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Michael Jacobs

Clark Howard hasn’t betrayed his thrifty reputation just because his first grandchild was born last fall.


He bought a year’s worth of onesies on sale while oldest daughter Becca was six months pregnant, and he has stockpiled clearance-priced toys and puzzles.

“I buy bargains for him, just like normal,” Howard says. “You are who you are, right?” Howard and wife Lane make regular Sunday drives from Buckhead to Dunwoody to visit the baby. “It’s the greatest. You have this kid that’s yours, but you’re not responsible,” he says. “I’m a bystander of what I experienced three times as a parent. This whole bystander thing is much better.”

January/February 2012, Live Well for Less
January/February 2012, Live Well for Less

His grandson also is named Clark, though Jewish tradition frowns on naming a child after a living relative. Howard’s first thought on learning of the honor: “Am I dead?” Howard, who turns 65 in June, is very much alive despite a prostate cancer diagnosis in 2009 and a life-threatening interaction between prescriptions in 2017. Clark’s Christmas Kids marks its 30th year of providing gifts to foster children this year.

Howard’s wallet wisdom is reaching more people than ever. It wasn’t long after he appeared on Simply Buckhead’s January/February 2012 “Live Well for Less” cover that he and Christa DiBiase, his radio show’s longtime executive producer, revised their operating plan. They decided their core product was information, not radio. That change in thinking freed the team to experiment with content delivery methods. Some haven’t worked, such as video on demand through cable TV; others are thriving, including podcasts.

Howard had 18 people working on radio and television in 2012; now he has three. His online operations have expanded from two people to 34.

“We follow the eyeballs,” he says. His radio show still airs on more than 200 stations, including WSB in Atlanta, and he appears daily in live and recorded TV segments. The message throughout his content, Howard says, is to “always live on less than what you make, no matter what. That makes all the other things possible.” 

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