Skip to Main Content

Alex Gailey

  • Personal finance
  • Budgeting
  • Investing
  • Homebuying
  • Debt management
  • Bachelor of Arts in Journalism, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill


Senior data reporter Alex Gailey weaves together data and narratives to help consumers better understand the important decisions that go into managing money effectively. She has covered consumer finance for four years and before that, she covered the Atlanta region's economy.

Alex has interviewed hundreds of personal finance experts, from certified financial planners and economists to career advisors and financial therapists. She believes in thorough reporting and interviewing experts to have a pulse on consumer finance trends and news and spends time talking to everyday people to better understand their money experiences.

Before joining Bankrate, Alex worked for NextAdvisor in partnership with TIME Magazine, The Boston Globe, the Atlanta Business Chronicle and the Charlotte Business Journal. Her work has also appeared in Yahoo Finance, MSN, The Business Journals and elsewhere. When she’s not playing with words and numbers, Alex enjoys traveling, cycling and playing fetch with her two dogs.

Find Alex beyond Bankrate

Alex wants you to know

Alex Gailey knows that a budget is an essential pillar of financial health, but she didn’t make one for herself until she was in her early 20s. She always assumed that she was all set as long as she was spending less than what she was making.

But she quickly learned that it's only possible to know where you're going if you know where you are when it comes to your finances. And after years of interviewing financial pros, she picked up a few savvy budgeting tips and tricks along the way.

"In a world obsessed with get-rich-quick schemes, the basics are often ignored, but they’re important to achieving financial success,” she says.

If you’ve never created a budget or if you need a refresher, she recommends writing down every single expense in a given month, then breaking them down into two categories: fixed expenses (the things you have to pay, like rent, bills and loans) and discretionary expenses (things you control, like food, entertainment, car-related expenses and clothes).

She says there are many possible routes to take from there, but a good rule of thumb is to get your overall spending to fit into the 50-30-20 strategy. This budgeting technique involves dividing your money into three primary categories: 50 percent of your post-tax income toward fixed expenses; 30 percent toward long-term savings like a 401(k) or an IRA; and 20 percent toward your discretionary spending.

Most importantly, she wants you to remember that the best budget is the one you’ll stick with.

Alex's recommended readings

A lack of understanding of money management strategies is a drag on the finances of Americans who can least afford it. I want to meet people of various income brackets where they are and empower them to make financial decisions that can help them advance.

— Alex Gailey

Alex's latest articles