingenuity to stay within the confines of our budget without canceling our annual trip to Disney World's Night of Joy.
  • My Encounter with Lee Roy Selmon
    Former Tampa Bay Buccaneer and Hall of Famer Lee Roy Selmon suffered a stroke on Friday evening. I had the privilege of working with Mr. Selmon in the 1980s. He left an impression which remains with me decades later.
  • First Person: Ditching $900 in Gym Fees
    Gym memberships and personal trainers are no longer line items in many American family budgets, but that's no reason not to keep up on regular workouts. Here are my tips on how to maintain a regular fitness routine without wounding your pocketbook.
  • First Person: How the Debt Ceiling Accord Affects My Kids' Student Loans
    Buried in the 74-page Budget Control Act Amendment, which seeks to finance the nation's increasing debt, are cuts to the federal student loan program. With two students in college and three more on the way, these cuts impact my finances considerably.
  • First Person: The Upside to Carrying a Credit Card in College
    College students are often inundated with credit card offers. Rather than throwing them all in the trash, I suggest teaching young adults how to choose and use the proper credit card in order to help build a sterling credit rating.
  • Families Need Earned Income Tax Credit
    President Obama plans on unveiling a jobs plan during a speech to the nation after Labor Day. I hope he addresses the issues of accountable and funding as well as the details of how he plans to get America working again.
  • First Person: My Small Business Legal Education
    Employment regulations and laws govern most small businesses, even if there is only one hired employee. Even minor violations of these laws can become major expenses as late fees and fines can increase the financial damages.
  • First Person: How I Save Money When Buying a New Car
    New car prices are high enough. There is no need to increase the financial pain by paying for certain dealer-added extras. Here are my tips for lower that new car sticker price.
  • First Person: Why I Rejected the Builder Add-Ons
    Many builder options are overly priced additions that most new home buyers can either purchase themselves, contract directly, or forgo altogether. In many cases, the additional cost should not be added to a 30-year mortgage.
  • Laura Kaczor Releases Love Enough
    Christian artist Laura Kaczor has long merged ministry and music. On her third album, Love Enough, she writes of how God's love is enough for her in an effort to uplift and encourage others.
  • Nichole Nordeman Pens New Music for the Story
    Nichole Nordeman left the Christian music scene to devote herself to her family. Now she returns as the principal lyricist on The Story, a compilation CD featuring first-person accounts of some of the most well-known Biblical characters.
  • First Person: How I Save Hundreds Each Semester on Textbooks
    Textbooks can be one of the largest expenses a college student has each semester after tuition and room and board. With two daughters in college, I have dug deep to find deals on textbooks. Here are my best tips.
  • First Person: How Using a House Sitters Has Saved Us Hundreds
    Using a house sitter is a good way to add a layer of physical and financial security while your family is away from home for an extended period of time.
  • Walt Disney World Hosts 29th Annual Night of Joy
    Walt Disney World stages its 29th annual Night of Joy. Featuring 16 of Christian music's biggest stars, this year's line-up again provides a diverse mix, including praise and worship, hip hop, and gospel.
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