Zina Kumok


Zina KumokZina graduated from Indiana University in 2011 with a Degree in Journalism. Her post-graduate experience in paying down student loan debt inspired her to help others take control of their finances. Having escaped student loan debt in under 3 years, she enjoys sharing tips and tricks for getting out of debt on her blog Conscious Coins.

An author and personal finance expert, her work has been featured on Investopedia, The Washington Post, Experian, Fox Business, Time, Quicken Loans, LendingTree, Forbes, Money.com, Mint, and many more. A three time “Best Personal Finance Freelancer or Contributor” Plutus Award finalist, Zina’s byline has also appeared in the Indianapolis Monthly, Commercial Appeal, and the Associated Press.

When Zina isn’t working she is spending time with her husband and two dogs.

To learn more, connect with Zina on LinkedIn.

Swappa Review 2024: A Legit Site to Sell Used Phones & Tech

I loathe selling things online. Even though it’s a popular side hustle, it’s not my favorite thing to do. It takes forever to take pictures of the item, I despise negotiating with people, and it takes way too long to get paid. That’s why I’ve stopped trying to sell things online, especially high-end electronics like…

Zina Kumok 10 Nov

Mistplay Review 2024: Is the Gamer Rewards App Worth It?

I’ve never had much luck making money from survey websites and other similar online side hustles. I get bored easily and I hate taking endless surveys, filling out the same information over and over again. But using Mistplay was different. Mistplay is a fun app where you play popular games and earn points that you…

Zina Kumok 25 Aug

Hate Your Job and Want to Quit? 5 Tips for Planning an Exit

I hated my first job out of college. I was working as a newspaper reporter in a small town where I didn’t know anyone. My workday lasted from 2 to 10 p.m., which left little time to hang out with people. My boyfriend lived in a different city three hours away, and I quickly realized…

Zina Kumok 30 May

5 Apps That Will Pay You to Lose Weight

Everyone has their own motivation for losing weight. Sometimes it’s because you want to wear clothes you fit into years ago. Or maybe your doctor said some of your health problems could be relieved if you lost some weight. But finding the motivation and discipline for weight loss is hard. A survey from 2013 to…

Zina Kumok 20 Dec

The 50/30/20 Budget Rule Explained (with Examples)

We all know someone who loves numbers. They’ll spend hours poring over budgeting spreadsheets, examining the finer details of their investment accounts, and organizing the cash in their wallet by denomination. For someone like that, being offered basic budgeting advice is like preaching to the choir. For the rest of us, there’s the 50/30/20 budgeting…

Zina Kumok 02 May

How to Fill Out a Money Order (Step-by-Step Guide)

Learning how to fill out a money order is essential to completing important money moves when a checkbook is no longer an option for you. These days, checkbooks have largely gone the way of the dinosaur. Some people still keep one around for old times’ sake — or for budgeting reasons. But for the most…

Zina Kumok 15 Mar

11 Best Places to Sell Your Phone for Cash (High Payouts)

Everyone loves getting a new cell phone. It’s fun to set it up, see how fast it is, and try out the new features. But then you’re stuck with your old phone. Throwing it away seems like a waste, and you may not want to donate something you paid hundreds of dollars for. So the…

Zina Kumok 04 Nov

19 Best Places to Sell Textbooks for the Most Money

The cost of college tuition has outpaced inflation, but the cost of textbooks has increased more than 800% since the 1970s. I was extremely cost-conscious when I applied to college. My parents weren’t going to pay for everything, so I had to apply to schools I knew I could afford. I knew the cost of…

Zina Kumok 14 Oct

Drop Review 2024: Why Better Cash Back Apps Exist

We’ve reviewed the Drop cash back and rewards app every year since its United States launch in late 2017. Much has changed about the app over the past seven years, and almost none of it for the better. Here are what remain of the pros, the notable cons, and why we think you’re better off…

Zina Kumok 10 Oct

7 Best Short-Term Investments for Growing Your Money

You have some money to invest, but don’t like the idea of not touching the money for years or decades. What are the best short-term investments to maximize your returns? Most often, people in this situation are saving for a short-term goal — a down payment on a house, shiny new car, or planning for…

Zina Kumok 31 Aug